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Initial Licensure

Undergraduate Students

The following steps for applying to the Teacher Education Program are for current University of Tennessee undergraduate students or transfer students interested in becoming a licensed teacher, who have not yet completed a baccalaureate degree.

Schedule an advising appointment with a licensure advisor in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. All of our teacher licensure programs, with the exception of Early Developmental Learning (PreK–K) and VolsTeach (secondary math and science), are five-year programs. It is important to plan early and meet with your academic advisor on a regular basis to ensure you are meeting all requirements in a timely manner. You can schedule an advising appointment online or call 865-974-8194. Please review the academic programs to be prepared to discuss your possible area of study with your advisor at this appointment.

Academic Programs

Before applying for admission to teacher education, you should verify all minimum program requirements have been met. Completion of requirements does not guarantee admission to a teacher education program.

GPA Requirement: The minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA requirement is a 2.75. This GPA will include transfer courses. If you are unsure whether your GPA meets the minimum requirement, please contact your advisor or Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu).

Standardized Test Requirement: You must meet or exceed the scores listed below for one of three tests:

  1. Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE). Please be sure to have your scores sent to UT under recipient code 1843. You can register for this exam online at www.ets.org/praxis. Passing scores are as follows:
  • Reading—156
  • Writing—162
  • Math—150

2. ENACT—21

3. RSAT combined verbal and math—1020

Additional Requirements: Minimum credit hours, content area GPA, and required courses completed, including AP and transfer, vary according to program area. Please check with advisor and/or review the academic programs for your program area for further details.

Academic Programs

Transfer or Returning Students: If you are not a current UT student, you must be admitted to the university before your admission to teacher education can be finalized. Candidates may choose to apply to UT at this time. Check with your advisor regarding classification as an undergraduate or a graduate student before submitting an application to the University.  Admission to the University of Tennessee does not guarantee admission to teacher education, however, admission to UT is required before full admission to a teacher education program is official. For more information about UT admission, please click here.

Teacher Education Program Calendar 2017–2018

Fall 2017 deadline for application to the Teacher Education program is Wednesday, September 27, 2017. All application materials (as described below) must be completed by this date in order for your application to be processed in fall 2017.

Completion of your application materials should be taken seriously and with care. It is important to remember not all applicants are admitted. Although meeting the academic standards make you eligible for an interview, these standards alone do not guarantee admission. Admission to the Teacher Education program is competitive in all program areas because there are more eligible applicants to the program than space can accommodate.

All applicants must submit a formal application to the Teacher Education program. Your application requires multiple steps, and will be considered incomplete until all of the steps are completed. Steps are as follows:

  • Hearing and Speech Screening. The hearing and speech screenings are administered every August and January at the Hearing and Speech Center on campus located on Peyton Manning Pass. Prior to arriving at the center for the screening, the applicant must check in with the Teacher Education Admissions Office, 331 Bailey Education Complex. Plan to arrive at the Hearing and Speech Center, after checking in at 329 Bailey, no later than 11:45 a.m. or 4:45 p.m. in order to allow time for your screening. Teacher applicants must perform within normal limits. Hearing impaired applicants are exempt from this screening. The teacher education admissions office, however, must be informed of the impairment by contacting Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu).
    • Fall 2017 dates are August 22 and September 8 from 9 a.m.–noon and 2–5 p.m. The make-up screening date is October 6, 9 a.m.–noon.
    • Spring 2018 dates are January 9 and January 19 from 9 a.m.-noon and 2-5p.m. The make-up screening date for Spring 2018 is February 28, 9 a.m. – noon.
  • Teacher Education Applicant Questionnaire: Please use the link to respond to six essay questions regarding your ambitions to become a teacher. These responses must be submitted electronically via the link provided, but if you would like to preplan your essay responses you may download the questions in the following document.
  • Professional Attitudes, Dispositions, and Competencies: UT expects that the teacher candidate maintains attitudes, dispositions, and competencies identified as essential to the teaching profession. Please read the following information carefully. You must complete the following form stating that you are aware of these expectations.
  • Fingerprint Scan and Background Check: Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 49-5-5610 requires all students who wish to be admitted to teacher preparation programs to:
    • Agree to the release of all investigative records to the administrator of the selected teacher training program.
    • Supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and
    • 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.

