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Department of Elementary and Special Education

The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels that will prepare you to make a positive difference in the lives of learners. The department is distinguished by faculty and students who are committed to understanding the most effective teaching strategies. Our faculty use data, experience, and technology to bring forward the best in student learning.


For prospective undergraduates, the department offers the bachelor's degree (B.S.) in Early Childhood, Interdisciplinary Studies, or Special Education.  The department's commitment to the Ready2Teach Initiative and support from the Tennessee Board of Regents provides substantial field experiences for teacher candidates through Residency I and II. Residency I and II provides teacher candidates opportunities to design, teach, assess, and reflect upon the effectiveness of behaviors and decisions made in the classroom.  Graduates of these programs are highly sought after.


 For practicing teachers or others with an interest in education looking to deepen their knowledge or strengthen their credentials,we offer the master's degree (M.Ed.) with a major in Curriculum and Instruction.  The major in Curriculum and Instruction offers concentrations in Early Childhood Education, Elementary School Education, and Middle School Education. A specialization in inclusion education is available as is a specialization leading to initial licensure. 


A Literacy Studies Ph.D Program is offered drawing upon faculty from Elementary and Special Education, Psychology, English, Speech and Theater. This program  is designed to address one of education's most pressing needs - the shortage of scholars, practitioners, administrators and policy-makers equipped to bridge the gap between the rapidly expanding body of scientific research on the development of literacy and educational practice, policy, and professional preparation. 

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