Teacher Licensure

Education majors on the Teaching and Learning Track may choose to pursue teacher licensure through Rhodes College. The licensure program prepares students to teach in either elementary schools or in middle and high schools in one of thirteen endorsement areas: American Government, English, History, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Spanish, French, German, Latin, Russia, and Chinese. All secondary licensure candidates are required to double major in Educational Studies and their endorsement discipline. Elementary licensure does not require a double major.

Majors considering licensure should go ahead and apply in the fall semester of their junior year after declaring their major. Application to the teacher licensure program requires three things:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater
  2. One of the following:
    • Passing score on all three PRAXIS I Core Academic Skills for Educators (minimum passing scores are 156 on Reading, 162 on Writing, and 150 on Mathematics) 
    • ACT score of 24
    • SAT score of 1100
  3. A 500-700 word essay

To apply to licensure, you must first email your essay (number 3 above) to this address: Teacher.x6b920eomu8xnzum@u.box.com. The file should be a Word document or PDF. The file name should be your year of intended graduation, first name, last name (e.g., 2007josephkelly.pdf). Respond to this essay prompt in 500-700 words:

Teaching is a complex and demanding profession. As an aspiring teacher, how will you navigate this complexity in ways that will best support your students? In particular, how will you make your classroom an inclusive and culturally relevant space where students of all races, genders, sexual identities, social classes, religions, and abilities will learn in powerful ways? Focus on the skills and dispositions that you bring to teaching, your commitments to working with young people, and what makes you want to gain certification in this program.

Once you have emailed your essay, complete this form (providing information about 1 and 2 above).


What if I want to teach in a state other than Tennessee?

Licensure to teach is a function of state governments. Institutions and agencies that offer licensure are approved by their respective state departments and boards of education. Tennessee licensure is transferable to all 50 states; some states may require additional exams or content. A guide to certification reciprocity is available through Certification Map. https://certificationmap.com/states/reciprocity-disclaimer/ Students wishing to teach in other states are advised to review the licensure requirements on the appropriate state's department of education website.

What if I don't meet the requirements for admission into the program?

Candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements may be able to be admitted on appeals. Admission on appeals is allowed for the GPA but not for the PRAXIS, ACT, or SAT requirement. In lieu of a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the college, candidates can be admitted if they have a 3.0 GPA for courses in the educational studies major. Candidates who do not have a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the college do not have to do anything special to be admitted on appeals. The Teacher Licensure Coordinator will automatically review transcript information and determine eligibility.