Associate Professor Renee Murley, Director
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. The Child and Family Studies major offers a pathway for non-educators to work with children and families in a non prek-12 setting.
Programs of Study
Undergraduate—Through the Teacher Education Program, there are approved undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor’s degree and eligibility for teacher licensure in Tennessee and in those states which grant reciprocity privileges to graduates of institutions accredited by CAEP. Programs of study can prepare students for licensure in the following areas:
Art Education (K-12)
Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education (PreK-3)
Elementary Education (K-5) and ESL (PreK-12)
Exceptional Learning (K-12)
Exceptional Learning Interventionists (K-8)
Health and Physical Educaton: (K-12)
Foreign Language Education (K-12) (French, Latin, Spanish)-See Foreign Language Education *
Middle Grades Education (6-8)
Music Education (K-12) (B.M.)
Secondary Education (6-12) with concentrations in English, *mathematics, *natural sciences (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics), and social sciences (economics, geography, political science, history)
*Students seeking licensure in secondary mathematics and/or sciences will do so through the appropriate STEM Education Program. Students seeking licensure in Foreign Language Education (K-12) and Theatre Education (K-12) will do so through the Education Minor .
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. The checkpoints ensure students meet UTC and State of Tennessee licensure requirements by guiding admission to the Teacher Education Program, admission to Residency I and II and recommendation for licensure throughout each program.
Included in the checkpoint requirements are successful completion of specified coursework, achievement of appropriate grade point averages, and appropriate state-approved tests, and earn at least the minmum score on each section as mandated by the Tennessee Board of Education for the particular year in which the battery is taken 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 completing the teacher preparation program.
It is the students’ responsibility to meet the checkpoints in a timely manner based on their program.
Checkpoints are updated annually as necessary to align with licensure changes as they occur. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure the current TEP Checkpoints are being met. Specific requirements for each checkpoint are listed on the School of Education website.
Admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP)*
*Final responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are met prior to being admitted to Residency II 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. A student who has not been officially admitted to the TEP will not be permitted to register for certain 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 clinical practice, 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:
- 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 program requirement courses with no grade lower than C.
- Complete a state-approved test 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, background check, test scores 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 clinical experience.
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. Upon appropriate remediation, students may be granted conditional admission.
TEP admission decisions may be appealed. Information on the appeals process and policies is located in the current TEP Handbook on the School of Education website. Students are bound to meet the requirements published in the current TEP Handbook.
Detailed information on admission is located on the School of Education webiste. See School of Education.
Admission to Residency I*
*Final responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are met prior to being admitted to student teaching rests with the student.
Certain programs in TEP require admission and participation in Residency I.
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 participate in Residency I. The following deadlines apply to application submission for student teaching:
Spring Semester Student Teaching Application Deadline - September 1
Fall Semester Student Teaching Application Deadline - February 1
All students must apply for Residency I to comply with application deadline dates.
However, a student will not be permitted to Residency I until he or she has satisfactorily met all requirements for admission to the TEP.
Before admission to Residency I, the student must:
- Secure official admission to the TEP.
- Submit Residency I application.
- Satisfactorily complete all professional education courses not included in the Residency I semester as indicated on each program’s clear path.
- Satisfactorily complete all 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.
- 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.
- Residency I is a full-semester of field experience; participants are placed in appropriate settings to meet state requirements for the licensure sought. Residency I will be based on upon school districts calendar, not UTC’s academic calendar. Residency I start date and calendar will be in the syllabus. Students must be prepared to begin their placement when their assigned district begins schools.
- The request to take any additional coursework taken during the residency 1 semester will require a TEP appeal submission.
Residency I and Student Teaching/Residency II Mandatory Meetings
All students completing Residency I and student teaching/Residency II must attend mandatory informational meetings and orientations prior to the start of their placement. Attendance is mandatory for seminars during student teaching/Residency II.
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 2.75 in 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 grade point average of 2.75 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.