All applicants are required to submit a fingerprint scan for the background check and must be cleared prior to scheduling an interview with a Board of Admission. Your application is not complete until UT receives your background clearance. Please complete this process at least one week 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 the 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. You may contact the advising center (865-974-8194) for an appointment, or Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu) to request a review of your records for minimum requirements.

To complete the fingerprint scan and background check, first complete this form:

Authorization to Release Investigative and Criminal Background Records

After completing the form, you will receive an email with instructions to print the form, sign and return to the appropriate office.

Follow the directions in this document:

Background Check and Fingerprint Procedure—Please contact Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu) if you have any questions.

Following the application deadline, you will be notified via email of your application status.

If all requirements for admission are completed by the application deadline, and if you meet the minimum requirements for admission to Teacher Education, you will be contacted to schedule an interview with a Board of Admission for your program area.

If all requirements for admission are not completed, or if you do not meet the minimum requirements for admission to Teacher Education, you will be contacted via email with a detailed account of the deficiency of your application. You will be given an opportunity to respond to this deficiency, as sometimes additional information is all that is needed to clear up a hold on your application. If you are unable to resolve the deficiency for the current application cycle, we recommend that you work with your advisor to resolve the issue before the next application cycle.

All decisions regarding admission to teacher education are made by a Board of Admission. Your interview with a board is, therefore, of great importance to your prospective admission to teacher education. Please review the following document for suggestions for a successful board interview:

Boards of Admission Interview Guidance

Board of Admission interviews will take place from October 30–November 2 and November 6–9 for fall 2017 semester. Interviews will take place from April 2–5 and 9-12 for spring 2018 semester.

All decisions regarding admission to teacher education are made by a Board of Admission. Following the completion of all board interviews, you will be notified of your admission status via email. Admission letters will also be sent through US Mail for your records.

If you are admitted to teacher education, you will be approved to register for restricted teacher education coursework. If you are a transfer student, you must also finalize your admission to the University of Tennessee. Admission to teacher education cannot be finalized until you are officially a UT student.

If you are not admitted to teacher education, you are encouraged to take feedback from your Board of Admission and reapply next semester. Some of our most successful teacher education students have interviewed more than once with an admissions board to gain entry into the program. There is no stigma associated with applying multiple times. The process for reapplication is similar to the process for the original application to teacher education, with the exception that you may be exempt from re-taking the hearing and speech screening and/or the fingerprinting/background check. You will need to contact Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu) regarding exemption from these requirements as a re-applicant.

Once the applicant is formally admitted to the Teacher Education program, the initial professional education courses must be completed. To advance to the internship year the applicant must maintain good standing. The applicant must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA, a 2.50 content/subject area GPA, and maintain a 2.80 GPA in professional education courses. A grade of “C” or above must be received in all professional education courses. Keep in mind that some specific programs may have differing GPA requirements. Check with your advisor if you have questions for your particular program.

When the internship experience and required testing are complete, the teacher candidate will be recommended to the state’s Office of Teacher Licensing for issuance of the Apprentice license. The licensure recommendation cannot be submitted to the state until all required Praxis examinations have been completed with passing scores. A list of required Praxis exams will be provided at the beginning of the internship experience.

Post-Baccalaureate Students

If you have already obtained your bachelor’s degree and you are looking to return to school to earn your teaching license, there are a few steps you will want to follow:


An applicant must submit a Post-Baccalaureate Review Request with appropriate documentation, to the Office of Teacher Licensure (attn: Annette Beets-address listed at the bottom of this page). A teacher licensure advisor will review the request and conduct a course-by-course transcript evaluation to determine the eligibility of the applicant. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a scale of 4.0 is required for admission to the post-baccalaureate program. The applicant must also have a minimum 2.50 GPA in the teaching/subject area. All coursework, undergraduate and graduate, is taken into consideration when determining the GPA. If the applicant is eligible for admission to the program, courses will be recommended to make up any general education or content area deficiencies. This plan of study will be emailed to the applicant.

