Professor Linda Johnston, Interim Director
The School of Education provides preparation for individuals seeking to work within public and private educational institutions; and agencies serving families and children. Programs, in most cases, lead to licensure or credentialing and in every case prepare thoughtful, informed practitioners of learning and leading. Course work is shaped around the development of a reflective practice model.
The School of Education offers approved programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degree and eligibility for teacher licensure in Tennessee and in those states that grant reciprocity privileges to graduates of institutions accredited by CAEP. Within the early childhood major students may pursue teacher licensure in early childhood or a child and family studies concentration for non educators.
Courses of Study
Undergraduate—The college offers approved undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degree and eligibility for teacher licensure in Tennessee and in those states which grant reciprocity privileges to graduates of institutions accredited by CAEP. Courses of study include:
Art Education (K-12)
Early Childhood (PreK-3)
Exceptional Learning (K-12)
Health and Exercise Science Pedagogy: (K-12)
Foreign Language Education (K-12) (French, Latin, Spanish)-See Foreign Language Education
Middle Grades Education (4-8)
Music Education (K-12) (B.M.)
Secondary Education (7-12) with concentrations in English, *mathematics, *natural sciences (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics), and social sciences (economics, geography, political science, history)
Theatre Education (K-12)
*Students seeking licensure in secondary mathematics and/or sciences will do so through the STEM Education Program .
Students should note that field placements are required in order to complete many courses successfully. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 5, Part 5610 specifies that all students wishing to enter approved teacher training programs in Tennessee are required to have a fingerprint-based criminal history background check. In order to comply with TCA 49-5-5610, if a student is required to complete a field placement, the student must complete the fingerprinting requirement satisfactorily before beginning the fieldwork. The student must also provide proof of current professional liability insurance. Details can be found on the School of Education website and questions should be directed to the SOE Field Placement Coordinator.
Students pursuing teacher licensure through UTC’s School of Education programs must meet requirements in four sequential checkpoints. Effective for students enrolled in Education 2010 in fall of 2004 and subsequent semesters, the checkpoints control admission to PDS I, admission to the Teacher Education Program, admission to student teaching and recommendation for licensure.
Included in the checkpoint requirements are successful completion of specified coursework, achievement of appropriate grade point averages, and appropriate test scores on the ACT, SAT or Praxis I as well as on the state-mandated Praxis II tests for the licensure area. In addition, required documentation must be submitted in each checkpoint. Success in meeting checkpoint requirements is a major factor in success in completing the teacher preparation program.
Specific requirements for each checkpoint are listed on the School of Education website. See School of Education
Professional Development School I (PDS I)
The Professional Development School I (PDS I) is an intensive, semester-long field experience. Participants spend all day, every day, in a cohort assigned to a local school. In this exploratory experience, the University students work with the faculty and students in appropriate settings in K-12 schools, both in classroom and in non-classroom settings. University faculty provide on-site instruction through an integrated presentation format.
PDS I participants complete a predetermined core of courses specific to each discipline. Listed below are the courses required for PDS I within the appropriate discipline.
Early Child Education: PreK-3: EDUC 3170 , EDUC 3230 , EDUC 3090 , EDUC 4999r ; ECHD 3450 , ECHD 4460 ; USTU 3300
Foreign Language Education: EDUC 3210 , EDUC 4000 , EDUC 4180 , EDUC 4330 , EDUC 4999r ; ECHD 2420
Middle Grades Education: Education EDUC 3170 , EDUC 3210 , EDUC 4000 , EDUC 4180 , EDUC 4999r ; ECHD 2420 and ECHD 4450
Secondary Education (English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences) EDUC 3210 , EDUC 4000 , EDUC 4180 , EDUC 4330 , EDUC 4999r ; ECHD 2420
Exceptional Learning: K-12: Education EDUC 3170 , EDUC 3230 , EDUC 3360 , EDUC 4000 , EDUC 4999r ; ECHD 2410 or ECHD 2420 , and ECHD 4450
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 5, Part 5610 specifies that all students wishing to enter approved teacher training programs in Tennessee are required to have a fingerprint-based criminal history background check. In order to comply with TCA 49-5-5610, students seeking to complete the Professional Development School (PDS) program must complete this requirement satisfactorily before they can be accepted into PDS. Students must also provide proof of current professional liability insurance. Details can be found on the School of Education website and questions should be directed to the SOE Field Placement Coordinator.
Admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP)*
*Final responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are met prior to being admitted to student teaching rests with the student.
Applicants who demonstrate qualifications and dispositions required for entry into the teaching profession will be considered for admission to the teacher education program. Selection of qualified students is usually made on the basis of application during the sophomore year, with the exception of transfer students who are required to complete a semester of residence at UTC before their admission can be finalized. Applications for admission to the teacher education program should be filed no later than the first semester of the junior year. A student who has not been officially admitted to the TEP will not be permitted to register for certain professional education courses. Prior to formal application to the TEP, freshman, sophomore, and, particularly, transfer students must consult with an advisor in the School of Education to plan their programs. This advisory procedure also applies to students (including post-baccalaureate and graduate) seeking initial teacher licensure or endorsement.
All students (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate) must satisfy official TEP admission standards set by UTC, the Tennessee Department of Education, the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies, and the School of Education. A student who has earned a degree or credit hours at another institution may be required to enroll in additional courses, including the student teaching experience or practicum, to verify competency in those teaching fields for which initial teacher licensure or endorsement is being requested through a UTC recommendation.
To be considered for admission to the TEP, an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate student must:
- File a formal application signed by a School of Education faculty advisor.
- Earn a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average, a 2.75 average on all courses taken at UTC, a 2.75 in education courses with no grade lower than C, and a 2.75 in content area courses with no grade lower than C.
- Complete the Praxis I tests or a state-approved equivalent and earn at least the minimum score on each section as mandated by the Tennessee Board of Education for the particular year in which the battery is taken.
- Submit all other appropriate information (field placement documentation, fingerprinting, essay and resume) and an interview application prior to scheduling the TEP interview.
- Complete an interview and receive a positive recommendation from the TEP interview committee.
- Demonstrate a commitment to: a) professional ethics, b) collaboration, c) diversity, d) self-reflection, e) belief in students’ ability to learn, f) technology, g) the teaching profession, and h) professional growth. In addition, specific dispositions are sometimes identified as appropriate for individual programs and as a result of other association/organization affiliations. Violations of the honor code or student behavior policies as stated in the current UTC Student Handbook may be reviewed by the TEP Committee and may impact the final decision regarding admission to the TEP and/or approval for student teaching experiences.
Applicants will receive notification of their TEP status following the interview. An applicant who is denied admission will be notified of the deficiencies and of suggested resources or activities which may correct these. Decisions of the TEP Committee may be appealed. Information about the appeal process may be obtained from the TEP Director.
Tests for Admission to Teacher Education Programs
Individuals seeking admission to teacher education programs in Tennessee must pass the Praxis I. The Tennessee Board of Education has also approved two additional options for admission of teacher candidates. Undergraduate or post-baccalaureate applicants who have attained an ACT composite test score of 22 or above on the Enhanced ACT or who have attained a combined verbal and mathematics score of 1020 or above on the Recentered SAT shall be exempt from the Praxis I.
UTC is committed to strict adherence to Tennessee Board of Education requirements regarding official admission to the TEP. An applicant to the TEP may take the required test(s) an unlimited number of times.
For an Apprentice License, the Tennessee Board of Education requires the achievement of state-approved minimum scores on specified tests of the Praxis II Series. Information about these tests may be obtained from the SOE Certification Office or the State of Tennessee Department of Education website.
Admission to Student Teaching*
*Final responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are met prior to being admitted to student teaching rests with the student.
