Cumberland University

Teacher Education Progression Phase I

Cumberland Students who wish to be considered for Teacher Licensure must meet all of Tennessee's requirements for an initial teacher's license as described here. To meet these requirements, Cumberland Students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Progression Phase I (TEP I) to become a Candidate for licensure. Candidates must then pass additional requirements before being placed in schools for student teaching.

University students who intend to attain a Tennessee teacher's license must complete the TEP process. This includes formal admission to the Teacher Education Progression, which is separate from the process of admission to the university. Admission to the Teacher Education Progression is a prerequisite for upper division Professional Education Core courses. Students interested in becoming a candidate for teacher licensure should therefore complete the requirements for program admission by the end of their Sophomore year, or immediately upon transfer to Cumberland. Students who fail to gain entry to the Teacher Education Progression may complete an alternative degree at Cumberland University. 

Potential candidates should visit with an advisor in the Teacher Education Programs early and often to ensure that they are on track to be admitted to and to complete the TEP process, and attend the Mandatory Advisor Meetings held each semester. 

To become a Candidate, university students must meet all of the requirements for admission to the TEP as described in previous pages of the TEP Handbook and those below during the semester of the TEP I Interview*:
  • MEET THE FIVE CONDITIONS UNDER  2. Required of all initial Teacher Licensure candidates
  • Successfully complete a formal interview with the Teacher Education Committee.
  • Candidates will have a minimum 2.75 GPA (Cumberland University and cumulative);
  • Candidates will have a dispositions ratings form completed for them, from either their advisor, another faculty member from whom they have taken a course, or a member of the educational community beyond Cumberland (e.g., a cooperating teacher from pre-student teaching field experiences) - ask those individuals to email the School of Humanities, Education & the Arts Administrative Assistant  to get the link;
  • Candidates will have earned grades of "C" or better in currently completed coursework (course work requirements may vary), or have in writing a formalized plan approved by teacher education faculty for demonstration of content mastery;
  • Admission must be approved by a majority vote of the Teacher Education Committee.

*Candidates who do not complete all of these requirements in the same semester as their TEP I interview will have to reinterview with the Teacher Education Committee.


Rubrics, dispositions ratings sheets and interview ratings sheets used in this process may all be viewed under "Assessments" in this handbook.

Successful Progression to TEP II:

Students will successfully complete Phase I and be eligible for Phase II if they:
  • Demonstrate that they have thus far met the requirements of their particular program as stated in the CU catalog.
  • Successfully complete Field Experience assignments in all courses requiring them.
  • Have no record demonstrating a pattern of compromised academic integrity on file with the Dean of Students Office.
  • Have demonstrated to faculty and school partners dispositions (measurable and observable attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about students and teaching) and conduct ensuring success in the teaching profession.

Formal Interview

Candidates must complete a formal interview with a committee of School of Education faculty to be accepted into the TEP I and TEP II progressions and to complete the Professional Student Teaching semester. Please come by Bone Hall to sign up for an interview time and to be aware of paperwork requirements and submission dates.

The interview will be conducted in the following manner:

  • Professional dress and manner are expected at the interview.
  • The interview panel will be composed of at least three Cumberland University Faculty; P-12 administrators or faculty, or other community members may be invited to serve on the panel.
  • One of the panelists will serve as the facilitator.
  • The facilitator will ask each candidate the same questions. Panelists may ask the candidate for clarification of responses.
  • Interviews are scheduled in 1/2-hour blocks.
  • Panelists will complete a rating sheet for each candidate.

There are two possible outcomes to the interview:

  1. Acceptance: the candidate is accepted into the Teacher Education Progression, Phase I.
  2. Denied acceptance: the candidate is denied progression through the checkpoint unless specific conditions are met in the same semester of the interview; if not, candidates may reapply the following semester. Candidates may only reapply once.