Advance Your Career as a Kentucky Educator

Advancing in Rank

Teachers in Kentucky are held to a three tiered rank system. By completing additional education programs, teachers are able to advance their rank, leading to increased salary and promotion potential.

After completing a bachelor’s degree and earning a provisional teaching certificate, educators enter the field with Rank III eligibility.

By completing a 30 hour master’s degree, either to enhance competency in the initial teaching area or to add certification in a new area, educators are eligible to advance to Rank II.

Educators choosing to complete 30 hours above their Rank II are eligible to advance to Rank I. It is highly recommended that these 30 hours be taken as part of a second master’s program as Rank is not typically recognized outside of Kentucky. Rank I is the highest level attainable and typically carries the highest salary and promotion potential.

*Rank and rank changes are conferred by The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). EKU prepares educators with the required coursework and experience but does not award initial rank or changes to rank.

Renewing or Enhancing Credentials

 If you are interested in renewing or enhancing your credentials, EKU offers a variety of options, including:

  • Online Master of Arts in Education degree options
  • Online non-degree certification options
  • Online non-degree endorsement options
  • Online Specialist in Education degree and non-degree options

The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) is responsible for issuing and renewing certificates for all Kentucky teachers and administrators. Check their website for complete details.

Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement

All EKU Online Master of Arts in Education degrees can include Teacher Leader Endorsement preparation and are designed to train teachers to be essential contributors to the shared leadership in schools and other learning environments. Teacher leadership is a ground level collaborative to strengthen professional practice.

EKU’s teacher leader component works to ensure that educators are expert professionals who, working with all stakeholders to ensure success for every learner, provide leadership in learning environments.

Throughout the program, our faculty and staff work with you to align your coursework to your career goals by helping you design a plan for targeted achievement change within your school or learning environment. Our students bring back to their schools an understanding of how to:

  • promote a culture of shared responsibility for school and student success by understanding how adults learn
  • improve instructional practice using educational research
  • align job-embedded professional learning initiatives to improve student outcomes and schools
  • be continuous learners to improve instruction and student learning
  • make informed decisions using formative and summative assessment practices
  • identify the impact that families and the community have on educational processes and student achievement
  • explore the impact of students’ rights and needs on education policy

"I really enjoy teaching ETL 800 [the first class in the Teacher Leader Core]. This course opens students' minds and encourages them to reflect on their perception of educational leadership."
—Dr. Roger Cleveland