Jul 13, 2024  
2024 - 2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024 - 2025 Undergraduate Catalog

College of Education

Janet Finch, Dean
Office: 118 Clay Education Building
(615) 963-5451

General Statement

The College of Education is located primarily in the Clay Education Building. In 1968 this building was dedicated to Robert E. Clay (1875-1961), a model of vision, discipline, and service.  In 1917, Clay became the Tennessee Building Agent for the Julius Rosenwald Fund, which built schools for African Americans in the South. In just 20 years, the Rosenwald Fund supported the building of 5,300 schools in fifteen states, and Clay raised the matching funds, labor, and community support to build 354 schools in Tennessee. He went on to work as a developer of African American education for the Tennessee Department of Education, and at age 56, he earned a degree at Tennessee State University (then Tennessee A&I State College). Before his retirement at age 80, Clay was deeply engaged in service to the University and was loved for his guidance and encouragement of students.

In the College of Education, our programs reflect our commitment to the success of all. Emblazoned upon the front of the Clay Education Emblazoned upon the front of the building are three principles that guide the vision and mission of the College of Education: (1) Enlightenment and Understanding (2) Service to Humanity, and (3) Instruction and Discipline. 

Vision Statement

The College of Education aspires to be a place where students at both initial and advanced levels explore current research as they prepare to become competent and caring professionals who can work effectively with diverse populations.

Further, the College of Education seeks to provide students with global education opportunities, to inspire them toward a demonstrated commitment to service for others, and to provide them with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to excel in their chosen professions.

Mission Statement

The mission of the College of Education is to prepare teachers, counselors, psychologists, administrators, and other professionals and paraprofessionals to work effectively with schools, organizations, and communities.

Additionally, the College of Education provides all students with the technological skills, knowledge, and commitment to diversity necessary for the provision of global and community service and demonstration of professional excellence.

  1. To prepare elementary, secondary, and special education teachers; counselors; supervisors; administrators; school psychologists; counseling psychologists, sports administrators, and exercise science specialists.
  2. To provide opportunities for students to pursue research and its uses in solving the problems of education.
  3. To assist graduates in finding teaching and other positions after they have had experience in their profession.
  4. To provide students with opportunities for knowledge and understanding of the diverse society in which they live and their relation to and responsibility in such a society.
Specific goals related to diversity are:
  1. Involve learners in experiences that will allow them to examine their own cultures.
  2. Expose learners to diversity through experiences, literature, and discussion.
  3. Encourage the development of positive and supportive attitudes about diversity.
  4. Involve learners in situations that will provide opportunities for direct contact with individuals who differ from them.
  5. Provide instruction in the design, implementation, and evaluation of educational materials that are appropriate for diverse settings.
  6. Guide learners in the development of teaching strategies that consider diverse perspectives.
  7. Maintain a diverse faculty and student body.

Accreditation and Memberships

Undergraduate and graduate programs for the preparation of teachers and related professionals are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Counseling Psychology is an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited program.

The College of Education also holds memberships in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions, the National Association of Multicultural Education, Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology, the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities, the Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and the University Council for Educational Administration. 

Departments in the College of Education

The College of Education offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study and do research in three departments.

The Department of Educational Leadership offers three degree programs: (1) Master of Education (M.Ed.); (2) Education Specialist (Ed.S.); and (3) Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

The Department of Teaching and Learning offers two degree programs: (1) Master of Education (M.Ed.); and (2) Doctor of Education (Ed.D.).

The Department of Psychology offers three degrees in several different programs: (1) Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology; (2) Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling Psychology, Professional School Counseling, or School Psychology; and (3) Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counseling Psychology or School Psychology. The Bachelor of Science program serves students majoring in psychology, students minoring in psychology, students majoring in the College of Arts and Science’s Interdisciplinary Studies program, and students participating in the College of Education’s Teacher Education Program. 

The Department of Teaching and Learning offers two degrees: (1) Master of Education (M.Ed.); and (2) Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Offices in the College of Education

Curriculum Laboratory

The Curriculum Laboratory is a center for instructional materials and other resources in teacher education. It is designed for students and teachers in the professional core courses in education, the specialized professional courses, and student teaching.

The laboratory is a hands-on facility where students and alumni come to create and carry out research. The laboratory serves as a depository for the state of Tennessee textbook collection (grades K-12). The laboratory director offers workshop experiences for our undergraduate students in materials and manipulatives. The laboratory is located in the Clay Hall Education Building.

Office of Teacher Education and Student Services

The Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) is the entity responsible for the preparation of educators and other related professionals who work in the K - 12 school system. At TSU the work of the EPP is administered through the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services under the supervision of the Associate Dean.

The EPP provides pre-service field and clinical experiences to afford opportunities for teacher candidates to link theoretical information with real-life situations through observations, one-to-one interaction, small group participation, and, Clinical Practice (student teaching/clinical residency). The Office of Teacher Education and Student Services coordinates all placements for school-based activities. The Office processes applications and makes recommendations to the State Department of Education for licensure as teachers, principals, school counselors, and school psychologists.

