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Tennessee Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

Tennessee requires all teachers to complete a teacher preparation program from an accredited school in order to work in the state’s educational system. This guide to teaching schools in Tennessee provides detailed information to help you research the various programs available in the state. For aspiring educators pursuing a teaching degree in Tennessee, we provide an up-to-date table of top-rated teaching programs and a list of accredited teacher preparation programs as well as student reviews. Whether you are fresh out of college or looking to change careers, this guide is the perfect place to start researching your next career move.

Schools with Teaching Programs

  • There are 38 colleges and universities with teacher degree programs in Tennessee.1
  • 3 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in education.1
  • 36 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in education.1
  • 25 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in education.1

Institutional Facts for Schools with Teaching Programs

  • Highest graduation rate*: Vanderbilt University 92%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Lane College 61%.1
  • Highest net price per year*: Belmont University $34,678.1
  • Lowest net price per year*: Le Moyne-Owen College $8,587.1
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for teaching degree programs in Tennessee*: $8,512-$30,581.2
  • 1 school was in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2017: University of Tennessee (#49 in-state, #70 out-of-state).
  • 4 schools ranked in US News Best Graduate Education Programs in 2017: Vanderbilt University (#7), University of Tennessee-Knoxville (#62), East Tennessee State University (#172-tie), Tennessee Tech (#172-tie).
  • 3 schools ranked in US News Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2017: Austin Peay State University (#144), University of Tennessee-Martin (#163), Lipscomb University (#185).
  • 23 teacher programs are accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP (see below).*

*For not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities with teacher degree programs.

Top-Rated Teacher Preparation Programs

We have designed the following table to help you compare the ratings of teacher preparation programs in Tennessee according to various factors. All of the schools included are not-for-profit institutions approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education for the preparation of teachers. Completing a state-approved teacher preparation program is an important step towards earning licensure. While accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is not a requirement for licensure, many states accept degrees from CAEP-accredited institutions for those wishing to become certified. CAEP accreditation is highly regarded and shows that a program has met rigorous evidence-based standards.

The Tennessee State Board of Education (TNSBE) also provides its own ratings of approved educator preparation institutions based on metrics including the profile of students accepted to the educator preparation program, the number of graduates in high-demand endorsement areas, the number of graduates overall, and the placement and retention rates of program graduates. A Category 1 rating indicates the lowest performance, while a Category 4 rating indicates the highest performance. Finally, we included ratings from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a research and policy group that scores teacher preparation programs at the national level using key standards chosen to measure students’ preparation for success in teaching.

State-Approved SchoolCAEP Accred.?6TNSBE Overall Program Performance Rating (2016)*7NCTQ Undergrad Elementary Prog. % (2016)**8NCTQ Undergrad Secondary Prog. % (2017)**8Teacher Prep Prog. Enrollment9Teacher Prep Prog. Completers9Licensing Exams Pass Rate9Net Price***1
Aquinas CollegeNo1320100%$18,708
Austin Peay State UniversityYes360%67%47514498%$12,688
Belmont UniversityYes21715192%$34,678
Bethel UniversityYes117%40%34234100%$14,583
Bryan CollegeNo672390%$16,431
Carson-Newman UniversityYes389%13454100%$18,110
Christian Brothers UniversityYes3361286%$16,660
Cumberland UniversityYes452%4711100%$20,753
East Tennessee State UniversityYes266%79%244206100%$14,915
Fisk UniversityNo241$17,980
Freed-Hardeman UniversityYes328641100%$16,492
Johnson UniversityNo5328100%$16,368
King UniversityNo37%5428100%$18,918
Lee UniversityYes294%275127100%$16,789
Lemoyne-Owen CollegeYes3313$8,587
Lincoln Memorial UniversityYes166%74%17472100%$16,276
Lipscomb UniversityYes499%32492100%$23,426
Martin Methodist CollegeNo29%9%2810100%$24,450
Maryville CollegeNo266%92%543096%$15,542
Memphis College of ArtNo181$22,689
Middle Tennessee State UniversityYes291726889%$11,744
Millgan CollegeYes192%4234100%$19,018
Southern Adventist UniversityYes47%49%7234100%$21,540
Tennessee State UniversityYes315%34%5044100%$9,614
Tennessee Technological UniversityYes263%4%51531299%$14,688
Tennessee Wesleyan UniversityNo237%272195%$12,329
Trevecca Nazerene UniversityYes267%1683397%$17,898
Tusculum CollegeNo266%37%1357096%$16,223
Union UniversityYes414099100%$25,759
University of MemphisYes388%66810892%$13,291
University of Tennessee-ChattanoogaYes2102420199%$14,559
University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleYes347117995%$20,780
University of Tennessee-MartinYes216117188%$10,430
Vanderbilt UniversityNo3308106100%$23,150
Welch CollegeNo198$20,236
Western Governors University TennesseeNo1