The application for admission to the student teaching semester must be filed by the appropriate deadline preceding the semester in which the student plans to student teach. The following deadlines apply to application submission for student teaching:
Spring Semester Student Teaching Application Deadline - September 1
Fall Semester Student Teaching Application Deadline - March 1
All students must apply for student teaching to comply with application deadline dates.
However, a student will not be permitted to student teach until he or she has satisfactorily met all requirements for admission to the TEP and has successfully completed all required Praxis II tests.
Before admission to student teaching, the student must:
- Secure official admission to the TEP.
- Submit student teaching application with signature of assigned faculty advisor.
- Satisfactorily complete all professional education courses.
- Satisfactorily complete at least 90 percent of coursework in content area(s).
- Earn a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on courses completed at UTC, a cumulative 2.75 grade point average on all courses, a 2.75 grade point average in professional education courses with no grade lower than C, a 2.75 grade point average in content area courses with no grade lower than C.
- Submit an updated resume to the Field Placement Coordinator.
- Students pursuing any degree in education which leads to licensure must meet all required elements at each level of the Checkpoints in order to be able to move forward to additional courses. These provisions include not only those established by the UTC School of Education, but also those mandated by the school systems in which students complete field placements.
- Students must also provide proof of current professional liability insurance. Details can be found on the School of Education website and questions should be directed to the SOE Field Placement Coordinator.
All students seeking teaching licensure must meet the student teaching requirement. Student teaching is a full-semester experience; participants are placed in appropriate settings to meet state requirements for the licensure sought.
Student teaching is evaluated on a satisfactory/no credit basis. Successful completion of student teaching requires meeting all of the requirements of the field placements plus additional components which are included in the student teaching experience. A student who does not satisfactorily complete student teaching will receive a grade of no credit.
Final authority for the student teaching placement and teaching assignment rests with the Field Placement Coordinator and the Director of the School of Education. Students may not student teach in schools where their children are enrolled or where relatives are employed.
Student Teaching Orientation
General orientation seminars concerning student teaching are held for all prospective student teachers preceding their student teaching semester. Non-attendance will delay the student teaching experience. Seminars are also held during the student teaching semester, and attendance is mandatory.
Recommendation for Licensure
The School of Education will recommend for licensure only those students who have successfully completed all requirements of UTC initial licensure or endorsement programs approved by the Tennessee Department of Education. Application forms may be obtained from the SOE Certification Office.
Tennessee regulations stipulate that the applicant for an initial teaching license or additional endorsement must be recommended by the designated certifying officer and dean of an approved teacher training institution. To receive this recommendation, the applicant must:
- Obtain official admission to the TEP.
- Earn a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in courses completed at UTC, a cumulative 2.5 grade point average on all courses, a 2.5 grade point average in professional education courses with no grade lower than C, a grade point average of 2.5 in content area courses with no grade lower than C.
- Satisfactorily complete the student teaching experience or an approved alternative.
- Fulfill specific departmental requirements in the area of concentration.
- Achieve minimum scores on the Praxis II tests mandated by the Tennessee Board of Education.
UTC does not guarantee that satisfactory completion of a program listed in the UTC Catalog at the time of a student’s initial admission to the University will meet all the licensure requirements at the time the person applies for initial licensure. This means that UTC will recommend only those applicants who have met all the licensure requirements in effect at the time of the University recommendation.
Any student who completes a licensure program at UTC, regardless of whether he or she intends to teach in Tennessee, should apply for Tennessee licensure since many states require an applicant to be licensed in the state where he or she graduated and/or completed an initial licensure program. Licensure standards change frequently; hence, it is prudent to apply for licensure immediately upon graduation or program completion.
A student is considered to have completed UTC’s teacher preparation program when Tennessee standards for the Praxis II tests for licensure are met, all coursework requirements have been fulfilled, and the degree appropriate to the program has been awarded.
A student who anticipates teaching outside Tennessee is strongly encouraged to request a check sheet of certification requirements from the Department of Education Office of Certification for the state in which he or she plans to teach. Course and competency requirements to satisfy out-of-state certification standards may be in addition to Tennessee licensure requirements and UTC approved degree requirements.