Online Teaching Programs in Kentucky

Kentucky offers competitive salaries for teachers, and the state ranks 12th in the country in the number of job opportunities in the field. For professionals with an online teaching degree, Kentucky provides plenty of opportunities to serve students from a variety of backgrounds.

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Online teaching programs allow students in rural areas to earn their degree without relocating. They also provide flexible scheduling options, such as asynchronous coursework that learners complete at their convenience. Online students listen to lectures, respond to peers and professors, and turn in assignments according to their schedules. Online students typically have access to professional resources, tutoring, tech support, library materials, and disability services. Most programs also help distance learners find a suitable internship location.

Prospective students considering an online program outside the state should carefully review the guidelines of the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board to ensure the out-of-state program meets Kentucky teaching requirements.

How to Become a Teacher in Kentucky

Requirements for teaching licensure vary by state, and professionals transferring their license must meet the new state’s minimum qualifications. According to Education Commission of the States, only six states offer full license reciprocity, regardless of experience. Teachers considering moving to a new state should research the state’s requirements and licensure process.

Before securing Kentucky teaching jobs, candidates must earn a bachelor’s degree, complete a student teaching experience, and obtain licensure. Additional requirements may include further coursework, training, or examinations. Below, we’ll cover the educational requirements for becoming a teacher in Kentucky.

Educational Requirements

Students pursuing a teaching career should understand the requirements for various teaching positions in Kentucky. Associate degrees prepare students for roles such as teaching assistant, teacher’s aide, and substitute teacher, but associate degree holders are not qualified to lead classrooms.

Licensed teachers must hold at least a bachelor’s degree. However, teachers with a master’s typically earn higher salaries than those with less educational experience. Most full-time students complete a bachelor’s degree in education in four years, but learners can choose an accelerated online program to graduate more quickly. Part-time students typically complete bachelor’s programs in 5-6 years.

Kentucky is a member of the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, which simplifies the process of transferring teaching qualifications between states.

Teachers with a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education can still obtain a teaching license. The Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board, the governing body for teaching licensure in the state, offers alternative pathways to initial certification. The exceptional work experience and local district training program pathways allow students from unrelated educational backgrounds to become teachers.

Newly licensed educators must complete 140 instructional days during their internship year. Approval from the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program requires evaluations and observations.

Kentucky is a member of the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, which simplifies the process of transferring teaching qualifications between states.

Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Kentucky

Associate Degree in Teaching

Introduction to EducationLearners explore the cultural, economic, historic, political, and social trends that shape education. Coursework reviews the current educational landscape and recent reforms.
Teaching EffectivelyThis course introduces students to effective teaching methods, including setting goals and objectives, creating lesson plans, designing tests, and offering engaging, ability-based activities.
Teaching English as a Second LanguageStudents learn how to effectively instruct learners whose first language is not English. The course covers tools used to enhance the language acquisition process.

Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching

Diversity Within TeachingThis course explores issues related to the increasing number of students from diverse backgrounds. Learners study ways to serve students with a variety of life experiences.
Teaching Social StudiesThis course prepares future social studies teachers. Topics include curriculum development, assessment design, use of technology, varied perspectives within the discipline, and development of teaching standards.
Atypical Child DevelopmentThis course applies standards of growth and development to students whose learning is considered atypical. Topics include developmental and cognitive testing, screening at different ages, and differential teaching.

Master’s Degree in Teaching

Curriculum DevelopmentLearners explore the processes and principles that guide development of K–12 curricula. Topics include student assessments, program evaluation, data collection, and the cultural and psychological factors that impact curriculum design.
Teaching Exceptional StudentsStudents review the research and practical knowledge needed to teach special education in K–12 settings. Topics include legal requirements, the development of specialized programs, and the creation of inclusive classrooms.
Managing Classrooms and Encouraging Positive BehaviorStudents review data and research related to the development of effective and happy classrooms. The course emphasizes classroom management techniques, interventions, and the use of restorative discipline.

Directory of Teaching Schools in Kentucky

Certification & Licensing Needed to Become a Teacher in Kentucky

A teacher’s certifications designate the grade levels and subjects in which they are qualified to teach. Teachers may earn certification in areas such as interdisciplinary early childhood education, middle school, or exceptional children.

All teachers in the state must hold licensure. The state licensing process is overseen by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Candidates for licensure must hold a bachelor’s degree in education from an EPSB-approved institution, have a minimum 2.25 GPA in their final 60 credits of coursework, pass required Praxis exams, and participate in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program.

A Kentucky teaching license is valid for five years.

After sending in a formal application with exam scores and transcripts, candidates must submit to a criminal history background check and pay applicable fees. A Kentucky teaching license is valid for five years; renewal requires continuing education credits and additional fees. Kentucky’s participation in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement simplifies the process of transferring teaching licenses to and from Kentucky.

Choosing a Degree Program in Kentucky

After learning how to become a teacher in Kentucky, aspiring teachers should begin researching degree options. Factors to consider when choosing a program include cost, location, and graduation requirements. Before setting a budget, consider available funding, including federal aid and scholarships. For students considering an online program, geographic location is not necessarily a crucial factor. However, you should ensure you will be able to meet in-person requirements, including campus visits and student-teaching experiences. When considering an online program outside Kentucky, research state requirements for licensure to verify the program will help you meet your professional goals.

Most bachelor’s programs require four years, but learners can shorten the completion time for self-paced online programs. Alternatively, part-time programs are ideal for working professionals. Many teaching programs offer specializations in specific age ranges and content areas. Prospective students should consider programs that offer their desired specialization.

Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Kentucky?

Kentucky students can earn online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in education. Both online and on-campus degrees fulfil all requirements for obtaining a teaching license in Kentucky. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation accredits education and teaching programs in the United States; both online and on-campus students should ensure their program holds accreditation. The Education Professional Standards Board provides a searchable database of approved education programs.

