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Effective partnerships between education preparation providers (EPPs) and districts are an important component of the department’s strategic plan to strengthen educator development. In 2014, The State Board of Education (SBE) revised the Educator Preparation Policy 5.504 to require EPPs to develop formalized partnership agreements with their district partners. These partnership agreements detail how they will collaborate to ensure that candidates meet the district needs (demographic and skill-specific) and how educator candidates will participate in high-quality clinical experiences.

Partnership Agreement Tools

The following partnership agreement tools and guidelines are now available for EPP use when executing partnership agreements with school districts:

Partnerships Overview – A summary of expectations for the two types of EPP-LEA partnership agreements.

Primary Partnership Agreement – Establishes how an EPP and primary partner district will collaboratively engage to meet key partnership expectations. EPPs must have a primary partnership agreement with at least one district where candidates are placed for any portion of their clinical experience.

State-recognized Partnership Agreement – Establishes the roles and responsibilities of EPP faculty and district staff regarding the delivery of candidate support and evaluation. EPPs must have a state-recognized partnership agreement with all districts where educator candidates are placed for any portion of their clinical experience if there is not a current primary partnership agreement.

Primary Partnership Agreement Planning Template – EPPs and primary partner districts may use this template to document the collaborative activities conducted as a part of partnership planning.

Partnership Agreement Outcomes Template – EPPs and partner districts may use this form to document outcomes from both primary and state-recognized partnerships.

Contact with questions related to primary and state-recognized partnership agreements.

Preparation through Partnership

In 2017, the department released Preparation through Partnership: Strengthening Tennessee’s New Teacher Pipeline, a report that compares the demand for teachers to the supply of teachers with particular subject-area specializations and the effectiveness and confidence with which new teachers enter the classroom. In the report, the department also explores the state’s role in educator preparation and provides a series of recommendations for districts and EPPs to collaboratively support this work going forward.

Out-of-State Educator Preparation Programs

Out-of-state EPPs must submit district partnership agreements to the Tennessee Department of Education in order to receive partnership recognition in the state and place candidates in Tennessee school districts. This allows the out-of-state EPP to recommend a candidate for licensure while completing a job-embedded clinical practice. Prior to a candidate’s placement in a Tennessee school, the EPP must complete a request for recognition of out-of-state EPPs with the school district. Once completed, the agreement must be signed by both the out-of-state EPP and the Tennessee school district and submitted to the department along with any associated items.

For questions regarding out-of-state partnerships or access to the request for recognition of out-of-state EPPs document, please contact