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Job-Embedded Practitioner Licensure

Job-Embedded Programs are available for individuals who are interested in becoming a teacher and have a Bachelor’s degree. These programs allow you to work – and get paid – as a teacher while completing Tennessee Department of Education’s requirements for Teacher Licensure. You can also earn your Master’s or Educational Specialist (EdS) Degree along with earning your teaching required credential (Most candidates finish the Master’s or EdS degree in two years). Please note: You can start the Job-Embedded Practitioner program at any time after obtaining your Bachelor’s degree, but to fully complete the program and your teacher licensure requirements, you must be hired by a local school district and complete a minimum of one year (10 months) of full-time teaching.

Job-Embedded Programs are offered in the following subjects and grade levels:

  • Agriculture Education, 6-12
  • Art, K-12
  • American Sign Language PreK-12
  • Elementary Education, K-5
  • English as a Second Language, PreK-12
  • School Librarian, Library Information Specialist, PreK-12
  • Mathematics, 6-12
  • Middle Grades, 6-8 Math and Science
  • Science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science), 6-12
  • Social Science Education (History, Geography, Government, Economics), 6-12
  • Special Education: Interventionist K-8; Interventionist, 6-12
  • World Language (Spanish, French, Latin, German), PreK-12

  • You must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.  Undergraduate major does not have to match the area in which you want to teach as long as passing scores on the appropriate Praxis or NES exam have been achieved.
  • NO GRE Required.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or above is preferred, but all who are interested in becoming a teacher are encouraged to apply.
  • To successfully complete the program, you must maintain UTK Graduate School standards, be continuously enrolled in required courses each semester, and maintain a “c” or better in required courses. Upon completion of the program a 2.8 or better cumulative GPA in licensure classes is required.

All applicants will need to complete the following in order to be considered for admission to the JEP program.

  • Complete the Job-Embedded Practitioner Program Application
  • Apply to the UTK Graduate School
  • Submit supporting/qualifying documentation as directed

Completing the Job-Embedded Practitioner Application

Fill out this form to apply for the JEP Program. Please note that this application contains essay questions and a dispositional self-assessment.


The essay questions are as follows:


  1. Why do you think that you could become a successful teacher?
  2. Why have you chosen to enter this particular field of teaching?
  3. What experiences have you had with children and/or youth?

UT expects that the teacher candidate maintains Professional Competencies, Attitudes, and Dispositions (ProCADs) identified as essential to the teaching profession.  More information on the ProCADs expected of all teacher candidates can be found HERE. As a part of this application, you will complete a self-assessment relating to your professional competencies, attitudes, and dispositions.

After you have planned your essay responses and considered your ProCADS, click here to complete the Job-Embedded Practitioner Program Application.

To be admitted to the Job-Embedded Program, you must also be admitted to the UTK Graduate School. To apply, please click here.

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.

With the exception of the Agriculture Education and School Librarian (Library Information Specialist), all programs will apply to the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences as a Master of Science candidate with a major in Teacher Education. The concentration will be Practitioner. Detailed directions coming soon!

School Librarian (Library Information Specialist) applicants should contact the department directly (Dr. Cindy Welch at for program admission information. Candidates to Agriculture Education may choose to apply at the undergraduate level and that application can be found here. For more information on the Agriculture Education program, you may contact Dr. Christopher Stripling at

Please take note that the Job Embedded program is a collaboration between the University of Tennessee, The Tennessee Department of Education, 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.


After you complete the applications above you will be contacted about submitting the additional/supporting documentation that is required either by UT, by the TDOE, or by the local schools. This supporting documentation includes:


1. You must submit documentation that you are proficient in the content area that you wish to teach. According to the TDOE, acceptable documentation is either a passing exam score OR a Major in the content area that you will be teaching.


Passing Exam Scores: Most exams accepted by TDOE are Praxis exams – the chart found here provides the Praxis tests required for each specific licensure area that are options for the JEP program.

World Language JEP candidates can also elect to take Alta exams in lieu of praxis. The assessments are administered by the Tennessee Language Center, and candidates will need to go through the following to register: Students need to take the (a) speaking/listening and (b) the written portion of these exams.

Candidates seeking Math 6-10 licensure also have the option to take the NES Middle Grades and Early Secondary exam.

2. Background Clearance is required for admission as follows:

Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 49-5-5610 requires all students who wish to be admitted to teacher preparation programs to:

  • Sign an authorization and release form authorizing a qualified Tennessee licensed private investigation company by and on behalf of the board to complete a criminal history records check, and;
  • Agree to the release of all investigative records to the administrator of the selected teacher training program, and;
  • Supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

1. The local school agency verifies a criminal history records check conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in accordance with T.C.A. 49-5-5610 has been completed and the applicant has been cleared to be hired as a teacher of record. The local school agency verifies this requirement when submitting the applicant’s “intent to hire” form. For a copy of the “intent to hire” form, contact


2. If the local school agency does not verify this requirement, then the applicant  MUST DO THE FOLLOWING IN THIS ORDER:

  • Download and complete the Authorization to Release Investigative and Criminal Background Records.
  • Once the authorization form has been submitted, you will receive an email with instructions to complete the Volunteer & Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) form.
  • Following the instructions included in the email, print, sign, and return the VECHS form to Graduate School of Education by sending a scanned copy of the completed, signed form.
  • Once the signed copy of the VECHS form is received by the Office of Professional Licensure, you will receive email confirmation. Afterwards, please follow these instructions to complete the fingerprinting process.

After all documentation is received, you may be contacted regarding an Admissions Board Review. Many programs choose to interview applicants before granting an admissions decision. All decisions regarding admission to the Job-Embedded Practitioner program are made by a Board of Admission. If you have questions about this process contact

Students in the JEP program will be given a Plan of Study that will guide their timeline through the program. This Plan of Study will include the required Clinical Experiences, Core Educational Courses, and Specialty Area Courses that you will take to complete the program, as well as additional program requirements.

Specific program requirements can be found using the links below: