Cumberland University

Transitional Licensure

Transitional licensure is the only alternative licensure currently being issued in Tennessee. A Transitional License is not a full teaching license. It is issued at the request of the superintendent/director of a Tennessee school system to an individual who is employed while still completing specific licensure requirements. The license is issued for one school year at a time and always expires on August 31 following the academic school year for which it is issued. 


A Transitional License is provided to candidates that provide documentation in the form of an Intent to Hire from an approved LEA partner.  The School of Education & Public Service will collaborate with the aforementioned LEA partner on coursework, mentoring, and support needed to ensure success for all students and the candidate’s own development as a competent, caring, qualified professional educator.  

Candidates who seek eligibility for a Transitional License must complete the following requirements:

  • Provide verification of intent to hire from a school or district;
  • Submit official transcripts from all regionally accredited Universities attended for review (additional coursework may be required);
  • Enroll in MAE 5285, Practicum, in addition to any other required courses;
  • Purchase LiveText.

Course work for the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree may be taken concurrently with licensure requirements. However, candidates for licensure who are not interested in completing the full Master's degree can complete a specialized course of study to meet State Licensure requirements. This program of study will be developed based on an interview and transcript analysis. Please contact the Licensure Officer at 615-547-1313 with questions.

Candidates on a transitional license should carefully read and understand the official documentation concerning obligations of licensure candidates. Candidates must understand the difference between state licensure requirements and Cumberland degree and program requirements.

For more information on the the Tennessee Transitional License visit the State Department of Education’s Website:

Transitional License programs are individualized and must be approved by the Director of the MAT program.