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How to Become a Teacher in Tennessee: Teacher Certification

These are the usual steps a person might take to become certified to teach in the state of Tennessee. Please check with your state to make sure you have the most up-to-date information about the certification process.

To learn about teaching salaries in Tennessee, see here.

Traditional Approach for the Tennessee Teacher Certification

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  2. Teacher Preparations: This may include teacher prep courses, student teaching and other types of internships. In order to receive a Tennessee Teacher Certification, you must have some experience in teaching, even if it’s unpaid. 180 hours of field experience are required.
  3. Pass the Tennessee Competency Exams (EST).
  4. Submit the following:
    • Requested Application
      • Page 2 needs to be submitted by your Certification Official
    • Official transcripts, degrees, and school credits
    • Copies of all test scores
    • Mail to:
      Tennessee Department of Education
      Office of Teacher Licensing
      710 James Robertson Parkway
      4th Floor Andrew Johnson Tower
      Nashville, TN 37243-0377
      (615) 532-4885
  5. Do you want to renew your Tennessee Teacher Certification?

Alternative Approach for a Tennessee Teacher Certification

Alternatively, you can earn the Teacher Conditional Tennessee Teaching Certification to teach in Tennessee. This will allow you to start teaching before you complete the teacher education program.

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  2. Select which type of alternative license you need
  3. Provide official transcripts
  4. Be employed directly by the Tennessee school district
  5. Pass the Praxis Exam (if required)
  6. Spend 24 semester hours to earn full license (if required)
  7. Call (615) 532-4885 for more information
  8. Mail to:
    Tennessee Department of Education
    Office of Teacher Licensing
    710 James Robertson Parkway
    4th Floor Andrew Johnson Tower
    Nashville, TN 37243-0377

Sources:

  1. Educational Testing Service, https://www.ets.org/
  2. Tennessee State Government, https://www.tn.gov/

Teaching Schools in Tennessee

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Master of Education - TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
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B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
  • Accredited
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M.Ed. - Teaching and Learning
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
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MS - Instruction in the 1:1 Environment
  • Online MEd, MS, EdD, EdS, and PhD options in K-12, higher education, and education technology.
  • Specializations in early childhood education, K-12 studies in education, educational leadership and management, curriculum and instruction, leadership in educational administration, and more.
  • Over $30 million in scholarships available in 2018. Eligible learners and programs only. Amount awarded depends upon number of eligible learners.
  • Earn credit based on learning gained from previous coursework and get your degree in less time through our Prior Learning Assessment process.
  • Capella Education Company was named one of Forbes magazine’s “100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America” for 2014 (Forbes, 2014).
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Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education*
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015. 
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
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