Kentucky Alternative Teacher Certification
Those interested in teaching careers in Kentucky who have not completed a teacher preparation program but have earned a bachelor’s degree have the option to pursue alternative certification in Kentucky. Alternative certification can allow you to teach in a classroom while completing the requirements for a standard teaching certificate, reducing the time it takes to switch careers while potentially allowing you to continue earning. Read more below on the options for alternative teacher licensing in Kentucky.
Requirements for Alternative Certification
To be eligible for alternative teacher certification in Kentucky, candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Alternative teacher preparation programs in the state lead either to a post-graduate certificate or a master’s degree in education, or in a core subject that includes an approved certification program.
Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Kentucky
There are several types of alternative teaching licenses available. These pathways are designed for flexibility based on candidates’ educational background and the type of endorsement(s) sought. You can find further details about these options through the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB).
Local District Training Program Certification
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree, 30 semester hours of study in an endorsement area or five years of exceptional work experience, and at least a 2.75 GPA may be eligible for this pathway. Candidates who meet these requirements and have an employment offer from a local school district may receive a Provisional Certificate which allows them to teach while completing the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP). Following successful completion of the KTIP and training requirements, candidates are eligible for the Professional Certificate. However, while the law allows for this pathway, there are currently no approved programs in the state that would allow a candidate to achieve licensure through this pathway.
Veterans of the Armed Services Certification
Kentucky offers a special pathway to certification for veterans with at least six years of active duty and an honorable discharge who have a bachelor’s degree in an endorsement area with a GPA of at least 2.5. The Veterans of the Armed Services pathway allows these candidates to receive a Provisional Certificate to teach for one year while completing the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP). Successful completion of the KTIP then leads to a Professional Certificate.
Institute Alternative Route to Certification
The Institute Alternative Route to Certification is for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree with a major in the endorsement area sought and a GPA of at least 3.0. Candidates must have exceptional scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and an employment offer from a local school district. Candidates then pursue a university-based certification program. Currently, there are no approved programs in this state offering this pathway. For further details, visit the Education Professional Standards Board.
University-Based Alternative Route to Certification
Candidates with a bachelor’s degree and a GPA of at least 2.75 who are interested in earning a post-graduate certificate or master’s degree may be interested in the University-Based Alternative Route. Under this route, candidates return to an approved Kentucky teacher preparation program and complete a teacher preparation curriculum as well as the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) to earn a Professional Certificate.
College Faculty Certification
Candidates who have a master’s degree and at least five years of full-time teaching experience at the college level may apply for K-12 certification under this route. Candidates who meet the requirements can receive a Provisional Certificate and teach for one year while completing the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP). Following successful completion of the KTIP and training requirements, candidates are eligible for the Professional Certificate.
Exceptional Work Experience Certification
Teaching candidates may be eligible for certification through the Exceptional Work Experience pathway if they have substantial work experience in an endorsement area, have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.75 GPA, and can provide recommendations from employers in the related work experience submitted. Candidates must have an offer of employment from a local school district to apply for certification through this route. Certification for those who meet the requirements is based on a portfolio approval. Once approved, candidates may teach for one year under a Provisional certificate while participating in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP). After KTIP completion, candidates are eligible for a Professional Certificate.
This type of certificate is requested by a school district only when a qualified, certified teacher cannot be found for an open position. Candidates for this type of certificate must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and pass a criminal records check. Emergency Certificates do not typically lead to Professional Certificates unless the candidate is pursuing another route to licensure.
Teach for America
Kentucky is one of several states that recognizes Teach for America as a pathway to licensure. To qualify, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and meet citizenship status requirements. Visit the Teach for America website to learn more.
Testing Requirements for Kentucky Alternative Certification
Alternative pathway candidates for Kentucky teacher certification must typically take the same exams as traditional pathway educators, the Praxis Core and Praxis subject assessments. However, depending on the route to certification, candidates may need to take these exams prior to applying to an alternative certification program. Be sure to review the Education Professional Standards Board website for the appropriate exam process for your intended route.
Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State
For teachers with out-of-state teaching certificates, reciprocity in Kentucky is not automatic, and in many cases, educators who are out-of-state certified will be required to complete a Kentucky teacher certification program. At least two years of teaching experience are necessary to request a waiver for the program requirement. Each application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For more detailed information, see our teaching certificate reciprocity guide or contact the Education Professional Standards Board.
Schools with Alternative Certification Programs in Kentucky
Because a program that has not been approved by the state is unlikely to lead to licensure, it’s important to ensure that the programs you are considering meet state requirements. The school-based alternative certification programs below have been approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) for the preparation of teachers.
- Asbury University
- Bellarmine University
- Campbellsville University
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Georgetown College
- Kentucky State University
- Morehead State University
- Murray State University
- Northern Kentucky University
- Spalding University
- Thomas More University
- Union College
- University of Kentucky
- University of Louisville
- University of Pikeville
- University of the Cumberlands
- Western Kentucky University
- Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification: Overview of approved routes to certification for alternative path candidates.
- ETS PRAXIS: Guide to required exams for prospective teachers and current teachers seeking to add endorsements.
- Teacher Certification Reciprocity Guide: Our guide to certification reciprocity requirements by state.
1. Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board: http://www.epsb.ky.gov/