The Cumberland Plateau: Home to TN Tech’s College of Education

The Cookeville-Putnam County region has the distinction of being the largest micropolitan area in Tennessee. In this community surrounded by rich culture and breathtaking natural spaces, people visit and return to stay.

A day trip from anywhere in the state is reasonable considering the centralized location and regional hub that is Cookeville.

Here are a few of the most popular spots to visit in the area:

Burgess Falls State Park has multiple waterfalls on a 1.5 mile round-trip loop following the Falling Water River. A winding pathway leads into the gorge, with scenic views along the steep foot trail. The 136-foot waterfall is the grand finale.

Cummins Falls State Park is a recent addition to the state park system, but has been a favorite swimming hole for locals for over 100 years. Voted the 6th best swimming hole in the nation by Reader’s Choice Magazine, you’ll want to bring a towel and spend the day relaxing in the cool waters.

One of the newest state parks in the region, Window Cliff natural area, is opening to the public in April 2017. The combination of a large waterfall, swimming area, and natural bridge give the unique name to four miles of hiking trails.

The Tennessee Central Heritage Rail Trail runs through the heart of Cookeville. Connecting Cookeville to Monterey, the 19-mile track runs parallel to the historic railroad that was founded in 1884. The open space for bikers and hikers adds miles each year, and brings the community together as it winds across Tennessee Tech’s campus into town.

Proudly serving the Upper Cumberland, Tennessee Tech is just as much a part of the community as the outdoor lifestyle for residents in and around Putnam County. Students and faculty enjoy the close proximity to lakes, state parks, mountains and rivers that surround the campus, which is centrally located among three of Tennessee’s largest cities.

For over 100 years, teacher training has been a cornerstone of the university. Historically, the College of Education has maintained the honor of being one of the largest, most successful units on campus.

Students who graduate from programs in the College of Education often describe Tennessee Tech faculty and staff as family. The university has strong ties to the community and this shines through in those relationships fostered with students as they progress through their academic endeavors.

The College of Education at Tennessee Tech offers a variety of innovative on-campus, online, and hybrid degree options. With more than 30 degree programs from which to choose and four levels of degree options—bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral—students can easily identify opportunities that best meet their needs. The College of Education offers post-baccalaureate programs for initial licensure as well as add-on endorsements (ESL and special education comprehensive are just two examples) for in-service teachers in addition to the traditional undergraduate licensure program.

The College has a longstanding record of cutting-edge, technology-focused programs including the Learning Resource Center, which offers more technology for student use than the university library. The most recent addition to the College’s technological repertoire is the Vision Research Center. Students explore immersive virtual reality in education and its impact on teaching and learning. These innovative practices are then shared in P-12 school classrooms.

TTU offers STEM education opportunities, working closely with math, science, and engineering departments as well as the Millard Oakley STEM Center. Regular collaboration on grants and projects with faculty in the STEM content areas helps students stay abreast of research on curriculum and instruction in high need areas.

The College of Education has built a strong network for its teacher candidates, offering a variety of clinically rich partnerships with P-12 schools. Partnering with over 50 school districts across the state—more than any other Tennessee educator preparation provider—TTU teacher candidates select their own district placements and build relationships during their year-long residency that often lead to their first teaching job.

In addition to on-campus programs, the College offers the elementary education 2+2 program at eight community college campuses across middle and east Tennessee. Candidates complete two years at their local community college campus then seamlessly transition into TTU’s upper-division Teacher Education Program on that same community college campus to finish their last two years of the bachelor’s degree. Full-time TTU faculty members are housed at the eight campuses, and advisors, the Office of Teacher Education, and other TTU staff work closely with the off-campus cohorts to see them through to graduation and licensure.

Celebrating over 100 years of learning, innovation, and service, educator preparation at TTU fosters educational excellence for the Cumberland Plateau and beyond. Through an invaluable network of partnerships, the College of Education values and encourages a unique and rigorous experience for all learners.

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