Professional Internship Program
in Interventionist and
Comprehensive Special Education
Our newly-revised, 5-year program in special education is designed to prepare highly-skilled special education teachers who can work with students who have a wide range of abilities and needs. In our new program, teacher candidates spend more time in special education content classes and field experiences. Our program has a heavy emphasis on teachers implementing high-leverage practices and research-based teaching strategies across all educational settings in both coursework and field experiences. Our curriculum is aligned with standards from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the Council for Exceptional Children’s Knowledge and Skills, and Tennessee Literacy standards. Special education courses will begin with introductory courses and classroom experiences at the sophomore year. During the junior year, courses and practicum experiences are dedicated to preparing teacher candidates with essential knowledge and skills for teaching students with learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical and health disabilities, intellectual disability, autism, and other diverse needs that impact learning. During the senior year, candidates will complete practical teaching experiences and seminar coursework that will allow them to develop skills needed for planning, teaching, assessing student learning, and developing individualized education programs (IEPs) and behavior intervention plans based on student needs. The graduate internship provides candidates with an intensive immersion into teaching. Upon completion of all requirements for the Professional Internship Program, our candidates leave with the following:
- At least 600 hours in at least six different classrooms through undergraduate field experiences plus 30+ hours per week in two different classrooms during the year-long internship
- Bachelor of Science in Education with a Concentration in Interventionist (K-8 and 6-12) and Comprehensive (K-12) Special Education
- Master of Science in Teacher Education: Professional Internship Concentration: Interventionist and Comprehensive Special Education
- Tennessee Teacher Licensure Endorsements:
- Special Education Interventionist K-8 (Endorsement Code: 144)
- Special Education Interventionist 6-12 (Endorsement Code: 145)
- Special Education Comprehensive Program K-12 (Endorsement Code: 461)
- One year of credited teaching experience
We have several documents available that provide detailed information about the Professional Internship Program in Special Education. These documents show information about the new program including a list of required courses, course descriptions, plan of study, and field experiences handbook. All documents are located in a public OneDrive folder at this link.
Documents in the OneDrive folder include:
- List of required courses for the SPED Professional Internship Program
- Plan of study showing courses that should be taken by semester in the SPED program
- Document with catalog descriptions of all SPED courses
- The SPED Field Experiences Handbook
- SPED Full Program Information
uTrack Requirements (for first-year students)
Universal Tracking (uTrack) is an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA. uTrack requirements only affect first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering Fall 2013 or later.
Progression to the modified and comprehensive concentration requires a 2.75 cumulative GPA after a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work. A Board of Admissions will meet once each fall and spring to review applications and conduct interviews with each applicant. Students admitted to the program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 while in the program. Students must earn a grade of C or better in all teacher education courses. Students with less than a 2.75 GPA for two consecutive semesters will be dropped from the program. Students who fail to meet the standards for Professional Comptencies, Attitudes, and Dispositions (ProCADs) during the course of their fieldwork will not be retained in the major.