The NCTQ rated undergraduate elementary teaching programs in 2016 and undergraduate secondary teaching programs in 2017 by national percentile based on their overall scores on the NCTQ’s standards for teacher education. Schools that do not provide data on all key standards or that fall below the top 50% of schools nationally are not included by the NCTQ in their ratings. Visit the NCTQ website for more information on its standards and methodologies.
**Net price is per year for undergraduate tuition as calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics based on the cost of attendance (tuition, books, room and board, and related expenses) for students who qualify for in-state tuition and fees, less the average financial aid award (including grants and scholarships).

Profiles of Well-Known Schools

University of Tennessee: Located in Knoxville, the University of Tennessee College of Education, Health ,and Human Services readies students who desire an education that focuses on giving back to individuals and community. Quite appropriate given the moniker of the University is “Volunteer.” The College contains several departments including the Department of Educational Counseling and Psychology, Educational Leadership and Policy and Theory and Practice in Education. Students are able to choose from nearly 100 majors in educationally related degree paths leading to diverse teaching careers such as k-6 education, middle education, secondary education, educational leadership, counseling, and information technology. The University Of Tennessee College Of Education, Health and Human Services is one of the largest on campus serving thousands of undergraduate and graduate students.

East Tennessee State University: Johnson City, Tennessee is home to Claudius Clemmer College of Education at East Tennessee State University. The College is known for graduating methodical and passionate educators due to their caring and competent faculty, outstanding student services, and innovative educational curriculum. Departments that make up the College of Education include Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, Human Development, and Learning, and Kinesiology, Leisure and Sports Sciences. The sign of a sound College of Education is its accreditation. The ETSU COE is accredited by several agencies and organizations including National Council of Teacher Education, Tennessee Department of Education, and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Tusculum College: Located in Greeneville, Tusculum College offers four distinct Bachelor of Arts programs leading to teacher licensure: Pre-Secondary Education-Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, K-12 Education, and Special Education. Within each licensure path, students may select from content and specialist fields aligned with their career goals. Tusculum’s focused academic calendar aims to provide students with early and frequent practicum placements in area schools that help guide their academic and career choices. All education students complete an enhanced student teaching experience, which is one full semester incorporating full days of teaching and observation under the guidance of faculty and school district personnel. Tusculum College’s student-faculty ratio of 17 to 1 provides students with focused learning opportunities and strong faculty interaction, which is furthered by the school’s focused, block-style class scheduling. Students’ academic progress is closely monitored within the Professional Licensure Sequence with faculty reviews each semester.

Teacher Preparation Programs Accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP

  • Austin Peay State University
  • Belmont University
  • Bethel University
  • Carson-Newman University
  • Christian Brothers University
  • Cumberland University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Freed-Hardeman University
  • Lee University
  • LeMoyne-Owen College
  • Lincoln Memorial University
  • Lipscomb University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Milligan College
  • Southern Adventist University
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tennessee Technological University
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Union University
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
  • University of Tennessee-Martin

Read more about the CAEP, NCATE, and TEAC accrediting bodies.

