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.

Updated - Tennessee Innovation Preparation Grants

The department is excited to announce a new opportunity to support innovation in educator preparation. All Tennessee-approved educator preparation providers (EPPs) are eligible to apply. Interested EPPs should submit proposals that introduce innovative practices in educator preparation or demonstrate how scaling an existing innovation can support the development of an effective teacher pipeline. The areas of focus for this grant cycle include teacher diversity, teacher demand, and teacher effectiveness. Additional information and proposal guidelines for the Tennessee Innovation in Preparation (TIP) grants can be found here (grant announcement and proposal guidelines). Clarification regarding allowable costs is available here. Proposals selected for funding will be announced in late August. With questions, please contact Educator.Preparation@tn.gov.

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.