Martin Methodist College (now the University of Tennessee Southern) and the Grace Grissom School of Education are pleased to announce the new Special Education (SPED) Interventionist Kindergarten-8th grade licensure program, beginning fall 2021.
“For many years, UTS (formerly MMC)’s partner school districts have communicated their need for SPED teachers,” said UTS (formerly MMC)’s Education Chair Dr. Grace Meier. “The Grissom School of Education is pleased to provide highly-qualified instructors for the region.”
“The addition of the SPED licensure program at UTS (formerly MMC) will provide an exceptional opportunity to our local educators who want to advance their licensure and enhance their career opportunities,” added Giles County Director of Schools Dr. Vickie Beard. “There is a growing need for SPED teachers, so this announcement couldn’t come at a better time.”
A necessary addition to address the needs of Giles County, Tenn., and the surrounding communities regarding the lack of SPED teachers in the region, the newly-established SPED program at UTS (formerly MMC) will challenge candidates to master the pedagogy of the standards taught in the appropriate interventionist licensure program. Through major area and professional education courses, candidates will be given many opportunities to engage in and reflect upon the planning and implementation of unit/lesson plans, journals, learning centers, and other projects and assignments targeting the diverse students of the rural Southern Middle Tennessee geographic area and beyond.
SPED candidates will be placed with as highly a diversified cross-section of students as possible in the Southern Middle Tennessee partnership counties that UTS (formerly MMC) serves. The SPED major will prepare SPED candidates for teaching in the classroom by helping them grow in the areas of using technology, interacting with students, assessing student learning, managing a diverse culture, appreciating multicultural and exceptional children, and focusing on strategies that engage students in cooperative and collaborative activities
SPED teacher candidates will work to achieve the following three expected outcomes: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to succeed in careers within the field; complete an undergraduate degree or post-baccalaureate program including a 15-week clinical practice and seminar course which incorporates an edTPA SPED portfolio, required for an Interventionist teaching license in Tennessee, in the last semester of their senior year; and pass all appropriate exams.
“I am very excited about this addition to UTS (formerly MMC)’s Grissom School of Education,” said Pulaski Mayor and UTS (formerly MMC) Business Instructor Pat Ford. “The need for SPED teachers not only in our community but also our surrounding regions is overwhelming. Having worked with the SPED youth for almost 30 years as an active leader in the local Special Olympics, I’ve garnered an understanding of their needs, and I think this new licensure program will produce exceptional teachers in Special Education.”
The University of Tennessee Southern, formerly Martin Methodist College, is the newest member of the University of Tennessee System. Founded in 1870 , UTS offers (number of degrees) associate, baccalaureate and graduate degrees. UTS is located on an historic campus in Pulaski, among the beautiful rolling hills of southern Middle Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Southern is convenient to both Nashville (70 miles north) and Huntsville, Alabama (40 miles south).