Belhaven Announces Temporary Testing Waivers for Advanced Education Degrees

MAT WaiverApril 7, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) - Due to testing limitations related to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, Belhaven University is temporarily waiving Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Graduate Records Examination (GRE) testing requirements for students applying to graduate and doctoral education programs for summer and fall 2020.

Belhaven School of Education Dean Dr. David Hand said, “The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has given a suspension of the Praxis testing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They determined that there was going to be a challenge once testing centers were unable to remain open which could cause major issues in receiving test scores in a timely manner. MDE did not want to hinder individuals from pursuing their teacher education certificates realizing the need for teachers in the state.”

According to Dr. Cynthia Wilkins, an associate professor and Belhaven’s Director of Graduate Education, the relaxing of the testing requirements is providing many qualified people to achieve their teaching licenses. “I've already had a large number of excited candidates contact me about obtaining their initial teaching licenses,” said Wilkins. “This is a time of uncertainty, and with the entire country placed on hold for the foreseeable future, now is a great time to pursue a terminal degree in educational leadership.  By waiving the time and expense of the MAT/GRE test, interested applicants can start their Doctorate of Education Degree (Ed.D.) program immediately.

Dr. Hand adds, “This is an excellent time for teachers to pursue their advanced degrees whether their master degree or their doctorate degree with the Belhaven Graduate School of Education.  The Belhaven University School of Education has been offering all of its graduate courses online for the past two years and with the COVID-19 closing of the campus our education advanced degree candidates have not lost one moment in their courses or their plan of study – we are totally operating ‘status quo.’”

For inquiries about Elementary Education 4-6, contact Dr. Cynthia Wilkins at

Belhaven’s School of Education staff and faculty are available to answer questions. Interested teachers can contact the School of Education at 601-968-8703 or email


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