Jun 18, 2024  
2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies, Elementary Education Grades K-6 Certification, B.S.

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Interdisciplinary Studies
Certification in Elementary Education, Grades K-6
112 Clay Hall
Telephone 615-963-5459

General Statement: The University’s teacher certification program in Elementary Education is located in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program of the College of Liberal Arts, in recognition of the fact that the modern teacher should be broadly educated with a firm foundation in the liberal arts. The teacher must not only possess knowledge of a variety of subject matter, but also an understanding of the psychology and the cultures of the students he or she will teach. America is an increasingly diverse society: it is estimated that by the year 2050 more than half of the school-age children will be of non-European descent.

The Elementary Education program offers the student the opportunity to prepare for a license to teach in grades Kindergarten through sixth grade. This means that the Tennessee Department of Education certifies that the individual is qualified to teach at those levels and thus is eligible to be hired by public school systems in the state. An endorsement for a given grade level means that the student is especially well prepared for those grades, but is also eligible to teach at whatever level the license includes. The concentration is child development and learning, with licensure for grades K-6. The specific requirements are listed below. The coordinator of the Elementary Education program is the advisor for students seeking this license.

Program Requirements for Bachelor of Science

  • Liberal Arts
  • Certification in Elementary Education

All candidates for certification in elementary education will complete a minimum of 120 semester hours, to receive the B.S. degree in Liberal Arts. These hours include a general education core (42 hours), a major concentration of content and knowledge courses (26 hours), and a professional education core (37 hours), including one semester of student teaching in primary and middle schools (9 hours). To be eligible for admission to any certification program in the University, students must have at least a 2.75 cumulative quality point average at the time of application and must earn acceptable scores on the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) or the Computer-Based Academic Skills Assessment Test (CBT). Students who have previously earned a 21 on the ACT, 22 on the Enhanced ACT, or a combined 990 on the verbal and mathematics portions of the SAT are exempt from the PPST. Students must also make a written application through the College of Education before being formally admitted to the program, usually during the sophomore year. For a complete statement of admission and retention requirements in the Teacher Education Program, see the section in the college of Education in this catalog.

Accreditation: The teacher certification program in Elementary Education, with its concentration, is approved by the Tennessee Department of Education. In addition, the teacher education program is accredited by the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Specific course requirements in General Education, Other Requirements, the Professional Education curriculum, and the concentration follow.

The Tennessee Board of Regents Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, Ready2Teach, will officially begin in the fall semester of 2013. Ready2Teach requires residency in K-12 schools during the senior or final year (fall and spring) of undergraduate teacher licensure programs. The residency year includes Residency I during the fall semester and Residency 2 during the spring semester. Residency 1 will include methods courses and 90+ hours field study in K-12 schools. Residency 2 requires a full semester (16 weeks) of student teaching. Residency 1 will only be offered in the fall while Residency 2 will only occur in the spring. This initiative applies to all undergraduate teacher education candidates pursuing teacher licensure. All programs of study will be changed to reflect the new program beginning in the fall semester of 2013. 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.

General Education Core: 42 Semester Hours

The general education liberal arts component is designed to foster the intellectual development of the whole person and provide the foundation of a broad college education.

Required General Education Core

Communications: (9 hours)

Humanities and/or Fine Arts: (9 hours)

Natural Science: (8 hours)

Mathematics: (3 hours)

Total General Education Hours: 42

Other Requirements: 18 - Hours

Professional Education: 37 Semester Hours

Professional education course work and related field and laboratory experiences are required to give the prospective elementary school teacher the knowledge, skills, and practical experience needed for a successful career. Students must be officially admitted to the Teacher Education Program before they can register for any of these courses, with the exception of EDCI 2010 .


Each teacher candidate, regardless of concentration, must complete EDCI 4720 - Enhanced Student Teaching in the Elementary School (12)  (9 hours). The student teaching experience includes an entire semester of teaching divided between primary and middle grades. Teacher candidates seeking to focus on early grades have field experiences in kindergarten in addition to elementary school and middle school.

The awarded diploma reads: “Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts.” The teaching license reads “Elementary Education (K-6).”

Suggested Four-Year Plan:

Concentration in Child Growth and Development Licensure for Grades K-6

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year


*Prerequisite for admission to Teacher Education

(Apply to Teacher Education; a GPA of 2.75 is required and appropriate scores on the PPST or ACT)

Junior Year

(Apply for Student Teaching)

Senior Year


*(No other courses may be taken during this semester.)

**Must be admitted to Teacher Education to take this course.

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