Pathways to Teacher Certification in Kentucky

1 How do I become a certified teacher in Kentucky?

Kentucky has numerous ways to become certified to teach in a public school. These routes include traditional, alternative and coming from another state. The following information will guide you through the routes and direct you to the necessary processes.

Traditional Routes to Initial Certification

A traditional route to initial certification goes through an EPSB approved Education Preparation Provider (EPP). These EPPs offer degree-based programs that are the first step to initial certification. In addition to completing one of these approved, degree-based programs, candidates must successfully complete the appropriate assessments related to the area of certification being sought. An application, along with official transcripts must be submitted to the EPSB Division of Certification, and the candidate must pay any applicable fees.

Non-Traditional Pathways to Initial Certification

There are multiple alternative routes to obtain initial certification. These approved alternative routes include:

  • Exceptional Work Experience: This option requires the submission of documentation demonstrating your exceptional work experience. This documentation undergoes a rigorous review process. Your goal is to demonstrate the exceptionality of your work experience. You must show that your experience that is above and beyond that of the average professional in your field.

  • Local District Training Program: School districts in Kentucky have the option of submitting a local district training program for approval. Currently, the only approved program is in Jefferson County Public Schools.

  • College Faculty: This option is available to college faculty who have a minimum of a master's degree in the academic subject for which certification is sought and have five years of full-time teaching experience or its equivalent (90 semester credit hours) at an accredited institution of higher education in that same academic subject.

  • Adjunct Instructor: People meeting the requirements for this route are employed in a part-time position on an annual contract basis and are not eligible for continuing service status or retirement provisions. A school district may contract with an adjunct instructor on an hourly, daily, or periodic basis. The local school district must provide an orientation program for adjunct instructors.

  • Veterans of the Armed Forces: Candidates who were honorably discharged from the armed forces may be eligible for this route to certification and have multiple options for content area certification.

  • University-Based Alternative Route: This option allows you to complete the preparation program with concurrent employment in a school district. You must complete all requirements within 3 years (2 years for administration) and pass all required assessments prior to entering the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program.

  • Institute Alternative Route: This alternative route to certification allows a person in a field other than education to receive a one-year Temporary Provisional Certificate (elementary, middle, and/or secondary) renewable for a maximum of three years

  • Teach for America (TFA): TFA is a nationwide, non-profit organization, focused on closing the achievement gaps among students in low-income areas. TFA hopes to recruit candidates through its screening process and prepare them for teaching in Kentucky.

In addition to completing one of these approved programs, candidates must successfully complete the appropriate assessments related to the area of certification being sought. An application, along with official transcripts must be submitted to the EPSB Division of Certification, and the candidate must pay any applicable fees.