The Office of Teacher Education and Student Services screens all applicants to the Teacher Education Program.  The Office maintains records verifying that candidates (a) met standards for admission to Teacher Education, (b) completed student teaching, (c) received a recommendation for licensure, (d) passed Praxis Exams, (e) received criminal background clearance, and (f) met performance expectations.  Program coordinators in academic licensure areas review candidates’ programs and monitor their retention status; the director of Teacher Education is informed of candidates’ progress. 

Candidates who do not meet the retention standards are subject to dismissal from the Teacher Education Program.  Students who desire to obtain teacher licensure must check with the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services and content advisors for current programs of study.

Undergraduate candidates admitted to Teacher Education will adhere to the year-long residency model designed to prepare new teachers to be ready to teach from the first day in teaching with a mentor teacher for two semesters (senior year Fall/Spring). The residency year includes Residency 1 during the Fall Semester and Residency 2 during the Spring Semester.  Residency 1 will include methods courses and 100+ hours of field study in K-12 schools.  Residency 2 requires a full semester of student teaching.  Residency 1 will only be offered in the Fall, while Residency 2 will only occur in the Spring. Students are required to seek advisement regarding their licensure programs as early as possible during their academic career at Tennessee State University to ensure that all prerequisite courses and Praxis exams are complete in preparation for Residency. 

Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) Advisory Board 

The EPP Advisory Board is the coordinating body for the Teacher Education Program. Its principal objectives are:

  1. To help provide and perpetuate an instructional climate favorable to the healthy growth of the Teacher Education Program.
  2. To develop and administer policies that will ensure that competent candidates with professional promise are prepared and recommended for entry into the teaching profession. The Council develops policies relating to admission, retention, counseling, records, curricula, and standards for completion of a program in Teacher Education, Professional School Counseling, School Psychology, and School Leadership.
  3. To review and recommend to the Teacher Education Unit Department Chair (College of Education Dean) proposals for revision/approval of courses and programs leading to teacher licensure.

The Professional Education component provided by the College of Education is designed to develop the competencies necessary for beginning teachers, based on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions (KSDs) in seven Key Areas of Performance.

  1. KS1. Plan: Design and implement instructional plans that reflect sound content knowledge and include meaningful learning for all, utilizing appropriate technology and accommodating diverse needs. D1. Plan: Value learners’ experiences and strengths as a basis for growth and their errors as learning opportunities.
  2. KS2. Maximize Learning: Encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, active inquiry, and cultural pluralism; and differentiate learning opportunities for diverse needs, using human, literary, and technology resources effectively. D2. Maximize Learning: Provide quality education to all learners, encourage critical thinking and self-efficacy, and believe in and help all to succeed.
  3. KS3. Evaluate: Systematically assess and evaluate learners’ diverse abilities; and in teaching and learning, reflect, adjust for diverse needs, and repeat the process. D3. Evaluate: Facilitate ongoing learning through reflection and assessment.
  4. KS4. Manage: Competently apply theory to create a caring, positive, and productive learning environment, facilitated by technology and with sensitivity to diversity. D4. Manage: Maintain a positive and productive learning environment that also both encourages and protects learners.
  5. KS5. Model Professionalism. Demonstrate professional ethics, standards, and responsibilities, including respect for diversity; pursue service and professional growth opportunities, and use technology effectively. D5. Model Professionalism: Consistently demonstrate caring, fairness, responsibility, professional dress and behaviors, appropriate interactions, professional standards and ethics, commitment to service, and respect for all learners and constituents.
  6. KS6. Communicate: Demonstrate effective oral, written, and interpersonal communication abilities in interactions with students, families, and the professional community, while respecting cultural and familial diversity. D6. Communicate: Habitually communicate effectively in all teaching and learning interactions, cooperate with all constituents, and value the communication of others.
  7. KS7. Specialize: Demonstrate and apply thorough content knowledge and effective principles and practices specific to the area(s) of specialization. D7. Specialize: Demonstrate dispositions consistent with specialty area(s) standards to facilitate the success of all.

