Apr 17, 2021  
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Education

Kimberly King-Jupiter, Ph.D., Dean
Office: 118 Clay Education Building
(615) 963-5446


Heraldo Richards, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Office:112 Clay Education Building
(615) 963-5620



The College of Education aspires to be a place where students at both initial and advanced levels explore current research as they prepare to become competent and caring professionals who are able to work effectively with diverse populations.

Further, the College of Education seeks to provide students with global education opportunities, to inspire them toward a demonstrated commitment to service for others, and to provide them with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to excel in their chosen professions.


The mission of the College of Education is to prepare teachers, counselors, psychologists, and administrators to work effectively with schools and communities.

Additionally, the College of Education provides all students with the technological skills, knowledge and commitment to diversity necessary for the provision of global and community service, and demonstration of professional excellence.


  1. To prepare elementary and secondary teachers, counselors,supervisors, administrators, school psychologists, counseling psychologists, special educators, and recreation workers, and wellness experts.
  2. To provide opportunities for faculty and students to pursue research and its uses in solving the problems of education, mental and physical health.
  3. To provide students with opportunities for knowledge and understanding of the multicultural society in which they live and their relationship and responsibility in such a society.
  4. To provide a sound program of guidance and to work cooperatively with other departments and colleges of the University in implementing the program.

Graduate studies in the College of Education are designed to prepare students for service in a variety of educational settings. Graduates have obtained positions as administrators, leaders, curriculum coordinators, guidance counselors, school psychologists, organizational counselors, elementary and secondary teachers, physical education professionals, mental health specialists, special education teachers, and administrators of recreational services. Graduates are also finding job opportunities in government, industry, religion, business, community agencies, and higher education.

Teacher Education and Student Services

Heraldo Richards, Ph.D., Associate Dean

Post-baccalaureate candidates who wish to obtain licensure as a teacher, guidance counselor, school psychologist, or K-12 school administrator should work closely with the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services. Candidates’ transcripts will be analyzed by the office to determine which courses candidates will need for licensure or endorsement. Admission to the teacher education program is handled through the Office of Teacher Education, while admission to a graduate degree program is handled through the Office of Graduate Studies. Admission should be sought after the first semester of coursework. Teacher licensure candidates must pass their relevant Praxis II tests prior to registering for student teaching or practicum. For more information please contact the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services in Room 112 Clay Hall or by phone at (615)-963-5459.

Administrator License Requirements

Administrator licensure requirements are established by the State Board of Education. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) and the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degrees in Instructional Leadership are designed to provide candidates with courses necessary to achieve the Instructional Leadership License-Beginning (ILL-B) in Tennessee. Aside from the requirements of the degree, all candidates seeking administrative licensure must meet admission requirements and must participate in a licensure specific interview process facilitated by university faculty and Local Education Agency (LEA) participants. Both university faculty and LEA participants must make a recommendation for admission into the licensure degree program. Additionally, all candidates for licensure must take and pass the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA) and the Comprehensive Examination. Students seeking administrative licensure only and not a degree must also meet the above mentioned requirements. Please note that licensure course requirements as subject to change in order to comply with any state mandated changes.

Transitional Licensure

Tennessee State University offers a transitional Licensure program in partnership with local education agencies (e.g., Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools) and the Tennessee Department of Education. To be eligible for the program, candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree must have verifiable knowledge of the teaching content area of interest and present a letter of intent to hire as the teacher of record from a local education agency. Once admitted to the program, candidates may renew the Transitional License no more than two times, provided satisfactory progress is made toward the completion of the program. Candidates may teach on a transitional license for a maximum of three years. Please contact the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services for further information.

Master’s Degree

Master of Education Degree (M.ED.)

The Master of Education degree is offered in the following education programs: Instructional Leadership, Elementary Education, Special Education, and Curriculum and Instruction. See specific program requirements under departmental sections.

