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Teach For America is a state-approved route to alternative certification in both Mississippi and Arkansas.

All corps members have the opportunity to become fully certified in at least one subject during their corps years, and initial licensure is dependent upon passing a test or tests that must be taken before the summer programming. Upon your acceptance and confirmation into the Greater Delta region, you will be given preparation resources and step-by-step directions on registering and taking your exam(s). These exams can be taken in various locations across the United States, and do not require travel to our region in order to complete.

The Mississippi and Arkansas Departments of Education also require corps members to participate in all of Teach For America Greater Delta’s professional development activities, including summer programming.

Reach out to Kewanza Williams, at, with any questions about the process of joining Teach For America Greater Delta, or concerns about certification or testing in Mississippi and Arkansas.

Becoming Certified to Teach

With limited exceptions, passing baseline tests is required in order to be hired by and teach in our school districts. It is your responsibility to register for, prepare for, take, and pass all of your exams within the timeline provided by the Greater Delta; and in some cases testing support will be provided.

Teach For America serves as an alternative certification agency for both Mississippi and Arkansas. As such, Teach For America can recommend to the relevant Department of Education that corps members who meet our programming requirements earn an initial/provisional—and later an upgraded/standard—educator’s license. With a few exceptions, this will be the form in which most corps members receive notification.

Graduate School

A master’s degree is not required for your corps commitment. Many teachers will choose to seek advanced degrees on their own, but it is not a requirement to teach through the Teach For America program. In the Greater Delta, you can be certified through Teach For America without incurring the large costs of graduate programs. Many corps members who are interested in a master’s degree choose online programs such as those offered Johns Hopkins University. Others start a master’s program at a traditional brick-and-mortar institution during their second year.

TFA Training

Summer Institute 

The summer before you begin teaching, TFA hosts a five-week training session known as summer institute at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. Here are some details about this year’s training: 

  • The summer institute will occur from June 10 through July 13
  • Summer programming for Greater Delta corps members also includes an induction, which will orient you to your new region, and kickoff, to further strengthen your content and classroom practices
  • Estimated costs: Please expect costs for travel to our summer programming, and any travel you choose to engage in while in region. Note that Teach For America covers food and housing costs during the five-week summer institute. 

Coaches and Specialists

In the Greater Delta, we have six coaches that will support small cohorts during the corps. We call them Coaches of Leadership and Learning.

The Greater Delta is unique in its offering of content specialists who, in partnership with your coach, support your teaching practice in content-specific ways.