2019-2020 Catalog

Educator Preparation

Cumberland University students who wish to become teacher candidates must see an advisor in an Educator Preparation Program for more information on teacher candidacy.

Specialized Requirements, Grading, and Testing Policies for Teacher Licensure

Certain programs may qualify degree completers for a Practitioner license (the initial teacher license) and are approved by the Department of Education of the State of Tennessee (Office of Teacher Licensing, 5th Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower, 710 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243-0377, telephone number 615-532-4885). For a list of the authorized types of licensure visit http://www.tn.gov/education/article/educator-prep-programs-by-provider, select Cumberland University from the drop down.

Candidates interested in obtaining a teacher's license must meet state qualifications at the time of their application for a license. Candidates must know and understand the differences between the University's requirements for graduation with the degree, and the State's requirements for a license.

Cumberland University’s Education Programs and courses are revised as necessary to meet national and professional standards and the State of Tennessee’s licensure requirements for teachers. As a result, there may be changes in the course offerings and in the program requirements for candidates preparing to become teachers. Interested candidates should stay in contact with Educator Preparation Faculty and the School’s Licensure Officer to be aware of any changes that may affect them.

Effective teachers have a thorough knowledge of subject matter as well as a complete understanding of the principles of student growth and development, of diverse learning styles, and of effective teaching methods.

Candidates are prepared in each of the above domains through the combination of the General Education Core (GEC), major requirements, and the Professional Education Core curriculum. Candidates complete an academic background in the liberal arts and sciences and master the subject matter in the major teaching field.

Each program that leads to licensure requires field experience hours prior to student teaching in certain courses required for the major. Licensure candidates must complete a professional semester of enhanced student teaching after all other degree program and Steps Through Educator Preparation Program (STEPP) requirements are fulfilled.

  • Candidates must meet licensure requirements in effect at the time of their program completion.
  • All grades for candidates seeking teacher licensure from any program must be “C” or better with the exception of ED 301 (requires “B” or better).
  • Candidates are responsible for meeting all established requirements for the STEPP checkpoints, see an education advisor. 
  • The choice of General Education Core courses may be constrained to meet mandated state requirements for licensure. Careful review with an assigned education advisor is suggested.
  • Candidates for Art or Music teacher licenses work with an Art or Music advisor and an Education advisor to ensure appropriate course selection. Please review courses of study carefully and work with advisors early and often to plan course selection.

Steps Through Educator Preparation Program (STEPP) Requirements

The Steps Through Educator Preparation Program (STEPP) is a rigorous series of requirements - in addition to the requirements of the major - that all teacher licensure candidates must complete. The TEP was designed and implemented in collaboration with our local school partners.

All details concerning the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts; the Teacher Education Program; and academic programs (majors) can be found on the Cumberland University School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts webpages for Graduate and Undergraduate Academics.

Licensure candidates must be formally admitted through Phase I (STEPP I) by completing requirements and interview. Upon full acceptance, candidates are notified of their admission to the teacher licensure program.

Candidates must successfully complete Phase II (STEPP II) by meeting established requirements, including an interview prior to the clinical experience semester. Several of the requirements of the Teacher Education Progression have fees associated with them that are not associated with university fees, and must be paid for by the candidates themselves.

Candidates must be aware that STEPP I may include additional standardized testing. Tennessee teacher licensure requirements include satisfactory completion of the Praxis II series of standardized assessments. Fees for these assessments are the responsibility of each candidate seeking licensure. For more details regarding assessment requirements, visit the Cumberland University School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts webpages for graduate and undergraduate academics.

Statement on Professional Dispositions and Academic Integrity

Candidates enrolled in the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts are preparing themselves for careers in established professions with established codes of conduct. Candidates are therefore expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, both on and off campus. 

Candidates will be visitors in clinical settings at cooperating schools and facilities, and are expected to conduct themselves as representatives of their program, this School, and the university. Candidates’ actions during field experiences or clinical practice are within the disciplinary reach of the School and the university

Candidates are also expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity for themselves, and to role model those standards to and for their peers.

A discovered pattern of the inability of the candidate to meet these dispositional and academic standards may preclude that candidate from student teaching and completing their program with teacher licensure, regardless of academic achievement. When any action of a candidate who seeks a degree from any educator program in the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts does not reflect academic integrity and professionalism, that candidate shall be called before the Teacher Education Professional Standards Committee. Any action(s) ethically or professionally questionable will be addressed by this committee. This committee will exercise its authority to resolve the matter, and its decision will be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs to be implemented. The right of appeal to appropriate University administrators is available.