School Programs for Becoming a Teacher in Tennessee

Request free information from the following schools to learn more about your options for choosing a teacher degree program. We recommend you: Request information from one or more of these schools

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Schools with Teaching Degree Programs in Tennessee

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Aquinas College-Nashville
4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 297-7545
www.aquinascollege.edu

Austin Peay State University
601 College St
Clarksville, TN 37044
(931) 221-7011
www.apsu.edu

Belmont University
1900 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212-3757
(615) 460-6000
www.belmont.edu

Student Review: “My experience at Belmont University has been fantastic! I am a junior now but the past few years have been amazing here. Belmont has a really welcoming environment with many programs designed to bring people together and develop friendships. Belmont has also provided me with many opportunities to meet people in my field and getting to experience working in my field before I graduate.” -Frank S., student at Belmont University
stars-5

Bethel College
325 Cherry Ave
McKenzie, TN 38201
(731) 352-4000
www.bethel-college.edu

Bryan College-Dayton
721 Bryan Dr
Dayton, TN 37321-7000
(423) 775-2041

Carson-Newman College
1646 S Russell Ave
Jefferson City, TN 37760
(865) 471-2000
www.cn.edu

Cumberland University
One Cumberland Sq
Lebanon, TN 37087
(615) 444-2562

East Tennessee State University
807 University Pky
Johnson City, TN 37614-0000
(423) 439-1000
www.etsu.edu

Fisk University
1000 17th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37208-4501
(615) 329-8500
www.fisk.edu

Lambuth University
705 Lambuth Boulevard
Jackson, TN 38301
(731) 425-2500
www.lambuth.edu

Le Moyne-Owen College
807 Walker Ave
Memphis, TN 38126-6595
(901) 435-1500
www.loc.edu

Lee University
1120 N Ocoee St
Cleveland, TN 37311
(423) 614-8000
www.leeuniversity.edu

Student Review: “The teacher education department at Lee University prepared me for the career of my dreams. The professors were not only wonderful in the classroom, but supportive and caring outside the classroom. The College of Education provided a challenging program but gave me a wonderful preparation for my own class. Lee University worked to educate us not only professionally, but spiritually and personally. The Christian environment made the experience even better. They provided many opportunities for us to work in local school and classrooms to made sure we were prepared for the “real world.” I would recommend the Lee University Education Program to anyone who dreams of being a teacher.” -Student at Lee University
stars-5

Lipscomb University
One University Park Dr
Nashville, TN 37204-3951
(615) 966-1000
www.golipscomb.com

Martin Methodist College
433 W Madison St
Pulaski, TN 38478-2799
(931) 363-9800

Maryville College
502 E Lamar Alexander Pky
Maryville, TN 37804-5907
(865) 981-8000

Middle Tennessee State University
1301 E Main St
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
(615) 898-2300

Student Review: “I had a wonderful experience at Middle Tennessee State University. It’s located in the heart of Murfreesboro, TN, about an hour outside Nashville, which makes it a lengthy drive to get to the nearest metropolitan area. Luckily there are plenty of things to do on campus, which I always appreciated. You could walk to class and pass a dozen booths for various organizations and activities. The biggest problem with MTSU is the parking situation. There aren’t nearly enough parking spots for students and the shuttles to class are small and arrive too infrequently to be useful. Otherwise, MTSU is a great experience. All of the professors I had were really helpful and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that students got the most out of their classes. Middle Tennessee State University is small enough to give you a personalized experience but big enough to expose you to a wealth of new and exciting opportunities.” -Crystal C., student at Middle Tennessee State University
stars-5

Milligan College
Milligan Hwy
Milligan College, TN 37682
(423) 461-8700
www.milligan.edu

Southern Adventist University
4881 Taylor Cir
Collegedale, TN 37315-0370
(423) 236-2000
www.southern.edu

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Blvd
Nashville, TN 37209-1561
(615) 963-5111
www.tnstate.edu

Tennessee Technological University
1 William L. Jones Dr
Cookeville, TN 38505-0001
(931) 372-3223