The special requirements for the Master of Education degree include successfully completing a course in research methodology and a two-part comprehensive examination: one covering the field of professional education, the other the student’s field of concentration. The comprehensive examination is taken in the last semester of enrollment. Certain programs or concentrations may have additional requirements.

Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is offered in Psychology. Information presented above regarding the Ed.D. degree is also applicable to the Ph.D. degree in Psychology with the exception of the residency requirement and the curriculum. Please refer to the departmental section of this Catalog for details of these programs.

Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.)

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Degree provides professional training for careers in teaching, educational leadership, and related educational services. The degree is offered in Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Leadership.

Transfer Credits

Students who have earned hours above the master’s degree will be allowed to apply a maximum of 6 hours credit to the Doctor of Education degree. Credit for these 6 hours will be granted at the time the student advances to candidacy provided the hours are from a regionally accredited institution authorized to offer graduate work beyond the master’s degree, the grade of “B” or above has been earned, and the hours are applicable to the student’s Doctor of Education program. Credit will not be extended to include workshops, extension courses or short-term courses. In special circumstances, students may be allowed to transfer up to twelve (12) hours (e.g., student has two Master’s).

Students admitted to a doctoral. degree program who have been awarded the Ed.S. degree from accredited institutions may be granted full credit for a maximum of thirty hours if the hours are applicable to student’s program. Students who have completed their Ed.S. degrees at other institutions must meet residency requirements and must take at least six (6) semester hours of major area courses at TSU. Students who transfer core courses from other institutions must have earned at least a “B” in each course. All post Master’s Degree transfer hours (excluding the Ed.S.) applied to the doctoral degree must have been taken within the last ten (10) years.

Residency Requirement

Students in a doctoral program must establish academic residency by completing a minimum of eighteen (18) hours over a period of four (4)academic year semesters or two (2) academic year semesters and two (2) summer registrations (2 sessions per one summer equals one registration).

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available in the College of Education for students who have the doctoral degree of Education as their objective. These assistantships employ students as teaching, research, and administrative assistants. The appointments provide a stipend for twenty (20) hours of work each week. Tuition and maintenance fees are not waived; however, out-of-state tuition is waived.

Doctoral Advisor

During the student’s first semester of enrollment, the Department Head appoints a faculty member to serve as the student’s advisor. This person advises the student concerning programmatic requirements and planning the program of study.

Doctoral Committee

The dissertation advisory committee consists of four faculty members who have graduate faculty status. At least three of them must be faculty members from the department in which the degree is sought. The fourth member must be a member of the graduate faculty from another department. This external person is typically identified by the thesis chairperson or the Dean of the graduate school. For dissertations, all four members of the advisory must be in place prior to the proposal meeting.

Academic Load for Doctoral Students

Students who have made arrangements to pursue studies on a full-time basis may take twelve (12) hours per semester with the approval of the chair of their doctoral committee.

Students awarded graduate assistantships must take at least nine (9) hours per semester to fulfill the obligations of the assistantship.

Academic Standards

Grades of “C” or lower cannot count toward the doctoral degree, nor does the grade of “C” or lower meet eligibility requirements for the Qualifying or Comprehensive Examinations.

Change of Doctoral Major

If a student wishes to change from one major to another, both the current department and the prospective department must be aware of the possible change. The student who wishes to change majors must file with the Graduate School the following items:

  1. A “Change of Program” form.

After this form is filed with the Graduate School, it is forwarded to the appropriate department. An admission committee in the department reviews the request. If desired, an interview with the student is arranged by the committee. After reviewing all materials the committee makes a recommendation concerning the requested change.

Time Limitation for Credits

Credits earned more than ten (10) years prior to the student’s graduation cannot be applied toward meeting requirements for the doctoral degree. This limitation applies to all post-master’s degree credit, excluding Educational Specialist study.

