Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (TEP) 

Checkpoints and Requirements 

TEP Handbook

Checkpoint 1 

Typically, Checkpoint 1 is completed during the Education 2010 / STEM 1030 courses. Most of the requirements of Checkpoint 1 will be satisfied prior to leaving the course. However, some students may need to complete requirements after that course is completed. In that case, students will need to monitor their progress toward completing the requirements and ensure all are met in a timely manner. Students CANNOT take any other Education course until all requirements in Checkpoint 1 are met.

Students must complete 20 hours of field placement during EDUC 2010 / STEM 1030. The students can work in any educational setting as deemed appropriate by their Education 2010 / STEM 1030 professors (if a student needs help finding a placement, the students can contact the field placement coordinator in Hunter 312). Students must fill out a time sheet to be signed by their supervisor in the field as well as ensure that the supervisor completes a final evaluation. Both of those documents must be submitted to the EDUC 2010 / STEM 1030 professor before the last day of class. Those documents will be placed in the student's permanent file.
Students who are taking EDUC 2010 / STEM 1030 and are already working in an educational setting such as a daycare, after school program, etc. may apply for an exemption from the 20 hours of field placement. The student must FIRST get approval from his or her professor. Once the professor has approved the exemption, the student must ask his or her supervisor at his or her current position to write a letter on official letterhead, detailing the job description, hours worked, and overall success in the position. That letter must be first submitted to the EDUC 2010 / STEM 1030 professor for review. A copy of that letter must be placed in the student's permanent file.
If a student fails to complete the field placement component for any reason (lacking the full 20 hours, failing to submit the correct paperwork, etc), the student will receive an F in the course.
You can find the field placement documentation forms here.

A student must have at least a 2.75 Cumulative GPA as well as at least a 2.75 UTC GPA. Cumulative GPA includes all course grades that you have ever had, while your UTC GPA only counts grades earned in courses taken at UTC.
It is your responsibility to keep track of your GPA each semester. In order to view your GPA, you need to log in to MyMocsDegree. This will show both your Cumulative and UTC GPA.
Concerned about not meeting the GPA requirements? Calculate your GPA or use the GPA Calculator on your MyMocsDegree to see what grades you will need in order to achieve and/or maintain the GPA requirements.

The applicant for admission to the TEP must document achievement of one of the following scores:

  • ACT: Composite Score of 21 (1989 and later) or Composite Score of 21 (prior to 1989)
  • SAT: Re-centered Score of 1020 (April 1995 and later) or Composite Score of 920 (Prior to April 1995)
  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Math 150, Reading 156, Writing 162 (after July 15, 2014)
  • Praxis I PPST: Math 173, Reading 174, Writing 173 (prior to July 15, 2014)

Students can take the ACTR on campus in the testing center. The ACT Residual (ACTR) is a three-hour exam for students that are seeking entrance into the Teacher Education Program or admission into UTC.  The ACTR test score is only valid for UTC and cannot be transferred to another university. Study materials for the ACT can be found in the library as well as through Center for Professional Education.

Students who wish to take the Praxis I may register at ets.org/praxis. If you wish to study prior to taking either of these tests, study materials are available at the UTC library. ETS also provides an in-depth Study Companions for each Praxis exam. Praxis exams can be taken anywhere in the United States. Praxis Core Exam Guide

Beginning in EDUC 2010 / STEM 1030, all students will be required to utilize Livetext in the majority of Education classes. Students can purchase Livetext in the UTC Bookstore or on the Livetext website. All students must purchase the extended version with Learn 360.

Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 5, Part 5610 specifies that all students wishing to enter approved teacher training programs in Tennessee shall be required to submit to a criminal history background check.

Policy Background: TCA 49-5-5610 requires students wishing to enter an approved teacher training program in Tennessee to:

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

Please refer to the link-Background Check and Liability Insurance to the left for directions and the website for making your fingerprinting appointment.     

A student must complete all requirements in Checkpoint 1 before moving to Checkpoint 2.

Checkpoint 2

Typically, Checkpoint 2 occurs during the Junior Year. Students must complete all Checkpoint 2 requirements prior to moving to admittance to Residency I/II.


TEP applicants must submit a completed resume to School of Education (soe@utc.edu) to fulfill an admission requirement to the program. 1-page Resume submissions should be a PDF. The resume requirement reflects the professional aspect of the program. It is the intention of the SOE to ensure that you take advantage of the opportunities offered by the department in order to increase professional development. The resume should include the following as applicable:

    • Name
    • Address
    • Major(s)
    • Degree Status
    • Related Employment History
    • Other Information
      • Volunteer work
      • Field Experiences
      • Honors
      • Etc.

