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Teaching Quality Initiative Program (TQI) Operational Guidelines : A-045

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

Community Colleges


The purpose of this guideline is to establish the operational guidelines for the Teaching Quality Initiative Program (TQI) for teacher preparation programs at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.


  1. Assessment and Placement Procedures
    1. Competencies
      1. Tennessee Board of Regents teacher preparation programs will maintain as their core outcomes the teacher standards identified by the Teaching Quality Initiative.
      2. These characteristics will serve as the foundation for curriculum planning, assessment, and evaluation.
    2. Assessment
      1. Tennessee Board of Regents teacher preparation programs will culminate in formal, performance-based assessment of all teacher residents based on Teaching Quality Initiative teacher standards.
      2. Final performance-based assessments will be standardized across Tennessee Board of Regents programs and will be reliable, valid, fair and representative.
    3. Placement
      1. Placement of teacher residents will be managed collaboratively between relevant Institutions of Higher Education and Local Education Agencies.
      2. Teacher residents will be placed only in settings that conform to Teaching Quality Initiative placement standards, with evidence-based practices being the foundation for training and interaction with the mentor teachers.
    4. Recruitment and selection
      1. Formal, aggressive recruitment plans and activities will be implemented by each Institution of Higher Education and by the Tennessee Board of Regents to bring in teaching candidates of the highest quality.
  2. Program Elements and Design
    1. The Teaching Quality Initiative is an integral part of the institution’s mission and academic programs. TBR teacher education programs are founded on an authentic, competency-based model that emphasizes development of content expertise and active learning in school settings. TBR teacher education programs will include the following components.
      1. Competency-based Modular Structure
        1. Professional Education components will be offered primarily in an organized, sequential modular structure.
        2. Successful completion of modules will require demonstration of relevant competencies, evaluated through sound, rigorous performance-based assessments.
        3. Successful program completion will require demonstration of all required competencies, evaluated through sound, rigorous performance-based assessments.
      2. Close Partnerships with Public Schools.
        1. Colleges of Education will develop ongoing partnerships with Local Education Agencies.  School-university partnerships will require consistent, systematic collaboration and communication between Colleges of Education and Local Education Agencies.
        2. Formal mutually-beneficial agreements between the parties are necessary components of the partnership. Agreements outline procedures and delineate responsibilities of and benefits to both sides.
      3. Problem-based Learning
        1. Modules are organized and implemented in an active, participatory environment using a Problem-based Learning format.
        2. Problem-based Learning modules will be taught by faculty who model and use evidence-based best practices. Certified expert school teachers will collaborate with university faculty in teaching modules.
        3. Problem-based Learning activities will emphasize collaborative learning among candidates and will relate directly to real-world teaching and program outcomes.
        4. Problem-based Learning cases will focus on development of competencies and characteristics that comprise TQI teacher standards.
        5. Didactic presentations and classroom seat time will clearly augment and support Problem-based Learning activities.
      4. School-based Residency
        1. Professional education classes and student teaching are combined into a comprehensive teaching residency occurring primarily during the senior year, and will replace both of these more traditional teacher education components.
        2. Preparation for pedagogy will occur primarily in actual school settings, under collaborative supervision of university faculty and mentor teachers, and is structured around authentic problem-based experiences to attain learning outcomes.
        3. Residents work closely with mentor teachers as they merge theory and practice in a real world setting.
      5. Integration of Content Coursework and Professional Educational Component
        1. Professional education faculty, content faculty, and mentor teachers will collaborate to implement and model evidence-based best practices in content courses, pedagogy preparation, and applied experiences.
        2. Professional education faculty, content faculty, and mentor teachers will collaborate systematically concerning programmatic decision-making and evaluation of student status and progress.
  3. Faculty and Staff Selection and Development
    1. Faculty and Staff Selection
      1. University faculty and mentor teachers from Local Education Agencies collaboratively plan, implement, supervise, and evaluate experiences for residents.
      2. Residents will be placed only with university faculty and mentor teachers who have met all requirements of Teaching Quality Initiative mentor standards.
    2. Professional Development
      1. Systematic professional development and training of faculty and mentor teachers is essential to program success.
      2. Professional development will be based on Teaching Quality Initiative standards and will be scheduled and available to TQI faculty and staff.
  4. Program Evaluation and Research
    1. Program Evaluation
      1. The institution is responsible for maintaining an ongoing self-evaluation and for supplying all information required by the Teaching Quality Initiative Research and Evaluation Unit for program evaluation. Feedback from self-evaluations and system reviews will be used systematically for program improvement.
      2. Evaluation will be based on
        1. implementation of the Teaching Quality Initiative program guidelines;
        2. candidate outcomes related to program competencies, employment and persistence in the field, and Local Education Agencies’ satisfaction with performance; and
        3. impact on student outcomes.
      3. Program evaluation components and outcomes will be coordinated with National Council Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and state requirements.
    2. Research
      1. A Teaching Quality Initiative Research and Evaluation Unit will collect, analyze, and report data on teaching and professional preparation in education.  These reports will provide evidence-based guidance on effective teachers and teaching practices.
      2. The Research and Evaluation Unit will implement, coordinate, and study the system-wide performance assessment system for teacher education.
      3. The Research and Evaluation Unit will collaborate with other state and local education agencies to explore characteristics of effective teachers and teaching.
  5. Phase-In
    1. The Tennessee Board of Regents Office of Academic Affairs will initiate and coordinate an implementation plan for the system-level Teaching Quality Initiative.
    2. Each TBR teacher education unit will develop a campus-wide 4-year phase-in plan that will conform to the system-wide plan. Each plan will specify annual goals and benchmarks to establish a systematic planned progression implementing the key components of the Teaching Quality Initiative. Plans must be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents Office of Academic Affairs.
    3. Phase-in plans will culminate in full program implementation of the Tennessee Board of Regents Teaching Quality Initiative each campus by fall 2013.
    4. Annual Progress Reports will be submitted to the Tennessee Board of Regents Office of Academic Affairs.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203


New Guideline Approved at Presidents Meeting May 12, 2009.