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School of Lifelong Learning
College of Education and Human Development


The Professional Interdisciplinary Studies and University Studies programs offer adult learners flexible pathways to degree completion through fully online, hybrid, and face-to-face instruction. Our programs provide opportunities to engage in relevant coursework and training designed to build 21st century professional competencies such as lifelong learning, research skills, strategic problem solving, teamwork, communication, and habits of leadership.

National Board Certification

logoWhat is National Board Certification (NBC)?

NBC proves that teachers possess the skills and knowledge of accomplished teaching as demonstrated by their performance on a two-part assessment. The assessment is based on high standards developed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The standards-based assessment requires candidates to create a classroom-based portfolio and complete a one-day written assessment. Call 1-800-22TEACH to receive an application for NBPTS.

Benefits of Becoming National Board Certified

  • Leadership opportunities while remaining in the classroom
  • $6,000 annual bonus for 5 years after certification or renewal
  • Professional growth and affirmation
  • Promote teaching as a profession
  • State license renewal

The Southwest Mississippi World-Class Teaching Initiative (SMWCTI)

The Southwest Mississippi World-Class Teaching Initiative (SMWCTI) is one of six World Class Teaching Programs that supports Mississippi teachers as they seek National Board Certification. The state of Mississippi funds the World-Class Teaching Initiative at university campuses, and Jackson State University (JSU) is one of the institutions funded to support teachers through the Southwest Mississippi World-Class Teaching Initiative. This initiative was established in the late 1990’s, and the first cohort of teachers matriculated through the SMWCTI and were certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

The Southwest Mississippi World-Class Teaching Initiative, at Jackson State University, is directed by Dr. Gloria Smith who is assisted by Ms. Carolyn Tillman, and five (5) candidate support providers.  Ms. Tillman, who serves as a facilitator, is responsible for monitoring the candidate support providers, recruiting, securing financial support, and providing relevant training and academic support for candidates.  The candidate support providers for the initiative facilitate and support selected candidates through the National Board process.

The Southwest Mississippi World-Class Teaching Initiative, at JSU, offers several different programs to meet the needs of teachers seeking National Board Certification (NBC).  It guides and supports groups of selected candidates through the certification process. Ultimately, this program prepares leading teachers to take and pass the National Board Educator Exam.  Outlined below are the programs offered through the SMWCTI to meet the needs of teachers seeking National Board Certification: Candidate Support Program, and The National Board Standards Workshop.

Click Here to download the application form.

The Candidate Support Program is the heart of the Southwest Mississippi World-Class Teaching Initiative.  It guides and supports groups of selected candidates through the National Board Certification process.  It consists of bi-monthly meetings with active candidates, their peers, and a National Board Certified Teacher.

Click Here to view the mentoring Sessions

The National Board Standards Workshop is a two-day workshop designed to provide instruction on the standards developed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. During the standards workshop, teachers are introduced to the building blocks of the certification process: the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching, the Five Core Propositions, and the Standards for each certificate area.  The workshop gives an overview of the National Board Certification process which includes a detailed overview of the four components. During the workshop, teachers have an opportunity to work with National Board Certified Teachers.

What Does the SMWCTI Offer Teachers?

  • Seminars to study national standards and connect to practice
  • Regular meetings with candidates and National Board Certified Teachers
  • Cooperative learning designs
  • Access to study materials
  • Support system and network opportunities

For an explanation of the current Mississippi law governing the reimbursement process for National Board certified teachers, counselors, and speech pathologists, please go to Here

For an application for National Board Certification, please call 1-800-22-TEACH or apply on-line at

Reimbursement is through House Bill 207 that teachers are reimbursed for completing each of the components.

If you have any further questions about the certificate, please contact:

School of Lifelong Learning: 601-979-8777


The Continuing Education Learning Center (CELC) consists of the following programs:

  1. General Education Development (GED) and Basic Skills Training
  2. Parenting Skills

The Learning Center provides self-paced, individualized, computer-based instruction on an on-going basis. The CELC along with the School of Lifelong Learning academic and non-academic credit units act in concert to provide substantive development programs for e-City and other community development projects in literacy, workforce, and health.

Program Offerings

* Pre-GED Classes

* GED Preparation (Math, Social Studies, Science, Reading/Writing)

* Basic Skills Training

* Employment Skills Training/Parenting

* ACT Prep

Class Schedule

Classes are offered every 8 to 10 weeks.   Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m, closed for lunch 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.


* If you are 17 or 18 years of age, you will need a withdrawal form from the last school that you attended, along with a MS state ID and social security card.

* If you are 19 years of age or above, you will only need a MS state ID and social security card.

Questions & Answers

* How much does it cost to take GED classes?

The cost is free.

* How long will it take before I get my GED?

The program is self-paced and dependent upon the learning ability of the student.

* Can I register to take my GED test without taking classes? 

Yes, but it would be helpful to have at least 12 hours of class preparation before you take the test.

* How do I register for the test? 

Just go to to register, and you must have a valid email address. Also, you must have a debit/credit card to pay for

the test.

* What do I need to score to make a minimum passing score on each of the five tests, as well as a passing  average score overall?

There must be a minimum of 150 on each test with a total score of 600.

* What are the costs to take the GED test?

The cost for each test is $30 per subject (4 subject areas).

* Is there a graduation ceremony?

Yes, there is a graduation that takes place in June.

* Can I go to college with a GED?

Yes, the GED is equivalent to a high school diploma; therefore, it is recognized by colleges/universities, training schools and employers. You will have skills attainment, improved work skills and transitions into further academic/vocational training or employment.

* Study materials and sample questions are provided by the GED Testing Service at

Mailing Address:                                             Physical Address:                           

Box 17429                                                       1325 Hattiesburg Street

Jackson, MS 39217                                          Jackson, MS 39204



Dr. Carlos D. Wilson Interim Director of  School of Lifelong Learning 601.979.8895
Ms. Stephanie Payne ABE/GED Instructor 601.979.6891
Mrs. Marquita Shelby ABE/GED Instructor 601.979.3782




3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211


(601) 979-8777