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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, continues to be rated among the top Tennessee institutions for preparing educators to work in the state, according to the 2021 Educator Preparation Report Card.

In 2018, UT became the first public institution in Tennessee to earn the top ranking on the annual report card. While educator preparation programs were unable to receive a formal overall rating this year due to COVID-19 interruptions, UT maintains top-tier status among teacher and leadership preparation programs in Tennessee.

Since 2015, UT has prepared close to 800 teachers and educational leaders who have a collective impact on the lives of an estimated 40,000 Tennessee PreK–12 students annually. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, UT continues to train high-quality educators who are prepared to take on the current and future challenges inherent in educating Tennessee’s youth.

According to the 2021 report card, UT stands out in several categories:

  • UT exceeds expectations in assessments: 100 percent of teachers and leaders prepared by UT passed the required examinations for licensure in Tennessee (EdTPA and Praxis School Leaders Licensure Assessment).
  • In the classroom, over 90 percent of teacher graduates received ratings of level 3 (at expectations) to 5 (significantly above expectations) on the Teacher Effectiveness Observation Scale, which measures teacher performance through components that include classroom observation scores and growth shown by students on standardized tests.
  • UT exceeds expectations in employment of graduates: Tennessee public schools employ 78 percent of UT teaching graduates in their first year, and over 90 percent of those teachers continue in the public school system the following year.
  • 88 percent of teachers prepared by the university continue to teach in Tennessee public schools for at least three years.
  • Over 35 percent of UT’s education graduates—above the state average—receive endorsements in high-demand subject areas such as math and science, special education, world language, and English as an additional language.
  • Over 95 percent of those who completed UT’s preparation program in the past three years said they agree or strongly agree that it prepared them for the teaching profession.

David Cihak, associate dean of UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences and director of its Bailey Graduate School of Education, said, “The Bailey Graduate School of Education’s educator preparation programs offer multiple pathways into the teaching and educational leadership professions, including online options that allow learners statewide to earn the credentials needed to teach and lead in Tennessee and nationwide. UT’s multiple programs ensure a flexible pathway for anyone, anywhere, and at any stage of life who aspires to become a licensed Tennessee teacher or leader.”


Jules Morris (865-719-7072,