It is strongly advised that students utilize the Center for Career and Leadership Development' Resume Doctor prior to their formal submission. Center for Career and Leadership Development also provides resources on writing a resume.

All students must have and maintain:

    • 2.75 Cumulative GPA
    • 2.75 UTC GPA (this includes all courses taken at UTC)
    • 2.75 GPA on all professional courses with no grade lower than a C
    • 2.75 GPA in content area courses with no grade lower than a C

It is your responsibility to keep track of your GPA each semester. In order to view your GPA, you need to log in to MyMocsDegree. This will show both your Cumulative and UTC GPA.

Concerned about not meeting the GPA requirements? Use the GPA calculators to see what grades you will need in order to achieve and/or maintain the GPA requirements.

Interview Application is due Prior to Interview

Before being admitted to the UTC Teacher Education Program (TEP), you must receive a favorable recommendation from an interview panel. The panel will consist of TEP faculty. You should dress professionally and be prompt. Interviews are typically held in the School of Education Conference Room. Submit the completed Application for TEP Interview to School of Education office.

You will be asked about your general purpose interests, short and long-term professional goals, and educational philosophy. Be prepared to discuss subjects related to classroom management, assessment, instructional strategies, and dispositions. Be prepared to be evaluated in areas such as appearance, verbal communication, and information processing. The interview should last approximately 45-60 minutes. A letter will be mailed to your permanent address confirming your admission to TEP or indicating reasons you have not been admitted.

In some cases, additional field placements, coursework, remediation, mock interviews, and additional interviews are recommended by the interview panel.


Successful completion of Checkpoints 1 & 2 is required for TEP admission.

A student must complete all requirements in Checkpoint 2 before moving to Checkpoint 3.

Checkpoint 3

Checkpoint 3 must be completed before teacher candidates can complete their clinical experience. Students must complete the required TEP course as well as submit the appropriate documentation (applications, resume, and Praxis test scores) in order to be considered for student teaching. Once students have met all Checkpoint requirements and taken required coursework for their majors, students can register for student teaching.

All Students are required to complete one course

EDUC 3230: Literacy II (3) Emphasis on the development of an instructional reading   program that meets   the needs of young children.   Surveys classroom teaching models, assessment   procedures, methods   and materials. Prerequisites:   Admission to Teacher Education Program.
EDUC 4230: The Middle Grades: Assessment and Instruction (3) Classroom diagnostic and prescriptive teaching;   linking middle grades reading, assessment, decision-making   and instruction; in-depth study of selected   assessment instruments, instructional strategies, materials, and   management procedures. Field component   required. Prerequisites: Admission   to Teacher Education Program. May not be used for graduate credit.
EDUC 4330: Designing Instruction and Evaluation in the Secondary Classroom (3) Formulating and evaluating appropriate affective and cognitive objectives. Lesson planning and a wide   range of teaching strategies will be examined.   Each student will be required to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of component teaching   skills via the microteaching laboratory and a self-developed teaching unit.   Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher  Education Program.

These must be completed prior to Clinical Practice

Praxis II tests (formerly known as the NTE, or National Teacher’s Exam) measure a candidate’s knowledge of the subject(s) he or she will teach.   These tests also measure general and subject-specific pedagogical skills and knowledge.

All applicants for initial teacher licensure must document appropriate minimum scores on one of the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) tests, as well as specified test(s) in the content area.  These tests are one or two hours in length and may be taken independently of each other or in different combinations as a package. They are administered via computer at various testing sites (like UTC) as well as at testing centers (like Prometrics Testing Services) throughout the country.

Information about registration for the tests may be found in The Praxis Series: Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers Registration Bulletin.   This booklet is also available in UTC’s Testing Center (258 Hooper Hall) or from the Praxis Series Services at (609) 771-7395. Tests-at-a-Glance booklets can be obtained online for each test; these booklets include content outlines, sample questions with rationales for the best answers, and test-taking strategies.   While the best preparation for any test in the Praxis Series is the knowledge and experience gained from the college preparation program, the booklets provide appropriate review and focus for the tests.  Study materials are also available for two-week check out from the UTC library and in many bookstores. Before purchase, students should analyze these materials carefully to assure their relevance to the test(s) which will be taken.  

