Admission to Teacher Education Program (TEP)
Applicants who demonstrate evidence of possessing qualifications and characteristics reasonably expected for entry into the teaching profession will be considered for admission to the teacher education program.
For entry to the TEP, the candidate must meet all current admission standards set by UTC, the State Department of Education, and the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies. A student who has earned a degree or earned credit hours at another institution may be required to enroll in additional courses including the student teaching experience. This is to verify competency in those teaching fields for which initial teacher licensure or endorsement is being requested through a UTC recommendation. Additionally, any student seeking admission to the TEP should confer with a faculty adviser from the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies to ensure that the appropriate coursework and admission requirements have been completed.
To be considered for admission to the TEP*, a graduate student must:
- File a formal application signed by a College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies faculty adviser.
- Earn a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average on all courses, a 2.75 in content (bridging) area courses with no grade lower than C, and a 3.0 in graduate education courses.
- Submit appropriate minimum scores on the PRAXIS I Academic Skills Assessments.
- File all other appropriate information (essay and résumé) and submit an application for an interview.
- Complete the interview and receive a positive recommendation from the TEP interview committee.
- Show evidence of reasonable physical fitness, emotional maturity, high moral character, and commitment to professional education. Violations of the honor code or student behavior policies as stated in the 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.
- 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 Teacher Preparation Academy, but also those mandated by the school in which students complete field placements. Education students must successfully meet the requirements for an initial background screening at checkpoint 1 and must also pass an FBI/TBI fingerprinting procedure prior to admission to the student teaching experience. Failure to meet these or any other parts of any Checkpoint will prevent an individual from advancing to the next level.
*Final responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are met prior to being admitted to the Teacher Education Program rests with the student.
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 may be obtained from the TEP Committee chair.
* The final responsibility for satisfying all requirements for official entry in the TEP rests with the student.
Admission to the Induction Experience or Student Teaching
The application for admission to the induction experience/student teaching must be filed approximately six months preceding the actual experience. If a student plans to complete the induction experience/student teaching during the spring semester of an academic year, the application must be completed and on file no later than September 1 of the preceding year. For the fall semester of an academic year, the application must be completed and on file no later than the preceding March 1. Under special circumstances, policies, procedures, and requirements for admission to the TEP and the induction experience/student teaching may be waived or revised at the discretion of the dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies after consultation with the head of the academic unit in which the student is seeking a degree and/or endorsement.
Application for the induction experience/student teaching is not contingent upon official admission to the TEP; therefore, a student should file the application to comply with the required deadline dates. However, a student will not be permitted to begin the the induction experience/student teaching until he or she has been admitted to the TEP.
Before gaining official approval for admission to the induction experience/student teaching semester, the student must have fulfilled the following requirements:
- Gained official admission to the TEP .
- Completed the induction experience/student teaching application with signature of assigned faculty advisor.
- Satisfactorily completed all professional education coursework and at least 90 percent of endorsement area coursework.
- Earned a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average on all courses, a 2.75 in content (bridging) courses with no grade lower than C, and a 3.0 in graduate education courses.
Final responsibility for ensuring that all these requirements are fulfilled prior to being admitted to the induction experience/student teaching rests with the student.
Induction Experience/Student Teaching
All education majors will complete an induction experience/student teaching for a full semester of 16 weeks. Placements will include an inner-city and a suburban/rural school environment during the semester. In addition to dual locations, the student will be expected to teach on two distinct grade levels. For example, secondary placements will include a middle school for one-half semester and a high school for the other half.
Students will be grouped in cohorts during the induction experience/student teaching, allowing them to participate in on-site seminars on educational psychology, methods, classroom management, and other topics.
A student is prohibited from enrolling in any other course while completing the induction experience/student teaching unless said course is the final course required in his/her program.
The induction experience/student teaching is evaluated on a satisfactory/ no credit basis. Successful completion of the induction experience/student teaching requires meeting all the requirements of the field placements plus passing scores on all state-mandated Praxis II tests for the licensure area. A student who does not successfully complete the experience will receive no credit and may have the opportunity to repeat the course.
