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Teaching License Updated August 14, 2014

Kentucky Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in Kentucky

By Room 241 Team August 14, 2014

Choosing to become a certified teacher is a noble career choice and knowing the steps to take to qualify for a state license in the state where you want to work is an important first step. There are several ways to become a teacher in Kentucky. Getting the education and fulfilling the basic comprehensive requirements will prepare you for state licensing in Kentucky and will also prepare you for a successful career.

Requirements for certified teachers in Kentucky

The Education Professional Standards Board in Kentucky maintains requirements for all teaching licenses and administrative certifications, as well as research projects and agenda for these positions. The board also publishes information relevant to the quality of preparedness and practice for each candidate seeking a teaching certification. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and a teacher preparation program (commonly included in education degrees) are also required.

The grade level and particular subjects you will be certified in are known as endorsements. Many times, teachers are first certified in one area, such as early childhood education, but earn additional endorsements by taking continuing education programs in more areas. Additional endorsements to a teaching license can further your career.

To gain a teaching certification in Kentucky, you must pass the PRAXIS Series Test, which will evaluate your teaching skills and knowledge in various subjects. New teachers must enroll in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program, which is designed to help teachers succeed in their first year.

You must submit all appropriate forms and fees for certification and be able to verify for assessment any additional options or endorsements you might desire to earn for Kentucky certification. A criminal background check along with your fingerprints are also required at the time of application.

Jobs for licensed teachers in Kentucky

There are many types of Kentucky teaching certifications, separated by grade level, specialization, and endorsement. Base teaching certificates include Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Elementary/Middle/Secondary School, and Exceptional Children, a specialty serving students with learning, behavior, or communication disorders and physical disabilities. A full list of teaching certifications in the state is available at the Kentucky EPSB.

Teaching in a classroom is not the only career path to choose from for certified teachers in Kentucky. As a first-time teacher, the classroom path may be what you want, but you may choose to move your career into another area within the education field, such as administration. You may also be eligible for certification if you possess special skills, such as English interpreter, speech therapist or literacy.

If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Kentucky for the 2015-2016 school year:

  • Career and Technical Education
  • English  (Middle School and Secondary Level)
  • English as a Second Language
  • Exceptional Children (Multiple specialties)
  • Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education
  • Mathematics (Middle School and Secondary Level)
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, General Science, Physics)
  • Social Studies (Middle School and Secondary Level)
  • World Languages

A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.

Teaching license reciprocity in Kentucky

Kentucky participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.

Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.

Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.

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