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Job-Embedded Practitioner Licensure

The Job-Embedded Program is for individuals who are interested in becoming a teacher and have a Bachelor’s degree. This program allows you to earn a Master’s degree in Teacher Education while simultaneously working as a Teacher of Record and completing Tennessee Department of Education’s requirements for Teacher Licensure. You have the option to begin courses before being hired as a teacher; however, you MUST be hired as a teacher and complete at least one year (10 months) of teaching full-time to complete this program. Courses for this program are offered 100% online and at times to accommodate a work schedule. Most candidates finish the program in two years. After all materials are received, then the Program Coordinator will review your application materials for admission into the Job-Embedded Program.

If you have already obtained a Master’s Degree and are not interested in pursuing another master’s degree, another option is to pursue a Specialist in Education (EdS) degree while completing the Job-Embedded Program. Courses for this program are offered 100% online and at times to accommodate a work schedule. Many schools districts offer a pay increase for obtaining a Specialist in Education (EdS) degree. You can contact, for more information about this program.

To qualify for the Job-Embedded Program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a Bachelor’s Degree
  • An undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or above is preferred, but all who are interested in becoming a teacher are encouraged to apply.
  • Have a major listed on official transcripts in the content area in which you want to teach or a passing score on a Praxis Content exam.

Program Areas of the Job-Embedded Program 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, 6-12
  • English as a Second Language, PreK-12
  • School Librarian, Library Information Specialist, PreK-12
  • Mathematics, 6-12
  • Middle Grades Mathematics, 6-8 or 6-10
  • Middle Grades Science, 6-8
  • 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, Comprehensive K-12
  • World Language (Spanish, French, Latin, German, Russian), 6-12
  • *School Counselor, PreK-12 (Please contact for application and program requirements)

All applicants will need to complete the following in order to be considered for admission to the JEP program. Read all directions before completing this application, and reach out to or call 865-974-5203 if you have any questions.

Application Process

  • Complete the Job-Embedded Practitioner Program Application
  • Apply to the UTK Graduate School –
  • Submit your Intent to Hire Form from the local school district to or complete the Background Clearance and Fingerprint Process through UTK.
  • Submit a passing Praxis Content Area exam score if your major is not in the content area that you will be teaching.
    • Example: The major listed on your official transcripts is in Biology and you have been hired to teach Biology = No Praxis is needed for admissions.
    • Example: The major listed on your official transcripts is in Health Sciences and you have been hired to teach Biology=Passing the Praxis Content Area exam score needed

Monitor your email for communication from the UTK Office of Professional Licensure ( Add this email address to your address book or “safe” list to ensure that emails will be received (and not sent to junk/spam boxes). Given the application deadlines, if we need to contact you for additional information, we ask that you respond quickly.

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.

Important Notes on Graduate School Application

  • You will be applying for a Distance Education program (not a campus-based program).
  • With the exception of the Agriculture Education and School Librarian (Library Information Specialist), all other programs will apply to the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, and Masters in Teacher Education – Practitioner Concentration.
  • You will need to follow the directions in the Graduate School application to submit official transcripts of ALL degrees you have received.

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.

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

Intent to Hire – If you have a Job Offer from a school:

  • 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


If you are seeking admission to the JEP Program before being hired by a school district:

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.

Please follow the steps below in order to properly complete the background check portion of the Teacher Education application. If you have any questions about this process, please contact


  1. Complete the Background Check Authorization Form: 

You will not be able to submit the Authorization Form without uploading the VECHS Waiver. Instructions are in the linked above (TBI VECHS Waiver).

  • Please list your Current Address And Your Permanent Address. We understand that the information may be duplicated. 
    • A CURRENT Address is where you currently live (Ex: UT Campus Dorm, Apartment or Home in the state of TN while attending the University of Tennessee).
    • A PERMANENT Address is where you can be reached all the time. (Ex: Address listed on your driver’s license, passport, etc.)
  • Summer applicants, please check with your advisor before completing this form to sure you are listing the proper address.


  1. Complete the Fingerprint Process
    • Instructions for this will be emailed to you when you have properly submitted the Background Authorization form along with the uploaded VECHS Waiver. 

Your application is not complete until UT receives your background clearance. Please complete this process at least four weeks prior to the application deadline. An interview board appointment will not be scheduled until your background clearance is received. If clearance is not received prior to the application deadline this applicant must wait until the following semester (November or April) to reapply.

Please note there is a cost associated with completing your background check. You should confirm minimum requirements have been met for the Teacher Education Program before completing the background check and paying the associated fees. For questions regarding minimum requirements, please contact your education advisor. If you have questions regarding the fingerprint process, please contact

NOTE: If you are an out-of-state applicant and not admitted or currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee, please contact Bailey School of Education at for directions specific to your state to complete the background check.


For admission into the Job-Embedded Program and for us to issue a TN practitioner license, 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.


Option 1: Obtain a passing Praxis Content Area Exam Score: Please look at the Educational Testing Services (ETS) TN Website, to determine what tests are required for licensure.

  • You can view the licensure areas by clicking “Licensure Requirements” at the top of the page and then scrolling down to Content Knowledge Assessments for Specific Endorsement Areas. If your endorsement area requires the 5205 Teaching Reading Praxis, you do not have to take this exam for admission into the program as it is a requirement for program completion.
  • When you register for your exam(s), please identify the University of Tennessee Knoxville (1843) and the TN State Dept. of Education (8190) to receive your Praxis scores.

Option 2: Major in Content Area: Your major must contain the same word as the area of licensure that you wish to receive. You also must have a 3.0 or higher GPA on Major related courses. Under the Professional Assessments for Tennessee Educators Policy (5.105), the following endorsement areas are considered qualifying majors for not having to take a Praxis Content Area Exam: American Sign Language, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Economics, English, French, Geography, German, Government, History, Latin, Mathematics, Other World Languages, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, and Spanish.

  • Example: If the MAJOR listed on your transcript states, “Biology,” and you were seeking the Biology 6-12 endorsement, then you would not need to take the Praxis as your major proves your content area knowledge.

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 (a) speaking/listening and (b) the written portion of these exams.

Please send a copy of your passing score report to


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

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.

To obtain your Practitioner Teacher Licensure, you must be enrolled in the Job-Embedded Program and courses, have Content Knowledge/Passing Praxis Content Area Exam for the endorsement you seek, and an Intend to Hire documentation from your local school district. Please keep in mind, that there are additional state assessments that may be required for program completion.

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.