If you have completed an international degree, we must also have on file a review of your transcripts by one of the following companies. These are the companies that the Tennessee Department of Education currently recognizes:

• World Evaluation Services www.wes.org
• Josef Silney www.jsilny.com
• Association of International Credential Evaluator (AICE) www.aice-eval.org
• Academic Credentials Evaluation Institution (ACEI) www.naeg.org
• American Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admission Officers (AACRAO) www.aacrao.org
• Foreign Consultants Inc. www.foreignconsultants.com
• Evaluation Services Inc. www.evaluationservice.net
• Foundation for International Service www.fis-web.com
• Global Credential Evaluators www.gcevaluators.com
• IERF: International Education Research Foundation www.ierf.org
• ECE: Educational Credential Evaluations www.ece.org

Upon receiving the plan of study, the applicant is instructed to contact the Student Services Center at 865-974-8194 to schedule an advising appointment with a teacher licensure advisor.

At this appointment, you will want to make sure you meet the minimum program requirements. Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to a teacher education program. If your transcripts and test scores are not on file with the UT system, you are required to provide copies. You may email PDF copies to Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu).

GPA Requirement: Undergraduate minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA including transfer courses. If you are unsure if your GPA meets the minimum requirement please contact your advisor or Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu) with teacher education admissions.

Standardized Test Requirement: You must meet or exceed the scores listed below for one of three tests:

1. Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE). Please be sure to have your scores sent to UT under recipient code 1843. You can register for this exam online at www.ets.org/praxis.  Passing scores are as follows:

  • Reading—156
  • Writing—162
  • Math—150

2. ENACT—21

3. RSAT combined verbal and math—1020

Additional Requirements: Minimum credit hours, content area GPAs, and required courses completed, including AP and transfer, vary according to program area. Please check with advisor and/or review the Academic Programs for your program area for further details.

Transfer or Returning Students: If you are not a current UT student, you must be accepted to the university before your admission to teacher education is finalized. Candidates may choose to apply to UT at this time. Check with your advisor regarding classification as an undergraduate or a graduate student before submitting an application to the University. Admission to the University of Tennessee does not guarantee admission to teacher education. However, admission to UT is required before full admission to a teacher education program is official. For more information about UT admission, please click here..

Teacher Education Program Calendar 2017–2018

 

Fall 2017 deadline for application to the Teacher Education program is Wednesday, September 27, 2017. All application materials (as described below) must be completed by this date in order for your application to be processed in fall 2017.

Completion of your application materials should be taken seriously and with care. It is important to remember not all applicants are admitted. Although meeting the academic standards make you eligible for an interview, meeting these standards alone does not guarantee admission. Admission to the Teacher Education program is competitive in all program areas. This is because there are more eligible applicants to the program than space can accommodate.

All applicants must submit a formal application to the Teacher Education program. Your application requires multiple steps, and will not be considered as a complete application until all of the steps are completed. Steps are as follows:

  • Hearing and Speech Screening. The hearing and speech screenings are given every August and January at the Hearing and Speech Center on campus located on Peyton Manning Pass Prior to arriving at the center for the screening, the applicant must check in with the teacher education admissions Office, 329 Bailey Education Complex. Plan to arrive at the Hearing and Speech Center, after checking in with 329 Bailey, no later than 11:45 a.m. or 4:45 p.m. in order to allow time for your screening. Teacher candidates must perform within normal limits. Hearing impaired candidates are exempt from this screening. The Teacher Education Admissions Office, however, must be informed of the impairment.

Hearing and speech screenings for fall 2017 will take place on August 22 and September 8 from 9 a.m.–noon and 2–5 p.m. Make-up screening date for fall 2017 is October 6, 9 a.m.–noon.

Spring 2018 dates are January 9 and January 19 from 9 a.m.–noon and 2–5 p.m. The make-up screening is February 28 from 9 a.m. – noon.

  • Teacher Education Applicant Questionnaire: Please use the link to respond to six essay questions regarding your ambitions to become a teacher. These responses must be submitted electronically via the link provided, but if you would like to preplan your essay responses you may download the questions in the following document.

