Click on questions below to expand answer

Q: Who may apply to the Special Education Institute?

A: Anyone who teaches in a Tennessee public school system. Preference is given to those teachers who teach special education on a waiver or permit or alternative license. General education teachers who teach students with disabilities may attend but must pay for tuition, fees, materials, and housing (if needed). In the pre-school portion of the Institute those teaching in a pre-k special education setting or plan to transfer to that setting next year are eligible. They do not have to be on a waiver, permit, or alterative license. Something new this year, educational assistants in special education settings are also eligible for the Institute.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Applications for the institute can be downloaded from the web or received from the special education supervisor in your school system. Applications usually are sent to the supervisors in mid-March or early April. The special education supervisor from your school system must sign the application before it can be considered. Follow the directions on the application and on the supplemental instruction page for UTM. You may access the supplemental application instruction page by clicking here.

Q: How do I know what classes to take?

A: If you are teaching special education on a waiver or permit, you need a program of study (courses you must take to receive certification in special education). If you want UTM to recommend you for certification, you need to send the certification coordinator (Jenny Hahn, 205 Gooch Hall, Martin, TN 38238) your transcript and ask her to send you a program of study for special education. If you are a general education teacher, two recommended courses are SpEd 440/640: Advanced Methods and SpEd 460/660: Behavior Interventions.

Q: When will I know if I have been accepted

A: Some time at the end of May or the first of June, after the approved list of participants is received from the state department, we will send you a packet of information about the UTM institute and forms to complete. If you have not received that package around the middle of June, please give us a call to check the status of your application. No one will be allowed to register for courses unless the packet of forms has been completed and returned to the institute office prior to the first day of courses! Each participant is assigned a special code in BANNER that allows you to register for institute courses. If you do not return your packet of forms, you will not be assigned the institute code and, therefore, will be unable to register for the courses you want to take.

Q: Is the Special Education Institute Application the only application I have to complete?

A: No! Since you receive college credit for the courses you take in the institute, you must apply for admission to the University. You may apply for graduate admission or undergraduate admission. If you are not seeking a full master's or bachelors degree from UTM, you should apply as a non-degree seeking student. HOWEVER, if you think you might want to use the special education courses later to fulfill a master's degree, you need to apply as a degree-seeking student since limited courses can be used toward a master's degree if taken as non-degree seeking credit. If you'll write "SI" on the top of your application, your application fee will be paid by the institute. Apply early so that if you need to send more application materials, you will have time to be fully admitted before the institute begins. NOTE: Graduate admission requirements will be changed effective Fall, 2006 and you will have to have the GRE, so give yourself plenty of time to complete all admission requirements if you are applying after Summer, 2007.

Q: If I am seeking certification from another university, may I still attend the UTM institute?

A: Yes. However, make sure the courses you take here at the UTM institute will count toward your certification requirements from another university. It is highly recommended that you take the course descriptions for the courses you wish to take at UTM to the certification officer at your university to have them approved. In the past, students have taken courses at UTM that were not accepted at another university. It is your responsibility to verify what the certifying university will accept from UTM.

Q: If I attended last summer, do I still have to apply to the institute and the university again this summer?

A: Yes. Each year, you must complete a state application. If you ever allow a semester to go between your admission and taking classes, you must re-apply for admission to the university, as well. For example, if you take courses in the summer, sit out in the fall and want to take classes in the spring, you have to re-apply. Or, if you take classes in the summer and/or fall and sit out during the spring, you have to re-apply. If you are taking a course in the spring at UTM, you do not have to re-apply for admission to the university for the summer.

Staff for the 2012 Institute

Cherry Watts 

Sharline Price
Coordinator (May-July)

Hillary Peterson
Materials Coordinatior



Other Contact Information

University of TN-Martin
205H Gooch Hall 
Martin, TN 38238 
Phone: 731-881-7212
Fax: 731-881-7956

Undergraduate Programs

We offer undergraduate programs in Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, and Special Education.

View Programs >


Conceptual Framework for Programs

The purpose of the Educator Preparation Program at UT Martin is to provide education professionals with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to become effective facilitators of learning.

View Conceptual Framework for Initial Programs >