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Become a Teacher in Kentucky
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Teaching in Kentucky Snapshot
All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statisticspupil expenditure information was provided by Governing
Explore Featured Degree Options in Education
|University Name||Type of Program||Learn More||Program Description|
|University of Southern California||Master of Arts in Teaching||Learn more about USC Rossier||The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.|
|Fordham University||Master of Science in Teaching||Learn more from Fordham University||Fordham University’s online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.|
|Vanderbilt University||Master of Education in School Counseling||Learn more about Vanderbilt Peabody||Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.|
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Kentucky
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. (Last update: 02/06/2019)
Prerequisite Coursework in Kentucky
All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. Certification to teach elementary school (grades 1-6) requires coursework in all subject areas taught in elementary school.
Kentucky requires that middle school (grades 5-9) teachers have a major in either English, math, social studies, or science, with a major being equivalent to 30 semester hours of coursework. secondary school (grades 8-12) teachers are required to have a 30 credit hour major in their desired area of study.
Kentucky also requires a period of supervised student teaching. Specialty subject areas such as music and art may have additional specific requirements. Contact the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board for more information.
Kentucky Teacher Certification Programs
Teacher certification programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Kentucky can be found on Kentucky’s Education Professional Standards Board webpage.
Required Tests for Kentucky
Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. Kentucky uses the PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test) for basic skills (required for entry into some teacher preparation programs), and both the Praxis II: Subject Tests and Praxis II PLT (Principles of Learning and Teaching) test for subject area competence.
You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting Teach.coms' Ultimate Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.
Initial Teaching Certifications
To earn your Kentucky teaching credential you will have to complete required undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program.
Kentucky issues three levels of certification:
- Rank III is the provisional certificate issued to new teachers with a bachelor’s degree.
- Rank II requires completing a master’s degree or at least 32 semester hours of graduate credit.
- Rank I requires 60 semesters of graduate credit, which may include a master’s degree.
Learn more about getting your teaching credential on Teach.com.
Discover an 8-week Online Teaching Short Course from Harvard's Bok Center
Earn recognition of your ability to develop and deliver a memorable teaching experience when you receive a premier certificate from Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX, upon successful course completion.
Alternative Certification in Kentucky
Kentucky offers 8 different options for alternative teacher certification, including special options for career professionals, experienced academics, and veterans.
Kentucky Teacher Certification Information & Links
Transferring Your Certification
Certification Reciprocity in Kentucky
Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Kentucky, visit the Teach.com reciprocity page. Or, for more information click on the Kentucky Department of Education’s Professional Development page.
To find out what other state teaching licenses can be used in Kentucky, check out our Teacher Certification Reciprocity page on Teach.com.
Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Kentucky
Kentucky Teaching Jobs
The Kentucky Educator Placement Service (KEPS) runs a simple job search engine that allows teachers and administrators to search for job postings. There is an advanced search function that lets users search by grade level, region and subject.
Kentucky Teacher Salary and Incentives
In Kentucky, teachers earned an average of $52,339 in 2017-2018, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Salary in Kentucky varies by district. For district-specific information, check out the Certified & Classified Staff Data Reports from the Kentucky Department of Education. Learn more about
Learn more about teacher salaries on Teach.com.
Kentucky Teacher Benefits and Retirement
Kentucky teachers can retire at age 60 with 5 years of service or any age with 27 years of service. Additional benefits Kentucky teachers receive include health care coverage, annual and sick leave and vacation days.
Learn more about benefits for teachers on Teach.com or at the Teachers Retirement System Kentucky.
Kentucky Teacher Shortage Areas
A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.
The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in Kentucky for the 2017-18 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. (see page 70)
- Exceptional Children
- Career and Technical Education
- Foreign Languages
Financial Aid in Kentucky
Kentucky residents are eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.
Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree on Teach.com.
Professional Development for Kentucky Teachers
The Educational Professional Standards Board is responsible for managing certification renewal and teacher assessment. Kentucky requires at least four days of each school term to be used as Professional Development days. Kentucky’s Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) involves monitoring and performance assessment of first-year teachers to ensure that they are making progress in teaching to state standards.
To advance from one certification rank to the next, teachers are required to complete either a certain number of graduate credits or the Continuing Education Option (CEO), an independent study plan that teachers create based on the needs of their schools or districts.
See the Kentucky Department of Education’s Professional Development page for more information.
Benefits of a Master's Degree in Kentucky
It is no longer enough to only have years of experience teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, teachers are almost solely evaluated on their success in the classroom. A master’s degree in the field of education provides more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor.
After a master’s program, you may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay.
Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on Teach.com.
Explore Featured Program Options in Education
|University Name||Type of Program||Program Description|
|University of Southern California||Master of Arts in Teaching||The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.|
|Fordham University||Master of Science in Teaching||The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.|
|Harvard University's Bok Center||Advanced Certification in Teaching||The 8-week Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.|
|Vanderbilt University||Master of Education in School Counseling||Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.|