Teacher Education Applicant Questionnaire

      Tips on Completing your Teacher Education Applicant Questionnaire

  • Professional Attitudes, Dispositions, and Competencies: UT expects that the teacher candidate maintains attitudes, dispositions, and competencies identified as essential to the teaching profession. Please read the following information carefully. You must complete the following form stating that you are aware of these expectations.
  • Fingerprint Scan and Background Check: Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 49-5-5610 requires all students who wish to be admitted to teacher preparation programs to:
    • Agree to the release of all investigative records to the administrator of the selected teacher training program.
    • Supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and
    • 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

All applicants are required to complete a fingerprint scan for the background check and must be cleared prior to scheduling an interview with a Board of Admissions. Your application is not complete until UT receives your background clearance. Therefore, please complete this process at least one week prior to the application deadline. Appointments with interview boards will not be scheduled until your background clearance is received. If clearance is not received prior to the application deadline the 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 may wish to double-check that you meet minimum requirements into the Teacher Education program before completing the background check and paying the associated fees. You can contact your advisor or Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu) to request a review of your records for minimum requirements.

To complete the fingerprint scan and background check, first complete this form:

Authorization to Release Investigative and Criminal Background Records

After completing the form, you will receive an email with instructions to print the form, sign and return to the appropriate office.

Next you will need to follow the following directions:

Background Check and Fingerprint Procedure

Following the application deadline, you will be notified via email of your application status.

If all requirements for admission are completed by the application deadline, and if you meet the minimum requirements for admission to Teacher Education, you will be contacted to schedule an interview with a Board of Admission for your program area.

If all requirements for admission are not completed, or if you do not meet the minimum requirements for admission to teacher education, you will be contacted via email with a detailed account of the deficiency of your application. You will be given an opportunity to respond to this deficiency, as sometimes additional information is all that is needed to clear up a hold on your application. If you are unable to resolve the deficiency for the current application cycle, we recommend that you work with your advisor to resolve the issue before the next application cycle.

All decisions regarding admission to teacher education are made by a Board of Admission. Your interview with a board is, therefore, of great importance to your prospective admission to teacher education. Please review the following document for suggestions for a successful board interview:

Boards of Admission Interview Guidance

Board of Admission interviews will take place from October 30–November 2 and November 6–9 for Fall 2017 semester. Interviews will take place from April 2-5 and 9-12 for Spring 2018 Semester.

All decisions regarding admission to teacher education are made by the Boards of Admission. Following the completion of all board interviews, you will be notified of your admission status via email. Admission letters will also be sent through US Mail for your records.

If you are admitted to teacher education, you will be approved to register for restricted teacher education coursework. If you are a transfer student, you must also finalize your admission to the University of Tennessee. Admission to teacher education cannot be finalized until you are officially a UT student.

If you are not admitted to teacher education, you are encouraged to take feedback from your Board of Admission and reapply next semester. Some of our most successful teacher education students have interviewed more than once with an admissions board to gain entry into the program. There is no stigma associated with applying multiple times. The process for re-application is similar to the process for original application to teacher education, with the exception that you may be exempt from re-taking the hearing and speech screening and/or the fingerprinting/background check. You will need to contact Nina Fox (nfox@utk.edu) regarding exemption from these requirements as a re-applicant.

Once the applicant is formally admitted to the Teacher Education Program, the initial professional education courses must be completed. To advance to the internship year the applicant must maintain good standing. The applicant must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA, a 2.50 content/subject area GPA, and maintain a 2.80 GPA in professional education courses. A grade of “C” or above must be received in all professional education courses. Keep in mind that some licensure programs have GPA requirements that differ from the 2.50 content GPA.  Please check with your advisor for these specifics.

When the internship experience and required testing are complete, the teacher candidate will be recommended to the State’s Office of Teacher Licensing for issuance of the Apprentice license. The licensure recommendation cannot be submitted to the state until all required Praxis examinations have been completed with passing scores. A list of required Praxis exams will be provided at the beginning of the internship experience.

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