The Kansas Teaching and Certification Resource
Kansas teacher certification policy is overseen by the Kansas Department of Teacher Licensure and Accreditation (TLA). Depending on education and experience, there are a variety of ways to become a teacher in the Kansas. The traditional pathway is outlined in detail below.
How to Become a Teacher in Kansas
To earn a Kansas teacher certificate, all aspiring teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree, complete the required amount of undergraduate coursework, take standardized tests and attend an accredited Kansas teacher certification program.
There are a number of types of licenses for Kansas educators. The standard licenses consist of Initial, Professional, and Accomplished certifications. The initial certification for new teachers and is valid for two years. After that time, educators apply for a Professional license which is valid for five years and has various professional development requirements for renewal. Kansas teachers may also earn an Accomplished License by attaining National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. An Accomplished license is valid for ten years.
In addition to the three types of standard licenses, educators may also possess the following in Kansas: a nonrenewable license valid for one year, an Exchange license or Provisional license valid for two years, a Restricted license through an alternative licensure program, a Technical Certificate, or a Substitute license.
Regardless of the type of license, Kansas uses the following levels to specify which students may be taught using that license: early childhood (birth-kindergarten, birth-grade 3, or prekindergarten-grade 3), early childhood through late childhood (kindergarten-grade 6), late childhood through early adolescence (grades 5-8), early adolescence through late adolescence and adulthood (grades 6-12), and early childhood through late adolescence and adulthood (prekindergarten-grade 12). All licenses must also include one or more endorsements.
In terms of Kansas reciprocity, teachers with out-of-state-certifications may be eligible for the Initial license provided they meet the TLA review requirements. Applicants with a certification from another state and anyone looking for information on the Kansas teacher certification renewal process should contact the Kansas Licensure Department for specific information.
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Arizona
Aside from a genuine love of education, perhaps the most important step to becoming a teacher in Kansas is finding an accredited institution that offers Kansas educator certification programs. Like all US states, completing the appropriate coursework in an accredited school is required of all teachers.
To find an accredited school that offers a Kansas teachers certification program, which is approved by the Kansas Department of Education, applicants should confirm that the school is in good standing with the corresponding regional and national accreditation agencies.This applies to online teaching certification programs as well. Even if online schools offering teacher education programs are located out of state, the school should still be accredited by its corresponding regional accreditation organization.
There are six regional accreditation organizations in the US. These organizations are overseen by the US Department of Education, but work on a regional scale. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) accredits teaching schools in Kansas.
Additionally, aspiring teachers should look for an accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness (CAEP). This is a newly formed organization, but it is a result of the consolidation of the NCATE and TEAC, two highly-regarded accreditation bodies recognized by the US Department of Education. Although a CAEP accreditation is not required by all states (yet), most respectable teaching preparation institutions will apply for a CAEP accreditation as it is seen as a marker of quality curriculum, process and organization.
See our list of CAEP accredited Kansas schools.
- I want to be a teacher in Kansas, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
- I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about Kansas’ Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs or Doctorate Education Programs and Information.
Kansas Teacher Education Requirements
Those who are preparing for Kansas teacher certification must complete a teacher education program at an accredited institution. The bachelor’s degrees required at these institutions vary, but all teachers in Kansas are required to have at least one endorsement on their license. Additionally, Kansas requires something referred to as Recency, which means that applicants must have at least 8 credit hours or one year of accredited teaching experience completed within the last six years.
According to the Occupational Supply & Demand System, there will be 520 average annual job openings in Kansas for elementary school teachers, 220 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 340 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers through 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that as of 2013, there were 29,310 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Kansas. Excluding special education teachers, the average annual salary for elementary school teachers in the state is $45,940, for middle school teachers $48,380, and for secondary school teachers $48,140 (BLS 2013). The Kansas National Education Association provides news affecting Kansas teachers, public schools, students and administrators.
Kansas Teacher Testing Requirements
Becoming a certified teacher in Kansas requires completion of Praxis assessments to demonstrate that the candidates are fully prepared for licensure. The Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) is typically required for those beginning a teacher education program. In order for new teachers to acquire an initial license, they must pass Praxis II content assessments for all endorsement fields as well as a pedagogy assessment called Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT). When educators upgrade from an initial license to a professional one, they must complete the Kansas Performance Assessment, which is a teacher work sample.
Some individuals may be exempt from the testing requirements in Kansas. Those who have already completed comparable assessments in another state and who are licensed in that state may be exempt. Educators who are Nationally Board Certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards are also not required to complete the assessments.
Additional Kansas Teacher Certification Requirements
Like all US states, anyone applying for a Kansas educator certificate must submit to a state and federal background check. A fingerprint card can be ordered on the Kansas Department of Education site.
Kansas Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once applicants have completed all of the requirements described above, their application should be sent into the Licensure Department. The Kansas Department of Licensure is quite busy during the summer months and processing time can take up to 8 weeks. Therefore, it is recommended to sumbit teaching applications at least three months before the desired date of employment.
- Proof of Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- Proof of completed program at accredited teacher preparation school
- Proof of Recency (prior teaching experience)
- Passing scores of all content and pedagogy tests
- Payment of non-refundable processing fees, which can range from $45 to $65 depending on the license sought
Teacher Licensure and Accreditation
Landon State Office Building
900 SW Jackson, Suite 106
Topeka, KS 66612
Visit the Kansas State Department of Education for more details on teaching certification in Kansas.
Kansas Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||14,000||$45,400|
|Middle School Teachers||5,760||$47,600|
|Secondary School Teachers||9,770||$46,850|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.
Kansas Teacher Interview
Interview with John Ritchie, President of the Kansas Association of Teachers of English
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Kansas
Question: How do I become an elementary teacher in Kansas?
Answer: To become an elementary teacher in Kansas you must hold a valid teacher license from the state. To get the license you need to have a bachelor’s degree and have finished an approved teacher preparation program for elementary education.
Teaching and Education Programs
1. Kansas State Department of Education: http://www.ksde.org/
2. US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm#25-0000
Page edited by Charles Sipe.