Students considering out-of-state online programs should ensure the program meets Kentucky’s licensure requirements. According to the Council on Postsecondary Education, online schools must have an instructional or administrative physical presence in Kentucky to be valid educational providers.

Paying for Your Teaching Degree in Kentucky

One of the biggest challenges for many education students is determining how to finance their degree. Students should begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to find out whether they are eligible for federal aid, including loans, grants, and work-study programs. Teaching students have access to a variety of loan forgiveness and cancellation programs, which typically require recipients to teach in high-need subjects or areas after graduation.

Students should also research scholarships from nonprofit organizations, foundations, and businesses. Scholarships are an ideal form of funding because they do not need to be repaid. Current teachers may also be eligible for tuition reimbursement from their employer.

Loan Forgiveness for Kentucky Teachers

Loan forgiveness programs incentivise educators to teach in high-need areas and subjects. Teachers who work at a low-income school for at least five consecutive years can receive up to $17,500 in federal loan forgiveness. Also, educators who teach at a low-income school or in a high-need subject area for at least five years may qualify for Federal Perkins Loan cancellation.

The TEACH Grant provides $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach in a critical shortage instructional area or subject for at least four years.

Teachers may also qualify for public service loan forgiveness, which requires recipients to work full-time in either a public school or a private, nonprofit institution. After 10 years and 12 payments, teachers receive complete forgiveness for their remaining balance. The Kentucky Department of Education provides further information about loan forgiveness programs.

Scholarships for Kentucky Teaching Students

A variety of scholarships are available for education students, including local and national awards. Organizations offer scholarships based on financial need, academic merit, and major or specialization. Below, we listed a few of the many scholarships available to aspiring teachers.

Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority Teacher Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports state residents pursuing initial certification and current teachers seeking advanced Kentucky teaching credentials. Students must demonstrate financial need and commit to teaching at a public school in Kentucky. Student is awarded up to $2,500 per semester. View Scholarship

Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention Scholarship $5,000

Who Can Apply: This award supports Kentucky residents who are members of an ethnic minority. Applicants must be education majors seeking initial certification. The amount awarded is $5,000 per year. View Scholarship

Marvin Dodson-Carl Perkins Scholarship $500-1,000

Who Can Apply: The Kentucky Education Association awards this scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students who are KEA members. Applicants must plan to teach in Kentucky and demonstrate leadership and community involvement. View Scholarship

Alice Lee McCullough Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: This award supports full-time education students at the University of Kentucky, with preference given to those who plan to teach primary school. View Scholarship

Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in Kentucky

LocationEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
United States8,636,430$54,520

Kentucky is home to many certified teachers, and the BLS projects teaching job openings to increase in coming years. While Kentucky’s annual mean wage for teachers is slightly lower than the national average, the state’s cost of living is significantly lower. Although Kentucky teachers earn slightly less than the national average, they save money on costs such as food, housing, utilities, and transportation.

Individual salaries vary based on teaching level, experience, and geographic location. As the table below illustrates, teachers who work with higher grade levels generally earn higher salaries. Secondary teachers in Kentucky earn significantly higher salaries than preschool teachers; however, secondary teachers must also have higher levels of education. You may want to consider these salary differences when deciding which teaching specialization to pursue.

Average Annual Salary by Teaching Level in Kentucky
Source: BLS
Preschool Teachers$36,550
Kindergarten Teachers$52,540
Elementary School Teachers$52,420
Middle School Teachers$52,980
Secondary School Teachers $54,270

Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in Kentucky

How do I become a teacher in Kentucky?

Aspiring Kentucky teachers must first earn a bachelor’s degree in education from an approved institution. Candidates must then take Praxis exams in general knowledge and specific content areas, complete a one-year teaching internship, submit an application, and pass a criminal background check.

What is KTIP?

The Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) was founded in 1985 to help new teachers, known as interns, gain supervised classroom experience. Interns participate in the program for one year on a full-time basis. A three-member committee provides mentorship and supervision. After completing the internship program, candidates can apply for licensure.

How much do teachers make in Kentucky?

Individual teacher salaries vary depending on factors like specialization, teaching level, education level, geographic location, and professional experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for secondary teachers in Kentucky is $54,270. The Kentucky Department of Education publishes a certified salary schedule.

How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Kentucky?

The amount of time required to obtain a Kentucky teaching certificate varies based on the candidate’s chosen program, degree, and enrollment status. Most students earn a bachelor’s degree in four years and a master’s degree in two additional years.

Resources for Teachers in Kentucky

  • Kentucky Education Association A state chapter of the National Education Association, KEA provides professional growth opportunities, chances to discuss wages and benefits, and resources for serving diverse groups of parents and community members. Members have access to continuing education programs.
  • Kentucky Department of Education The Kentucky Department of Education oversees public and private education at the primary, secondary, and postsecondary levels. The department offers resources for new and experienced teachers, including information regarding assessments and educational requirements for licensure.
  • Kentucky Association for Professional Educators KAPE is a non-unionized membership organization that provides services and resources for public and private teachers throughout the state. Member benefits include double liability insurance, legal representation, and advocacy before the state legislature.
  • National Council for the Social Studies The NCSS provides advocacy, professional learning opportunities, and publications. The organization also hosts an annual conference and maintains local chapters throughout the country. Members connect with other social studies teachers and build professional relationships. The NCSS provides online resources related to areas of teaching including curriculum design and assessment.
  • American Federation of Teachers The AFT is a union of professionals that advocates for the rights of teachers throughout the country. The organization arranges local and national action meetings and provides publications and resources to help teachers educate themselves about their rights.