Skip to main content

UT received the highest possible rating for teacher preparation in the state, according to the newly released 2017 Teacher Preparation Report Card.

UT, the only tier-four public university and one of seven tier-four programs in the state, has recommended more than 1,000 graduates for teacher licensure in the past five years and more than 3,800 in the past 16 years.

David Cihak
David Cihak

“This accomplishment comes from our outstanding faculty, staff, supervisors, school partners, and mentoring teachers who collectively enhance educational expectations across the Bailey Graduate School of Education,” said David Cihak, interim associate dean of UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences and director of the school. “Our exceptional students and graduates perpetuate these expectations to ensure the highest academic outcomes and experiences for the students they teach.”

UT improved in all report card categories. Additional highlights include:

  • More candidates are seeking high-demand endorsements to meet state and local school teacher needs, including English as a Second Language, secondary science, special education, world languages, and secondary math.
  • First-year employment rates in public schools increased to 77.6 percent, and, of those, 95.9 percent were retained and teaching in Tennessee the following year.
  • Teacher graduates are making an impact with 96.5 percent of teachers rated as level 3 (at expectations) or above and an increase in teachers rated as level 4 or 5 (“above” or “significantly above”) on the 1–5 teacher effectiveness observation scale. Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System teacher effectiveness ratings/scores also improved with 65.7 percent of teachers receiving a level 3 or above and an increase in teachers who received a 4 or 5 level of effectiveness.

UT also sends out a survey to recent graduates every year and principals every other year. According to UT’s 2017 survey, 97 percent of principals indicated they are satisfied or very satisfied with UT’s teacher preparation program and would feel comfortable hiring future graduates. Likewise, 92 percent of graduates are confident and satisfied with the program, rating their preparation as good to excellent.

“Our program is committed to graduate highly effective teachers who enhance, invigorate, and regenerate the Tennessee educational landscape,” said Cihak.

UT’s Bailey 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.

Media coverage: Times News, Rick Wagner, Feb. 15; The Tennessean and Commercial Appeal, Jennifer Pignolet, Feb. 15 (also ran in Leaf Chronicle, Daily News Journal, News Sentinel, Jackson Sun); Chalkbeat, Marta Aldrich, Feb. 15; State of Tennessee, Feb. 15; Chalkbeat, Caroline Bauman, Feb. 16


Bonnie Maples (865-974-3499,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,