Becoming a teacher in Kentucky requires a series of steps that can vary depending on the level of education a person desires to teach.
- Potential educators are generally required to complete a four-year teacher preparation program in order to earn the base teaching certification for the state.
- In Kentucky, there are seven types of base teaching certifications available and students should choose carefully according to the grade level that they desire to teach.
- Earning a bachelor's degree is typically the base requirement in order to apply for a teaching certificate.
- Once certification is earned, teachers can apply for additional endorsements to add to it. Endorsements available are tied to the subject matter a teacher would prefer to focus on and can become the teacher's specialty.
Although a bachelor's degree is typically the terminal degree for teachers in elementary, middle and high school, further education is generally required for those who wish to teach at the college and university level. Requirements may vary, but teachers and professors at postsecondary institutions are usually required to have a master's or doctoral degree.
Areas of Teaching Specializations in Kentucky
There are a variety of focuses and specialties available for those who wish to become a teacher in the Bluegrass State. Students may choose from areas such as:
- Adult Education
- Special Education
- School Administration
- Educating Gifted Children
Potential teachers also need to decide what grade they want to teach to be able to reach the educational and certification requirements needed. Students should visit the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board website in order to learn more about specific certification requirements.
Kentucky Teacher Licensing Requirements
To earn a position as a teacher in Kentucky, students should earn a bachelor's degree from a state-approved teacher preparation program. Then:
- Once the teacher preparation program is finished, students are required to pass the Praxis II test for each area of certification they are applying for.
- Students must complete the Principles of Learning and Teaching test for the appropriate grade range with a passing score.
- Typically they also have to submit a completed TC-1 application, their college transcripts, as well as recommendation from the school where they finished their teacher preparation program.
For educators who earned their teaching certificate from a different state, it's possible to become certified in Kentucky. Out-of-state educators will need to fill out a TC-1 application, and have Section II of that application completed by their superintendent. Teachers who have two or more years of experience in their subject area will have the Praxis II Specialty Area test waived, but all others will have take it. Individuals can find more information on the certification FAQ's section of the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board website.
Alternate Paths to Teaching in Kentucky
Other routes may be taken toward becoming a teacher in Kentucky:
- Those with exceptional work experience can apply for a teacher's license if they meet certain criteria. These candidates typically need to create a portfolio of their experience to be reviewed by the state's Education Professional Standards Board.
- Some candidates may be able to apply through the university-based route offered by the state. This means that students may be able to earn a teacher's certification while maintaining employment with a school district. Under these circumstances, a student can maintain employment as a teacher with a Temporary Provisional Certificate offered by one of the teacher internship programs in the state.
The state of Kentucky also offers several other alternate routes to become a Kentucky teacher — and it's important to check with your college or university to verify all requirements. For more information, you can visit the alternate routes to teacher certification page on the Education Professional Standards Board.
- Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification, epsb.ky.gov, http://www.epsb.ky.gov/certification/certaltroutes.asp
- Certification, kyepsb.net, http://www.kyepsb.net/certification/index.asp
- Education Professional Standards Board, Kentucky.gov, http://www.kyepsb.net/index.asp
- Kentucky Education Association, kea.org, http://www.kea.org/
- "Certification FAQ's," Education Professional Standards Board, Kentucky.gov, http://www.kyepsb.net/certification/certFAQ.asp