Learn About Teaching & Licensing in Kentucky
Teaching in Kentucky
Teaching is one of the most rewarding career paths a person can take. If you have ever thought about becoming a teacher, then you are indeed a special person with a lifetime of challenges and rewards ahead. Since teachers are entrusted with the nation’s most precious resource—children—there are certain requirements that they must meet before entering the classroom.
Teacher certification ensures that the education that teachers provide is of consistently high quality, and it will have an ethical component so teachers can help keep kids safe. Don’t be worried, though. When you follow the process step-by-step, you will find that it’s not so hard to get a teaching license in Kentucky.
Kentucky is eager to have you join the ranks of its education professionals. Keep reading to learn how to obtain your teacher’s credentials and start enriching the lives of young kids.
Traditional Path to Certification
The standard method for becoming a teacher is to go through a state-approved college program. Kentucky has approved many programs statewide for training new teachers. While in a college or university’s education department, you will take courses and a complete mentored student-teaching that will give you the experience you need to succeed in the classroom. The following steps are required for successful completion of teacher certification:
- Complete all required coursework in a state-approved teacher prep program. If you are unsure whether your local college or university’s program is state-approved, ask the program chair or the academic dean.
- Successful completion of the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test. This test is much like the SAT or ACT, so you if you study hard, you should get a passing grade.
- Pass a subject-specific Praxis test. This test is focused on your area of expertise (math, science, computer science, K-12 education, etc.), so be sure to get a good night’s sleep beforehand to have the best chance of success.
If you know that you want to become a teacher and can get an early start in your teaching career, you have a head start on some other late bloomers. But not everyone knows they want to teach while they’re doing their undergraduate degrees. For them, the Kentucky has provided numerous alternative routes to certification so that these prospective educators have a shot at molding the hearts and minds of the state’s most precious resource—its children.
Alternative Routes to Certification
The Kentucky legislature has identified different paths to teacher certification for people with exceptional work or academic histories. They recognize that not every high-performing teacher comes through the traditional channels, so they have opened the door to other potential educators. In fact, Kentucky has eight alternative routes to teaching in public school:
- Exceptional Work Experience Certification. This route requires 10 years of documented work experience as a degreed professional, three to five letters of recommendation, and an offer of employment in a Kentucky public school. Note that the state requires a minimum 2.5 GPA in your undergraduate work and either a degree in your content area, or a passing score on the Praxis II subject-area test.
- Local District Training Program Certification. For this route, you’ll need either a 2.75 GPA or exceptional work experience, 30 hours of study in your content area or 5 years of experience in that field, and an offer of employment from a Kentucky public school. You must also pass written assessments in your specialty area. Once you meet the requirements, you will get a provisional certification that is good for one year. During that time, you can participate in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP), which will help guide you through a successful first year in the classroom.
- College Faculty Certification. This route is for people seeking to teach grades 8-12. Candidates for this option will need a master’s degree in their chosen subject, have five years of full-time teaching experience, and be eager to teach young kids. Successful candidates will enter the KTIP program with a one-year provisional certificate.
- Adjunct Instructor Certification. Adjunct instructors need to have a bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA, an offer of employment, and expertise in a specific subject area. If you would like to teach youth in a vocational field, you need four years of experience in your field and a high school diploma. Adjunct instructors can never become fully certified. However, this is a way to gain experience in a school while meeting academic or other qualifications in off-hours.
- Veterans of the Armed Forces. Veterans are also encourage to become a part of the Kentucky educational system. To enter the teaching profession in this way, you’ll need six years of military experience, an honorable discharge, a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and passing scores on subject-matter assessments, such as the Praxis II subject-matter test. If you meet the qualifications for this program, you might also be eligible for a stipend through Troops to Teachers, if you can teach in a high-need school.
- University-Based Alternative Route to Certification. This option is for people who want to return to a college or university program while also teaching in a school. First, you must already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and meet university admission requirements. As you study, you’ll have a provisional certification and be part of KTIP. You will have three years to complete your educational requirements and must also pass a subject-assessment test, such as Praxis II.
- Institute Alternative Route to Certification. This route is for those with a 3.0 GPA or a professional graduate degree in an area appropriate to your chosen area of certification. You must also have a score of 500 on the verbal section of the GRE and a 4 on the analytical writing portion. Math/Science teachers need a minimum 450 on the quantitative portion of the GRE. If you pass that portion, the Praxis II in your area should be a breeze, but do make sure to prepare well with practice tests and test prep, if you think you need it. You will also need an offer of employment in an area of specialty though the Option 7 program.
- Teach for America (TFA). This program is currently a pilot program in Kentucky. Through TFA, you can receive a provisional teaching certificate for one year. That certification will be renewable for up to three years for those with a bachelor’s degree who have an offer of employment from a Kentucky school, who meet the TFA criteria and complete their training, and who pass content assessments, such as the Praxis II.
There Are Many Reasons for Teaching in Kentucky
Kentucky is one of the most advanced states when it comes to recruiting teachers through alternative teacher certification. The determination to provide top-quality education for their students means you have more ways to become a teacher. After all, teaching is all about the students, and teachers are as different as their students.
Please consult the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board website for the most up-to-date information on becoming a teacher. The Education Professional Standards Board will show you the way to your first classroom!
Source: Education Professional Standards Board
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