Program Overview

I have been very involved in the Memphis community as an undergraduate student at Rhodes. Education combines the things I loved about being in undergrad: learning and sharing knowledge in the Memphis community. I think education is the key to dismantle oppressive institutions.

-Diana Azcarate Barreto, 2018 cohort

Educational Studies at Rhodes College strives to advance justice, democracy, and equity in underserved public schools, particularly in Memphis, through our interdisciplinary programs, partnerships, scholarship, and advocacy.

Educational Studies and the educators and advocates we prepare engage theory and research while embedded in our schools and communities in order to promote understandings of problems and strategies for change that transform schools in the service of justice.

In response to the present and growing need for high-impact, culturally relevant teachers in our local urban schools, and in keeping with our commitment to the liberal arts as the basis of our academic mission, we aspire to:

  • Prepare thought leaders and teachers who can work in asset-based ways in high-needs, high-poverty school contexts;
  • Recruit recent graduates nationally from peer institutions who seek to teach in culturally relevant ways in an urban setting;
  • Recruit and retain students of color, first-generation students, and under-represented persons in the teaching profession;
  • Place high quality teachers in local public schools who will make Memphis their home, and who will become exemplary veteran educators;
  • Respond to the immense need for quality teachers and educational leaders in our city, state, and nation;
  • Become a hub in the community for dialogue, advocacy, and professional development for graduates, local teachers, and administrators.

Students will complete an intensive 14-month program (52 credits) in which they will gain substantial experience working in local schools. Each student will prepare a master’s thesis that will be defended in the final summer of the program. Students will advance through the program in a cohort-model, wherein the courses are taken in sequence with the same group of candidates, to build community, and strengthen connections to other culturally relevant educators.

Program Course Sequence
Summer 1 (1st term)       
EDUC 501: Foundations of Urban Education (4)
PSYC 511: Educational Statistics (4)
Summer 1 (2nd term):      
EDUC 500: Educational Technologies (4)
EDUC 555: Curriculum and Instruction in Urban Schools (4)
Participate in Urban Education Institute with scholar-in-residence
PSYC 522: Educational Psychology (2)
PSYC 529 or 530: Infant and Child Development (K-6) or Adolescent Psychology (2) (7-12)
URBN 530 Social Contexts of Urban Schools (4)
EDUC 510: Reading and Literacies in Content Areas (4)
EDUC 560: Methods-Centric Field Experiences (4)
EDUC 520: Urban Education, Culture, and Identity (4)
EDUC 660: Clinical Practice (student teaching) (8)
EDUC 684: Master’s Thesis I (2)
Summer 2 (1st term)     
EDUC 685: Master’s Thesis II (2)
Summer 2 (2nd term)    
EDUC 585: Capstone (with scholar-in-residence) (4)

Rhodes offers licensure in twenty endorsement areas. Each endorsement area has a corresponding content knowledge PRAXIS test. Applicants should submit PRAXIS scores with their application. 

We believe and affirm that teachers are lifelong learners. To this end, we are committed to involving the entire Educational Studies program and community in our work. Each summer, we will host a nationally recognized, visiting scholar. Participants in the institute will include undergraduate research fellows, master’s students at the beginning and end of their program, program alumni, Rhodes faculty, and local teachers seeking professional development credits. Our desire to yield teachers who have a commitment to the teaching profession has led us to structure a summer institute model that will include teachers in every stage of their development, from pre-service teacher candidates to veteran educators. Institute participants will collaborate on research, teaching, curriculum, and service projects and will have enriched learning and professional development experiences through courses and seminars with world-renowned scholars. All program alumni are invited back each summer to continue to refine and improve their practice, support and connect with other culturally relevant educators, and sustain their work as high-impact educators in our city and region.

In order to successfully graduate students will be required to demonstrate:

  • A willingness and ability to positively impact students’ learning and development as demonstrated through field experiences and clinical practice assessments conducted by program faculty and clinical educators.
  • An understanding of the expectations of the profession, including codes of ethics, professional standards of practice, and relevant laws and policies by completing the Educational Studies program requirements and all required assessments.
  • An overall GPA of 3.0. or higher in the program, a requirement determined by the Tennessee Board of Education.
  • An understanding of professional knowledge by passing the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators and separate Praxis subject tests for each area of endorsement sought.  Passing Praxis scores are determined by the Tennessee Board of Education and can be found on the ETS Tennessee requirements webpage.
  • Knowledge of the profession during the clinical practice (i.e., Student Teaching) as indicated by passing edTPA scores. Passing edTPA scores are determined by the Tennessee Board of Education and can be found on the Tennessee edTPA website.

We are not a program that graduates teachers and then leaves them to fend for themselves.  We are committed to robust teacher induction, professional development, and support of all program graduates.  We are a community of educators who work for just social and educational outcomes for students in Memphis and our region, and we will do everything in our power to support our graduates to be impactful, culturally relevant educators over the course of their teaching careers.