Excluding prerequisites, a student is eligible to take the Qualifying Examination after completing a minimum of twelve (12) hours and a maximum of twenty-one (21) hours (EDAD 6000 , EDAD 7120  or EDCI 7120 , and EDAD 7180  must be included in these hours) and maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination is an assessment instrument used in planning or modifying student programs. It is three (3) hours in length and covers the following areas:

  1. Research Methods;
  2. Statistics /Computer Applications;
  3. Major Area of Specialization.

Excluding prerequisites, a student is eligible to take the Qualifying Examination after completing a minimum of twelve (12) hours and a maximum of twenty-one (21) hours (EDAD 6000 , EDAD 7120  or EDCI 7120 , and EDAD 7180  must be included in these hours) and maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Students who have completed twenty-one (21) hours and have not taken the Qualifying Examination may not take additional courses, unless they are required prerequisites, without the written permission of the Dean of the College of Education. Courses taken without permission will not count in meeting degree requirements.

Performance on the Qualifying Examination is assessed by evaluation teams composed of faculty in the areas tested. Performance is assessed on a pass-fail basis. In the event of a failure, the evaluation team makes recommendations for remediation.

The student’s Doctoral Advisor may recommend that the student be permitted to prepare for re-examination. In this event, the student and advisor, using the recommendations made by the evaluation team, will plan a program of study including independent study, additional course work, or both.

The student may take the Qualifying Examination a maximum of three (3) times. A third failure of any portion of the examination will result in the student’s dismissal from the doctoral program.


A student is admitted to candidacy after the successful completion of the Qualifying Examination and submission of an approved program of study to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Comprehensive Examination

The Comprehensive Examination is a written examination administered in blocks of six to twelve hours. The examination will be given on days as determined by each department. All departments are responsible for either a written comprehensive examination or comprehensive project. Please see individual department requirements. A candidate may not enroll in Dissertation until the semester following the one in which the Comprehensive Examination is passed.

A doctoral candidate is eligible to take the Comprehensive Examination when the following criteria have been met:

  1. Qualifying examination passed;
  2. Seventy-five (75) percent of major field and seventy-five (75) percent of electives completed;
  3. All core requirements completed;
  4. Written approval from the candidate’s committee chairperson received;
  5. A 3.0 grade point average maintained.

Re-Examination for The Comprehensive Examinations

In the event a student fails the Comprehensive Examination, or sections of it, the doctoral committee may recommend that the candidate be permitted to prepare for re-examination. In this event, the student and major advisor will develop a written remediation plan which may include independent study, further course work, or both. The student’s credit hour requirements may thus be extended. A copy of this remediation plan must be approved by the program and/or department head and a copy placed in the student file.

A student may take the Comprehensive Examination a maximum of three (3) times. A third failure by a candidate shall result in the student’s dismissal from the doctoral program.


Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination and all course work, the student is eligible to begin work on the dissertation. The initial step shall be the development of a proposal to be circulated to the student’s doctoral committee. Approval of the proposal shall constitute formal approval to pursue the research project described therein.

After the first enrollment in dissertation credit, the student shall continue to enroll (fall, spring, summer) in dissertation credit until the dissertation is completed and accepted by the Graduate School. Students will pay the usual fees and tuition for dissertation research until they have earned a maximum of fifteen (15) hours of credit. After earning fifteen hours credit, students pay a discounted flat fee for additional enrollments in dissertation research. Students must enroll for at least two semesters of dissertation research.

In addition to the writing style required by the student’s department, the student must follow the regulations governing style and format established by the Graduate School in Guidelines for the Preparation of Dissertations, Theses, Projects and Course Papers. Failure to do so could result in extensive costly revisions.

Upon completion of the dissertation, the defense of the dissertation will be scheduled. The oral defense of the dissertation is publicized in advance and open to the public. Discussion of the outcome of the defense, however, is between the candidate and his/her committee.

Department of Educational Leadership

Go to information for Department of Educational Leadership.


Master of Education

Doctor of Education

Educational Specialist


Educational Administration

Department of Psychology

Go to information for Department of Psychology.


Master of Science

Doctor of Philosophy



Department of Teaching and Learning

Go to information for Department of Teaching and Learning.


Master of Education

Doctor of Education


Teaching & Learning


Special Education