The Kansas Teaching and Certification Resource
Kansas teacher certification is overseen by the Kansas State Department of Education’s office of Teacher Licensure and Accreditation (TLA). The traditional pathway to licensure is outlined below for those looking to find out more about how to become a teacher in Kansas.
How to Become a Teacher in Kansas
To earn a Kansas teaching license, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher preparation program, and pass the state’s designated standardized tests for educators.
Those who hold a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in Kansas.
Kansas uses a tiered licensing system for educators. The Initial certification is for new teachers who meet the basic requirements for a teaching license in the state. After earning Initial certification, teachers can advance to a Professional license by completing a graduate degree or earning 120 professional development points in an approved program. Kansas teachers may also earn an Accomplished License by earning National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
- 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.
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Kansas
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in KS through 20242
Perhaps the most important step to becoming a teacher in Kansas is completing an approved teacher preparation program. You can find a list of approved preparation programs through the Kansas State Department of Education. Note that programs that are not approved by the department for the preparation of teachers may not qualify graduates for licensure.
Prospective teachers must also make sure that the bachelor’s degree program completed holds regional accreditation from one of the six regional accreditation agencies recognized by the US Department of Education. This applies to online and out-of-state teaching certification programs as well as those located in Kansas.
Additionally, schools may hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP is the result of the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), two highly-regarded accreditation bodies. Although CAEP accreditation is not required, it is seen as a marker of quality curriculum, process, and organization.
See our list of CAEP accredited Kansas schools.
According to the Kansas Department of Labor, there will be 364 average annual new job openings and 324 average annual replacement openings in Kansas for elementary school teachers, 158 average annual new job openings and 140 average annual replacement openings for middle school teachers, and 140 average annual new job openings and 271 average annual replacement openings for secondary school teachers through 2022.3 The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 29,850 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Kansas.4 Excluding special education teachers, the average annual salary for elementary school teachers in the state is $45,490, for middle school teachers $48,210, and for secondary school teachers $47,680.4 The Kansas National Education Association provides news and information concerning Kansas teachers, public schools, students, and administrators.
Kansas Teacher Education Requirements
Those who are preparing for Kansas teacher certification must complete a teacher education program at an approved school as well as a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution. All teachers in Kansas are required to have at least one endorsement on their license, which typically requires a major in an endorsement area. Additionally, Kansas has a recency requirement, which means that applicants must have at least 8 credit hours of college coursework or one year of accredited teaching experience completed within the last six years.
Kansas Teacher Testing Requirements
Becoming a certified teacher in Kansas requires completion of Praxis assessments to demonstrate that candidates are fully prepared for licensure. The Kansas Department of Education requires candidates to pass the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam as well as the Praxis Subject Assessments for all endorsement fields.
Additional Kansas Teacher Certification Requirements
Those applying for a Kansas teaching license must complete a state and federal background check. A fingerprint card can be ordered through the Kansas State Department of Education.
Kansas Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once applicants have completed all of the requirements described above, their application should be sent to the Kansas State Department of Education. Required documents include:
- Proof of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- Proof of completion of an approved teacher preparation program
- Completed state and federal background check
- Passing scores of all content and pedagogy tests
- Payment of non-refundable processing fees
Kansas Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||290||$44,370|
|Elementary School Teachers||14,070||$45,490|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||1,680||$52,770|
|Middle School Teachers||5,860||$48,210|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||630||$49,880|
|Secondary School Teachers||9,920||$47,680|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||1,110||$49,510|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||720||$49,710|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4
Kansas Teacher Interviews
- John Ritchie, President of the Kansas Association of Teachers of English
- Scott Keltner, Kansas Math Teacher and Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominee
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 teaching 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. You must also pass the required pedagogy and content exams as well as a criminal background check.
Teaching and Education Programs
1. Kansas State Department of Education: http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Teacher-Licensure-and-Accreditation
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
3. Kansas Department of Labor: https://klic.dol.ks.gov/gsipub/index.asp?docid=442
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Kansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ks.htm