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Grow Your Own

Grow Your Own Teacher Licensure Program


Grow Your Own Teacher Licensure Program

Embark on a rewarding journey with the Grow Your Own Teacher Licensure Program, a unique opportunity that empowers you to become a teacher with minimal financial burden while maintaining employment in a school system. Here’s a detailed overview of the program:

Program Information:

  • Our courses are conveniently offered 100% online, with flexible schedules in the evenings or asynchronous formats, allowing you to seamlessly integrate learning with your work commitments.
  • Upon successful completion of the program, you will attain your teaching licensure, and for those seeking further academic growth, the option to pursue a Master’s degree is available (additional cost is involved).
  • The next cohort is scheduled to start in Fall 2024. If you are interested in joining the Grow Your Own email list, please email Dr. Cheryl Robertson, Grow Your Own Program Coordinator, at

Program Qualifications:

To qualify for the Grow Your Own Teacher Apprentice Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Possession of a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Employment in a partnering school district, which must recommend and support your participation (e.g., Tutor, Teaching Assistant, Paraprofessional).
  • For assistance in regaining a qualifying position, please contact, specifying the school district you are interested in.

Program Areas of Grow Your Own Initial Licensure Include:

  • Middle Grades Mathematics
    • Mathematics 6-8 (122) Endorsement
  • Secondary Mathematics
    • Mathematics 6-12 (125) Endorsement
  • Special Education
    • Special Education Interventionist K-8 (144) Endorsement
    • Special Education Interventionist 6-12 (145) Endorsement
    • Special Education Comprehensive Program K-12 (461) Endorsement


How to Apply:

Step 1: Complete the Grow Your Own Application Complete the Teacher Education Grow Your Own Application through the Office of Professional Licensure.

If you have previous graduate credit and are wishing to see if any of these courses will count towards the Grow Your Own program, please fill out the application (above) and send copies of your transcripts to Please note, we will not forward transcripts to the UTK Graduate School as part of your application to the Graduate School. Please read Step 2, below, and visit the UTK Graduate School website for details on applying.

Step 2: Apply to the UTK Graduate School

To be admitted to the Grow Your Own Program, you must also be admitted to the UTK Graduate School. To apply, please click here.

Important Notes on Graduate School Application:

  1. The UTK Graduate School has a completely separate application. There may be additional requirements needed to be accepted the UTK Graduate School. Please make sure to read through the requirements and submit materials as requested in order to be considered for the Grow Your Own program.
  2. You will be applying for a Distance Education program (not a campus-based program)
  3. You will be applying for the following program: Teacher Education MS: Practitioner (Online).
  4. You will need to follow the directions in the Graduate School application to submit official transcripts of ALL institutions that you have attended. Please note: copies of transcripts are accepted for conditional admission; however, official transcripts are required for full admission.
  5. You will need to complete your application to the Graduate School, but DO NOT pay the Graduate School application fee. If you are accepted into the program, this fee will be paid for you. If you choose to pay this fee, you WILL NOT be reimbursed.

Please note that all inquiries regarding Graduate School admission need to be directed to the Graduate School. The Graduate School webpage has directions on how to check the status of your application here. If you need assistance or are having difficulty with your application to the Graduate School, please contact them directly by phone at 865-974-3251 or via this form.

Step 4: Monitor your email and submit supporting documentation as directed.

Please take note that the Grow Your Own program is a collaboration between the University of Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Labor, and the school or school district where you are seeking

employment. As such, there are multiple requirements that must be met. UT will do the best we can to help you meet all of these requirements, but we ask that you understand that many of these requirements are beyond our control. Please add the UTK Office of Professional Licensure ( to your email contacts list to ensure that communications go to your in-box and not junk/spam, and respond to inquiries in a timely manner.

Step 5: Admissions Decisions

Admission to the Grow Your Own program requires a three-part review from faculty, districts and the UTK Graduate School. Admissions decisions will be sent via email from It is very important that you add this email address to your safe contact list. If you have any questions please reach out to our office.