Student Review: “I have been studying to become a certified teacher in middle schools, focusing on general science, at Tennessee Tech. Thus far, the program has exceeded my expectations. Tech is a fairly large school with a larger Teacher Certification program, and I was initially apprehensive that I would not receive enough individual support. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much individual attention students can get if they simply go that extra step to seek professors out. I have found that the professors for my program have what is essentially an open door policy. I have even dropped in for a chat or extra support when the professor’s office hours had past. The friendly, approachable nature of the professors in my program have made all the difference to me. The one complaint I have is the lack of cutting edge technology use. We are preparing to teach in an age when technology will be increasingly used in classrooms, even in those with younger students. I would like to see greater emphasis on learning to use the latest technology in our classrooms. This would better prepare me for the rapid developments in technology I will be faced with as a new teacher.” -Ashley W., student at Tennessee Technological University
stars-4
Student Review: “I liked the actual educational courses pertaining to art, as it was relevant to the subject I wished to teach, but also because the professor was amazing. She knew how and why to teach art the way we should, and used hollistic approaches to art education. The classes were fun, while still learning valuable lessons in theories and methods of teaching visual art. My practicum and student teaching were wonderful experiences and helped me prepare to become a professional in the field after graduation. However, I cannot give 5 stars because the general education department gave me trouble in my last few years. They did not have clearly stated rules on what was to be accomplished before teaching, and thus caused me to be held back an extra semester. This meant more student loan debt, and loss of income from not being able to obtain a job. I fought to appeal this but was ignored or dismissed. Otherwise, if you’re interested in Art Education, this is a great place to be for both the educational and studio art courses and the professors who oversee them.” -Laura M., student at Tennessee Technological University
stars-4

Tennessee Temple University
1815 Union Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
(423) 493-4100
www.tntemple.edu

Tennessee Wesleyan University
204 East College St
Athens, TN 37303
(423) 745-7504
www.tnwesleyan.edu

The University of Tennessee
Circle Park
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-1000
www.utk.edu

Student Review: “My university is extremely unique in that the education program requires me to get a major in arts and science, and then a minor in elementary education. From that minor, I went on to the teaching program in graduate school for a year. During that school year, I interned for a full year at a local school, which allowed me to get a second year teaching salary. I really liked this because it allowed me to have an “option” to fall back on if teaching did not work out. I also had numerous advising sessions with my elementary education advisor. Both the teaching program and psychology program were amazing. There is absolutely nowhere I would have rather earned a degree from than the University of Tennessee.” -Student at University of Tennessee
stars-5

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598
(423) 425-4111
www.utc.edu

The University of Tennessee-Martin
University St
Martin, TN 38238-5021
(731) 881-7000
www.utm.edu

Trevecca Nazarene University
333 Murfreesboro Rd
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 248-1200
www.trevecca.edu

Tusculum College
60 Shiloh Rd
Greeneville, TN 37743
(423) 636-7300
www.tusculum.edu

Union University
1050 Union University Dr
Jackson, TN 38305-3697
(731) 668-1818

University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000
www.memphis.edu

Student Review: “My program at the University of Memphis was a very academically challenging and rigorous series of classes. Much of the workload included managing the classroom, budgeting materials, and how to work with inner-city youth and impoverished children. Which, to be honest, I was worried about because I had no experience in the area. However, after two semesters I found that the same best practices used with those children I was able to apply to all kids. Also, the student teaching experience gave me the opportunity to branch out and understand what skills I would have working with a class full of kids. The only thing I would change is the minor needed. I felt that it was just extra busy work for the institution.” -Aaron J., student at University of Memphis
stars-4

Vanderbilt University
2101 West End Av
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-7311
www.vanderbilt.edu

Welch College
1045 Bison Tr
Gallatin, TN 37066
(615) 675-5255

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-education/s/tennessee/?type=private&type=public
3. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/
4. 2017 US News Best Graduate Education Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/edu-rankings
5. 2017 US News Best Online Graduate Education Schools: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
6. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP): http://caepnet.org/provider-search
7. Tennessee State Board of Education Teacher Preparation Report Card: http://teacherprepreportcard.tn.gov/
8. National Council on Teacher Quality 2014-2016 Teacher Preparation Program Review: http://www.nctq.org/teacherPrep/2016/findings/home.do
9. US Department of Education 2016 Title II Reports: https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx