Alternative Certification for Teachers in Kentucky

The state of Kentucky offers traditional and nontraditional routes for teachers to become certified. There are eight different ways to gain alternative certification. Keep reading for a list of these options and requirements. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Alternative Certification for Teaching in Kentucky

Kentucky certificates can be obtained through traditional or nontraditional routes. With eight ways to earn alternative certification, those wishing to teach in Kentucky have a number of choices. All certifications require a bachelor's degree and applicable assessments.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Exams Required PRAXIS; any applicable content or proficiency assessments
License Validity Period 5 years
Advancement Requirements Teaching experience; continuing education; master's degree
Mean Salary (2018, statewide)* $33,650 (preschool)
$54,510 (kindergarten)
$53,830 (elementary)
$54,620 (middle school)
$56,200 (high school)
$57,490 (career/technical, secondary school)
Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide)* 10.5% (preschool)
7.9% (kindergarten)
7.4% (elementary school)
7.5% (middle and high school)
6.4% (career/technical, secondary school)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Alternative Routes to Certification

All certificates require a bachelor's degree, along with applicable teaching experience, teacher preparation and assessments. Depending on an educator's degree and experience, they can complete one of many alternative routes to certification based on certain qualifications. The options for earning certification through an alternative route are the following:

  • Exceptional Work Experience: Educators who meet GPA requirements and have qualifying non-teaching work experience in an academic content area may qualify.
  • Local District Training Program: Educators meeting GPA requirements, pass a content assessment, and complete an approved local program through a school district may qualify.
  • College Faculty: Educators with a master's degree in a qualifying content area with five or more years of teaching experience in the content area at a college level may qualify.
  • Adjunct Instructor: Educators can teach part-time on a contract basis with qualifying experience.
  • Armed Forces Veterans: Educators who have served for at least six years in the military and received an honorable discharge, who pass a content assessment, may qualify.
  • University-Based Route: Educators who hold a bachelor's or master's degree in a non-qualifying area and meet admission requirements for a qualifying university program may qualify.
  • Teach for America (TFA): Educators who are placed in a participating Kentucky school district by the TFA organization may qualify.
  • Institute Alternative Route: Educators who complete approved training and pass several assessments may qualify.

Alternative Route for Educators Who Complete an Online Program

Educators who complete their teaching program or degree through an online program that is based outside of Kentucky may qualify for an initial certification. Educators may receive a statement of eligibility until they become employed, and should complete the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) during the five-year certification period.

Certificate Renewals

Certificates are issued in five-year increments. The requirements for renewals differ based on how many renewals have been completed. Renewals have a processing fee of $85.

  • The first five-year renewal requires:
    • 15 graduate hours or half of the continuing education requirements
    • Three years of teaching experience or course completion with college official's recommendation
  • The second five-year renewal requires:
    • Completion of a qualifying master's degree or 32 qualifying graduate hours or completion of continuing education requirements
    • Three years of teaching experience or course completion with college official's recommendation
  • Subsequent renewals require:
    • Three years of teaching experience within the last five-year certificate period or six graduate semester hours
    • Superintendent's verification of teaching experience or course completion with college official's recommendation

Certificate Advancement

Educators can earn a higher rank on their existing certificate type, and/or add areas to their certificate. Both rank changes and adding areas to a certificate have a processing fee of $85.

To upgrade a certificate, educators will need to complete additional graduate work, continuing education, or earn an approved master's degree. A Rank III can be upgraded to a Rank II or Rank I, and a Rank II can be upgraded to a Rank I.

To add areas to an existing certificate, such as certain subjects or additional grade levels, educators can file a new CA-1 application and add the area(s) that they have met the requirements for.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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