Educator Preparation

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Tennessee educators must complete an educator preparation program. Prospective educators can search approved preparation providers/programs.

The approval of Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) is governed by state law. View state policies, rules, and information regarding EPP approval.

Teacher Residency Grants for EPPs

The department's Preparation through Partnership: Strengthening Tennessee's New Teacher Pipeline report identifies the need to continually improve the state's teacher pipeline to increase the number of effective teachers graduating from Tennessee educator preparation providers (EPPs).

To address this need, the department will offer teacher residency grants (TRG), which can be used by EPPs to support the development of teacher residency programs that provide prospective educators practical and authentic classroom experiences, as they are paired with experienced and effective educators in the field. Additional information and guidelines for the TRG can be found here. With questions, please contact Educator.Preparation@tn.gov.

Tennessee Innovation in Preparation Grant Awards

On August 24, 2017, the department announced the Tennessee Innovation in Preparation (TIP) grant award winners. TIP grants are designed to support an increase in the development of a diverse educator workforce, an increase in the production of educators in high-demand licensure areas, and promote collaboration to improve educator preparation in literacy. Four Tennessee educator preparation programs (EPPs) were selected to implement an innovative approach to educator preparation. EPPs receiving TIP grants are:

  • Austin Peay State University
  • Lipscomb University
  • Tennessee State University
  • University of Tennessee, Martin

Read more about these awards here. These grants will support the state’s continued efforts to ensure that all students have access to highly effective educators every day, in every classroom. The grants will also support these EPPs in their efforts to meet the unique needs of their partner districts and schools through innovative practices.

Preparation through Partnership

On April 5, the department released Preparation through Partnership: Strengthening Tennessee's New Teacher Pipeline, a new report that compares the demand for teachers to the supply of teachers with particular subject-area specializations—including English as a second language, world languages, and science as the areas of greatest need—and the effectiveness and confidence with which new teachers enter the classroom. In the report, the department explores the state's role in educator preparation and provides a series of recommendations for districts and EPPs to collaboratively support this work going forward.

The recommendations suggest next steps that build on a growing momentum across the state to continue improvement of the new teacher pipeline, from the design and structure of educator preparation programs through the ongoing development of new teachers. Some of the recommendations include:

  • Districts and EPPs should use data from EPP annual reports and district human capital reports to jointly develop targeted recruitment strategies.
  • Districts and EPPs should collaborate closely to ensure high-quality and meaningful clinical experiences for teachers in training.
  • Districts should regularly review the systems they have in place for developing and supporting novice teachers.
  • EPPs must ensure that they provide aspiring educators with a strong understanding of statewide instructional initiatives.

Additional materials can be found below:

  • Empowering EPPs
  • Partnership is Key
  • What the Research Says

View the department's full press release here.

Educator Preparation Program Approval

EPPs in Tennessee: Review & Approval - Learn more about the process for preparing effective educators.

Educator Preparation Policy and Implementation FAQ

CTE-Approved Educator Preparation Programs

CTE-Approved Occupational License Advancement Programs

Out-of-State and Online Educator Preparation Programs

TN-CEEDAR Project

Partnership to bring together districts and educator preparation providers to collaborate on improving high-quality instruction and intervention in special education, general education, and educational leadership.