Induction Experience/Student Teaching Orientation
General orientation seminars concerning the induction experience/student teaching and the professional education semester are held for all prospective student teachers during the semester immediately preceding the experience. Candidates are expected to attend these scheduled conferences; non-attendance could delay the induction experience/student teaching semester.
Alternative to Student Teaching
Student teaching or its equivalent is required in any initial licensure program. In the M.Ed. Elementary or Secondary Education Licensure programs, that requirement is met through the nine-hour Education 5960, Induction Experience. Teachers employed appropriately may choose the option of the six-hour Education 5910, Professional Teaching Experience; this option requires an additional three-hour education elective to complete M.Ed. requirements.
Recommendation for Licensure
The Teacher Preparation Academy will recommend licensure only for those students who have successfully completed one or more of the UTC initial licensure or additional endorsement programs approved by the Tennessee Department of Education.
Tennessee state regulations stipulate that the applicant for licensure must be recommended by the designated certifying officer and dean of an approved teacher training institution. To receive this recommendation, the applicant must have fulfilled the following requirements:*
- Satisfactorily complete the approved teacher preparation program, including student teaching, for the desired area of endorsement.
- Earn a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average on all courses, a 2.75 UTC GPA, and a 2.75 in content (bridging) courses with no grade lower that C, and a 3.0 in graduate education courses.
- Achieve appropriate minimum scores on the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching and Subject Assessments/Specialty Area Test.
- Demonstrate good moral character and freedom from chemical addiction which would impair effectiveness as a teacher.
- Achieve formal admission to TEP.
These criteria apply to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students desiring a licensure recommendation from UTC.
*Under special circumstances, the criteria may be modified or revised at the discretion of the dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies after consultation with appropriate academic administration.
The final responsibility for satisfying each and all of these requirements for licensure recommendation by UTC rests with the individual applicant.
A student is considered to have completed UTC’s teacher preparation program when he or she has fulfilled all coursework requirements, been awarded the degree appropriate to the program, and met Tennessee standards for the Praxis II tests for his licensure area.
A candidate who anticipates teaching outside Tennessee is strongly encouraged to request information about licensure requirements from the Department of Education Office of Teacher Licensing for the state in which he or she plans to teach. Course and competency requirements to satisfy out-of-state licensure standards may be in addition to Tennessee licensure requirements and UTC approved degree requirements.
Graduation from a UTC master’s degree program alone does not guarantee licensure. All requirements of the particular state awarding the license must be fulfilled also.
Application for Teacher Licensure
UTC does not guarantee that satisfactory completion of a program listed in the UTC catalog upon a student’s initial admission to the University will meet all the licensure requirements at the time the person completes his or her program. This means that UTC will recommend only those applicants who have met all the requirements effective at the time of recommendation.
In view of this, a student or any other person seeking teacher licensure or endorsement recommendation from UTC is strongly encouraged to confer with the appropriate faculty advisor(s) within the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies as soon as possible to gain faculty assistance in planning course schedules and to learn of the requirements effective at that time or at the projected date of the applicant’s program completion.
Applications for licensure in Tennessee and Georgia are available in the Certification Office or on the web. Applications for licensure in other states should be requested from the respective State Departments of Education.
Questions about any of the above-mentioned requirements should be referred to the appropriate department head and to the certification officer.
The Certification Office is primarily responsible for processing applications for initial Tennessee licensure. The Certification Office will also provide assistance in processing applications to states other than Tennessee. However, the applicant has the responsibility for obtaining the application and completing it, except for signatory approval of UTC.
Title II of the Higher Education Act of 1998 requires teacher preparation institutions to report Praxis II test scores and other data.
Alternative to Student Teaching
Tennessee regulations allow an institution to waive student teaching if the candidate for licensure teaches successfully for a minimum of two years under an Alternative Type I or Type II in an accredited school. The teaching assignment must be in the field and at the level appropriate for the licensure sought.
For students who are employed as teacher-of-record while pursuing the master’s degree, the nine-hour Induction Experience is replaced by two courses: one 3-hour elective and EDUC 5960, a 6-hour two-semester course (3 each semester) entitled “Professional Teaching Experience.” This course involves evaluation of the candidate’s teaching skills by a UTC faculty member who observes lessons and consults with the candidate. Reflective papers are required as well as seminars and other appropriate activities.