Teacher Education Program: Admission and Retention Requirements

Admission to the Teacher Education Program
  1. Students who desire to be a candidate for admission to the Teacher Education Program will apply to the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services, typically in the second semester of the sophomore year.
  2. Each student will submit documentation that s/he has:
    1. Completed at least 31 semester hours of coursework, including ENGL 1010 , ENGL 1020 , EDCI 2420, EDCI 2010 , and an appropriate sequence of freshman mathematics and freshman science;
    2. Earned a grade of C or better in each of the following courses: ENGL 1010 , ENGL 1020 , EDCI 2420, EDCI 2010 ;
    3. Maintained a C or better average in all General Education mathematics and sciences courses;
    4. Earned a 2.75 GPA or better on a 4-point scale in all previous college work;
    5. Passed a criminal background investigation. (see Criminal Background Check)
  3. Each student will provide official records that indicate he/or she has met the following requirements:
    1. Earned acceptable scores on the ACT (21), SAT (1080), or Core Academic Skills for Educators (Praxis I)
Core Test Minimum Score
Mathematics 150
Reading 156
Writing 162

Candidates who fail to pass any required subtest(s) of the Praxis I may retake such subtests as often as such tests are administered. Candidates retaking any subtests must attain cut-off scores in effect at the retesting time. Persons who fail the Core Skills tests after having taken them twice may qualify to appeal if additional criteria are met (see Teacher Education Handbook).

b. Two positive recommendations on the Disposition assessment forms: one from his/her content area advisor, and another from a professional education professor or another non-relative education professional.

Students who have not been admitted to the Teacher Education Program will not be permitted to enroll in the professional education courses in the junior/senior blocks.


To remain in good standing in the Teacher Education Program, the candidate must:

  1. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above;
  2. Continue to exhibit professional growth characteristics essential to becoming an effective educator;
  3. Maintain a clear criminal background;
  4. Meet all criteria for admission to clinical practice at the appropriate time.
Admission to Residency 2 

To be admitted into Residency 2 / Student Teaching, the candidate must have been admitted into the Teacher Education Program, be in good standing, and comply with the following:

  1. Meet all Professional Education requirements to date;
  2. Document passing scores on all of the required Praxis II examinations in the semester before Residency 2;
  3. Apply for Residency 2 through the Office of Teacher Education; submit the completed application, typically during the first semester of the senior year; complete a structured interview that includes evidence of adequate technology skills;
  4. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better;
  5. Complete the prescribed prerequisite professional education courses and all courses in one’s major area of specialization with a grade of C or better;
  6. Exhibit professional growth characteristics essential to becoming an effective educator
  7. Supply documentation of professional liability insurance; and
  8. Receive a positive recommendation for admission to Residency 2 from the interview team.


  1. During the Clinical Semester, candidates are limited to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours, consisting of nine (9) hours in student teaching and three (3) hours in the clinical seminar. Dual placement will be a part of the fifteen-week Clinical Experience. Students who receive a grade of C or D in student teaching may graduate from the University but will not be recommended for licensure.
  2. Candidate must complete a minimum of six (6) approved semester hours at Tennessee State University before student teaching regardless of previous studies (effective fall 2004). The Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Student Services must approve the courses affected by this policy.
Certification Recommendation Requirements

To be recommended for certification, the candidate must:

  1. Meet all teacher education requirements to date;
  2. Complete all graduation requirements;
  3. Earn a grade of B or better in Residency 2;
  4. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above;
  5. Present acceptable score(s) on each test required in Tennessee, currently the Praxis II Examinations: Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) and appropriate Specialty Area test(s), and complete the application form.
  6. Attain a positive exit interview;
  7. complete the edTPA Assessment.
  8. Meet all requirements for Tennessee Apprentice Licensure.

NOTE: Post- Baccalaureate Certification 

A student who already holds a bachelor’s degree
(Post-Baccalaureate) and is seeking an institutional recommendation for certification in Tennessee must meet all institutional requirements for certification (see the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services for
Post-baccalaureate requirements)
. Any student teaching/ internship/practicum experience that is required for a TSU institutional recommendation for certification/licensure by the Tennessee State Department of Education must be completed at Tennessee State University regardless of one’s previous studies.

Criminal Background Check

Many of the professional education courses require a field experience component, where TSU students observe, assist, and work directly with children in the schools and educational partners. Current College of Educational Policy by Tennessee Education Code requires that: All TSU students who are sent off-site as part of their College of Education academic/course requirements must have obtained a cleared Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) criminal background check, and that background check is on file with the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services regardless of their status of admission or non-admission to a Teacher Education Program. (No other entity ID badges or background clearance will be accepted).

The State of Tennessee has identified Truescreen as the provider of this service. Check with the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services for details on obtaining background checks

Approved Undergraduate Teacher Education Program Certification Areas

Please Contact the Content Area Advisor or the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services to ensure the accuracy of the certification area’s program of study.

Agriculture/Agriscience 7-12 (add-on only)
Biology 6-12
Chemistry 6-12
Early Childhood Education PreK-3
Elementary Education K-6
English 6-12
ESL Pre K-12 (add-on only)
Geography 6-12
Government 6-12
Health & Wellness K-12
History 6-12
Mathematics 6-12
Music (Instrumental) K-12
Music (Vocal/General) K-12
Physical Education, K-12
Special Education, Interventionist K-8 (Post-Baccalaureate only)
Visual Arts K-12


Bachelor of Science

Center for Career and Technical Education

Go to information for this department.

Department of Psychology

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Bachelor of Science


Department of Teaching and Learning

Go to information for this department.


Bachelor of Science