Information as to the tests specified for each licensure area as well as the required minimum scores may be obtained from the Certification Office, the UTC Testing Center, or the bulletin board display for the School of Education.  The ETS Registration Bulletin also lists the required tests by state.  Students are urged to be sure that they register for the correct test(s).

Students seeking licensure in states other than Tennessee may be required to take additional Praxis II tests. Students should obtain information from the Certification Office or the licensing agency in the other state before registering for tests other than those required by Tennessee.

Praxis II requirements for licensure are determined by the Tennessee Department of Education.  The College of Health, Education and Professional Studies at UTC has mandated that a candidate must meet all Praxis II requirements for the licensure area sought before a grade will be recorded for student teaching or the induction experience. A designated institution score report should be sent to UTC (Score Recipient Code R1831); it is suggested that an additional report should be sent to the Tennessee State Department of Education (Recipient Code R8190). These recipients need to be indicated each time a test is taken.

Because the State of Tennessee uses Social Security Numbers to track licenses, it is recommended that students include his or her SSN, date of birth, and complete given name when registering for the exam.

Official score reports will be sent to the institutions that were designated by the test taker (UTC and TN State Department of Education). The test taker will also be given access to an electronic version of his or her score report. The student will need to save this score report as soon as he or she is able to access, because the web-based access is only temporary. It is recommended that the student print out at least one color copy of this score report to have during job interviews.

All students must have and maintain:

  • 2.75 Cumulative GPA
  • 2.75 UTC GPA (this includes all courses taken at UTC)
  • 2.75 GPA on all professional courses with no grade lower than a C
  • 2.75 GPA in content area courses with no grade lower than a C

It is your responsibility to keep track of your GPA each semester. In order to view your GPA, you need to log in to MyMocsDegree. This will show both your Cumulative and UTC GPA.

Concerned about not meeting the GPA requirements? Use the GPA calculators to see what grades you will need in order to achieve and/or maintain the GPA requirements.

Applications for clinical practice are located online here. Completed applications are submitted electronically to the Field Placement Coordinator, Hunter 312.

Students who wish to enroll in Residency or the induction experience for the fall semester must submit their applications by the previous March 1st.  For those students who seek spring student teaching, the application deadline is the previous September 1st.

Students participating in Residency or the induction experience may not enroll in additional coursework except under certain specified conditions.  For further information, contact the Certification Officer or the TEP Advisor in Hunter 312.

Mandatory seminars occur during the first week of the semester. Students must attend all seminars. Only students who have met all qualifications for student teaching can attend the seminars. Students are informed of their placements during the first seminar day.

All teacher candidates must hold updated liability insurance as well as a successful background check. Those must be on file with the School of Education. Information on fingerprinting and background checks can be found here.

Prior to the clinical practice semester, each student will submit an electronic copy of his or her resume to the Field Placement Coordinator. The updated resume should include updated information, show growth in professional development, and any additional experience gained including PDS.

Once students are admitted to clinical practice, they will receive an email with their applicable courses.


Checkpoint 4

The Clinical Practice/Induction Experience at UTC is a semester-long field-based practicum experience and is an integral component of the teacher education program. It is during this period that the student participates as a pre-professional in the public schools. Essentially, this is the experience which provides the student with the arena for converting theory to practice and demonstrating potential to perform the teaching-learning process. Whenever possible, the candidates are placed in cohort groups of 6-12 student teachers per site. There is no college supervisor; instead, there is a professor-in-residence (PIR). The PIR gives the equivalent of one day per week service to the K-12 school and may be utilized to write grants, do in-service, etc. The PIR acts as a liaison between UTC and the school.

Teacher candidates must successfully complete two assigned placements. One placement is typically in a rural school setting and the other an urban setting. Placements are assigned by the Field Placement Coordinator, Hunter 312. The student teaching assignment depends on state requirements for the licensure area.

All students must have and maintain: 2.75 Cumulative GPA 2.75 UTC GPA (this includes all courses taken at UTC) 2.75 GPA on all professional courses with no grade lower than a C 2.75 GPA in content area courses with no grade lower than a C.

Teacher Candidatess (TCs) will complete the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) in accordance with the timeline and protocol provided. Candidates are required to send home a consent form titled, “Notification of Teacher Candidate Assessment” to all P-12 students involved in the learning segment. All consent forms should be kept in the Clinical Teaching notebook. Additional information about the edTPA and consent forms will be addressed in the seminar. Remediation and resubmission will be required should a TC score below the Tennessee state requirement.

 A student must complete all requirements in Checkpoint 4 to complete his/her program.