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MDE expands Licensure Call Center to better assist educators

MDE expands Licensure Call Center to better assist educators

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) expanded its Licensure Call Center Feb. 1, with longer hours and additional customer service representatives to better assist prospective and current educators.

The Licensure Call Center now has 15 representatives available from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays to assist educators seeking information or inquiring about the status of a licensure application. Previously, four representatives took calls from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The MDE began onboarding the new representatives Jan. 5.

The State Board of Education (SBE) approved a $1.8 million contract with a staffing agency at the Dec. 16, 2021 board meeting to hire the customer service representatives. The contract term is from Dec. 29, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2024. The MDE is using American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and ESSER II funds to pay the agency.

During peak season, the number of calls received by representatives in the MDE Licensure Call Center ranges between 6,000 to 15,000 calls monthly. The goal of the expanded center is to reduce the impact of the calls.

“I am aware of the frustration some educators have experienced when contacting the MDE with licensure inquiries,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Now that the Licensure Call Center has expanded, I anticipate a more efficient process and positive experience for educators.”

A self-service, automated and interactive voice response system will become active in the coming weeks to further improve the Licensure Call Center experience. By March 1, all educators will be required to create a four-digit personal identification number (PIN), which they will need to set up in their Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) account. The PIN is an added security feature that will permit educators to speak to a customer service representative and/or obtain information on their ELMS account through the automated system.

The phone number to the Licensure Call Center is (601) 359-3483.

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