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.
8. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 5, Part 5610 specifies that all students wishing to enter approved teacher training programs in Tennessee are required to have a fingerprint-based criminal history background check. In order to comply with TCA 49-5-5610, students seeking to seeking to complete the student teaching practicum experience must complete this requirement satisfactorily before they can be accepted into student teaching. Students must also provide proof of current professional liability insurance. Details can be found on the Teacher Preparation Academy website and questions should be directed to the TPA Field Placement Coordinator.
*Final responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are met prior to being admitted to student teaching rests with the student.
All students seeking teaching licensure must meet the student teaching requirement. Student teaching (PDS II) is a full-semester experience; participants are placed in cohorts in two schools having different characteristics. Assignments vary according to state requirements for the licensure sought.
Student teaching is evaluated on a satisfactory/no credit basis. Successful completion of student teaching requires meeting all of the requirements of the field placements plus passing scores on all of the required Praxis II tests. A student not satisfactorily completing student teaching will receive a grade of no credit and may have the opportunity to repeat the course.
Final authority for the student teaching placement and teaching assignment rests with the Teacher Education Program Committee and the department head in the Teacher Preparation Academy. As a general rule, a student is neither located in the school from which he or she recently graduated nor placed under the supervision of a relative.
Student Teaching Orientation
General orientation seminars concerning student teaching and the professional education semester are held for all prospective student teachers preceding the student teaching semester. Non-attendance could delay the student teaching experience. Seminars are also held during the student teaching semester, and attendance is mandatory.
Under special circumstances, policies, procedures, and requirements for admission to the TEP and student teaching may be waived or revised at the discretion of the dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies.
Recommendation for Licensure
The School of Educational Leadership will recommend licensure for only those students who have successfully completed one or more of the UTC initial licensure or endorsement programs
approved by the Tennessee Department of Education. Application forms may be obtained from Certification Office, 205 Hunter Hall.
Tennessee regulations stipulate that the applicant for an initial teaching license or additional endorsement must be recommended by the designated certifying officer and dean of an approved teacher training institution. To receive this recommendation, the applicant must:
- Obtain official admission to the TEP.
- Earn a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in courses completed at UTC, a cumulative 2.5 grade point average on all courses, a 2.5 grade point average in professional education courses with no grade lower than C, a grade point average of 2.5 in content area courses with no grade lower than C.
- Satisfactorily complete the student teaching experience or an approved alternative.
- Fulfill specific departmental requirements in the area of concentration.
- Achieve minimum scores on the Praxis II tests mandated by the Tennessee Board of Education. (Credit for student teaching will not be granted without fulfillment of this requirement.)
*Final responsibility for satisfying all requirements for licensure recommendation by UTC rests with the individual applicant.
UTC does not guarantee that satisfactory completion of a program listed in the UTC Catalog at the time of a student’s initial admission to the University will meet all the licensure requirements at the time the person applies for initial licensure. This means that UTC will recommend only those applicants who have met all the licensure requirements in effect at the time of the University recommendation.
Any student who completes a licensure program at UTC, regardless of whether he or she intends to teach in Tennessee, should apply for Tennessee licensure since many states require an applicant to be licensed in the state where he or she graduated and/or completed an initial licensure program. Licensure standards change frequently; hence, it is prudent to apply for licensure immediately upon graduation or program completion.
A student is considered to have completed UTC's teacher preparation program when Tennessee standards for the Praxis II tests for licensure are met, all course work requirements have been fulfilled, and the degree appropriate to the program has been awarded.
A student who anticipates teaching outside Tennessee is strongly encouraged to request a check sheet of certification requirements from the Department of Education Office of Certification for the state in which he or she plans to teach. Course and competency requirements to satisfy out-of-state certification standards may be in addition to Tennessee licensure requirements and UTC approved degree requirements.
Graduation with a master’s degree from UTC does not guarantee licensure in any specific area. However, in some instances a student may satisfy all the Tennessee requirements for licensure by completion of a state approved master’s degree program at UTC. Students should refer to the Graduate Catalog for additional information about graduate studies.