This webinar was recorded on October 9th, 2023. It provides an overview of the first nine months of the center’s work and plans for the future.


March 2020: Grow Your Own initiative launched in alignment with the Tennessee Department of Education “Best for All” strategic plan.

August 2020: First round of Tennessee Grow Your Own partnerships launched in Clarksville-Montgomery and Austin Peay State University.

October 2020: Tennessee Department of Education awarded $2 million in grant funding to seven Educator Preparation Programs in Tennessee to form or expand Grow Your Own partnerships.

June 2021: Tennessee Department of Education awarded $4.5 million to Grow Your Own partnerships, increasing the overall investment to $6.5 million to a total of 65 partnerships between 14 education preparation providers and 63 local education agencies.

January 2022: The Tennessee Grow Your Own model becomes the first nationally approved permanent Teacher Occupation Apprenticeship program.

May 2022: The Tennessee Department of Education and the University of Tennessee System launched the Tennessee Grow Your Own Center to develop further innovative educator credentialing, garner additional endorsements and create more opportunities for professional development.

September 2022: First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visit the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to demonstrate their support in strengthening the teacher pipeline through Tennessee’s Grow Your Own initiative and the Grow Your Own Center.

January 2023: The inaugural Grow Your Own Center team is hired, and 214 registered teacher apprentices enroll in addition to the 98 enrolled from the fall of 2022.

February 2023: The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) and Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) announce a partnership to secure continued investment and financial commitment (10% of TDLWD apprenticeship funding) for registered teacher apprenticeship.

May 2023: The governor’s budget is approved reflecting an ongoing $5M allocation for Tennessee’s Grow Your Own work to continue.

December 2023: A cumulative total of 708 aspiring educators enrolled as registered teacher apprentices (includes community college), and 91% are either still enrolled or have completed.