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General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Core Academic Skills Testing for Admission to the Teacher Preparation Program

Document Number: SOEDU--116 Revision #:
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 02/10/2014
Primary Author: Dean of Humanities, Education and the Arts Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 02/10/2014

General Description

Per Tennessee Department of Education requirements for Educator Preparation Programs, Schools of Education must require that candidates for teacher licensure pass the Core Academic Skills test for admission to an EPP.



Delineation of terms, policy, and procedure.


Academic Affairs, Students

Responsibility: Academic Affairs

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Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy
State statutes

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, student

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Policy Provisions


1. Applicant: A Cumberland University student applying to the Teacher Education Progression (TEP) to be admitted to a Cumberland University Teacher Educator program that leads to teacher licensure.

2. Candidate: A Cumberland University student that has been admitted to the TEP.

3. Student: An individual admitted to Cumberland University, but who has either not yet applied for the Teacher Education Progression, or who was not successful in their application.

4. Teacher Education Committee: a panel of faculty to be composed of such members as are appropriate to the candidate’s chosen program. The membership could include an ELA faculty representative, a SHEA math faculty representative, the Coordinator of Field Experiences, an Elementary or Secondary Education Program representative, the candidate’s academic advisor(s),  the university ADA designee, etc.  The Committee is to be composed of at least three faculty. The Committee will meet once only during the Fall and Spring semesters at a predetermined time.




Per Tennessee Department of Education requirements for Educator Preparation Programs, Schools of Education must require that candidates for teacher licensure pass the Core Academic Skills test for admission to an EPP. Candidates may be exempt from this requirement if ACT or SAT scores meet published state minimums.


Candidates not exempt through ACT/SAT scores must attempt all sections of the Core Academic Skills Test through ETS. Candidates must pass all sections to be admitted at Cumberland's TEP I checkpoint: Admission to Teacher Education.


If an applicant does not pass one or all of the sections, they must notify their education advisor as soon as the second set of scores is received. Failure to do so may mean that an appropriate intervention can be completed in time, and therefore that a applicant may not be admitted to a Teacher Education Program.


Applicants may be eligible for an alternative entry requirement as determined by a meeting of a Teacher Education Committee. The Committee will review the candidate's particular circumstances and determine an appropriate intervention.


Applicants must complete all requirements for the prescribed intervention within the required timeframe established by the committee in order to be admitted at the TEP I checkpoint.


Failure to do so will mean that a applicant is not admitted to a Teacher Education program at the TEP I checkpoint, and therefore cannot student teach, which will result in the student graduating with a different degree and having to pursue licensure through an alternative route if they still wish to pursue licensure after graduation.




It is recommended that any student interested in a Cumberland Teacher Education Program take the Core Academic Test during the first semester of the freshman year, as soon as the student decides to pursue teacher licensure, or immediately on entry for transfer students.


In the event that an applicant does not pass all sections of the Core Academic Skills test and notifies their advisor in a timely fashion, a Teacher Education Committee may design an appropriate Intervention.


Typically, an intervention will require:

1. the applicant to complete 20 hours of documented tutoring through ACE;

2. the applicant will also provide documentation that all coursework papers have been submitted to Smartthinking if the test section requiring intervention is other than math; and

3. any other requirement deemed necessary by the Teacher Education Committee for the applicant to demonstrate adequate master of the core academic skills required for upper level education course work and success in the teaching field.


Intervention must be completed by the end of the semester in which scores are returned or by the end of the following semester if scores are received during the last two weeks of the semester, though the Teacher Education Committee will determine the appropriate timeline on a case-by-case basis.


Immediately following the predetermined intervention completion and evidence that the plan has been followed properly, the applicant will attempt the failed section(s) of the Core Academic Skills test again. Applicants may also opt to retake the ACT/SAT before attempting the Core Academic Skills test again in an attempt to earn exempting scores.


If the applicant fails any or all of the sections of the Core Academic Skills Test again and wishes to be admitted to a Cumberland Teacher Education Program, the applicant will submit an appeal to a Teacher Education Committee.


In compliance with the Tennessee Department of Education’s published guidelines for admission to Educator Preparation Programs, the appealing applicant will “appear[s] strong on other admissions criteria established by the institution…If an appeals committee recommends that a person be admitted to teacher education despite a failing [PRAXIS] score, that decision will be predicated on strengths in several other criteria rather than on a minimal meeting of those criteria.” 


The Committee will examine the following criteria: scores on all sections of the Core Academic Skills Test, the standard error of measurement for the test, GPA in past and current classes, anecdotal assessments of the candidate from instructors and advisors, and the GPA in the courses applicable to the problem area (writing, math, and/or writing).  “Appeals procedures and criteria will take into account the Teacher Education Policy and NCATE[/CAEP] standards.”  


The university will report to the state the number of applicants admitted to its Teacher Education Progression on appeal, along with the number of candidates normally admitted.


Once admitted, decision of whether the candidate may continue on the teacher education progression rests with the appeals committee. If the committee rules against the appeal, suggestions will be provided for alternate paths such that the student may continue at the university.


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with state mandate

Consequences: Further training
Loss of priveleges

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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Academic Affairs Support Staff

Dean of Humanities, Education and the Arts

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