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Susan Benner, associate dean of UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

A new report card released today ranks UT among the top institutions in Tennessee for teacher preparation. According to the 2016 Teacher Preparation Report Card, which offers an overall picture of who is meeting Tennessee’s goals for instructing and preparing effective teachers, UT exceeded state averages in eight of the nine metrics.

The big highlight of the 2016 Report Card is the performance of UT graduates within the teacher observation score.

“Over 97 percent of our graduates teaching in Tennessee public schools in 2013–14 and 2014–15 earned a rating of 3 or higher out of 5 on the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model,” said Susan Benner, associate dean of UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. “Nearly 58 percent were deemed above or significantly above expectations based on multiple observations of their teaching.”

Additional highlights for UT graduates include a 100 percent pass rate for content-knowledge Praxis exams, a 93.8 percent retention rate after their first year teaching, and an average ACT score of 25.8.

In the past 15 years, UT has recommended more than 3,600 graduates for teacher licenses in Tennessee.

“At UT’s Graduate School of Education, we recognize content knowledge, skill in pedagogy, and thoughtful clinical practice as critical foundations of teaching,” said Benner, who also serves as director of the school. “We are pleased that the revised Tennessee Teacher Preparation Report Card gives us the chance to highlight the quality of our completers across multiple measures that reflect both qualifications and practice.”

The only metric for which UT did not score above the state level was diversity of graduates.

“A diverse pool of teachers, guidance counselors, principals, school psychologists, and other professional educators is essential to meeting the educational and social needs of children in public schools today,” said Benner. “Through the use of our community and campus networks, we are working to expand the diversity of teachers and professional educators graduating from UT Knoxville.”

UT’s Graduate School of Education offers five-year programs of study leading to teacher licensure in elementary education, middle grades mathematics and science, secondary English, secondary social sciences, world languages, art education, English as a second language, and special education; undergraduate teacher licensure programs in STEM fields and early childhood education; and collaborative programs in music education, agricultural education, and information and media specialization.

All of the college’s professional licensure programs are approved by the Tennessee State Department of Education and nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Since 2009, Tennessee has provided data on the effectiveness of colleges, universities, and educator preparation providers. The State Board of Education, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, launched the newly redesigned report card, which offers an interactive tool for users to easily access data.

Questions or feedback about the report card should be directed to


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,