Which statement fits you best?
If you know the grade and subject matter you’d like to teach, the next step is to identify your certification area. Each certification area requires its own set of exams, and when it’s time to apply to a teacher preparation program, you can make sure your desired certification area is available.
Choosing a Certification Area
Once you know your grade and subject preferences, you can select a certification area. (Check out the list below).
In some cases, you may have multiple options to choose from. In Kansas for example, if you want to teach fifth or sixth grade, you’ll have to decide between two possible certificates—one that allows you to teach all subjects in K-6, and another that allows you to teach specific subjects in grades 5-8.
In Kansas, certification of new teachers involves getting a “license” and one or more “endorsements” on that license. The license defines the grade levels you are certified to teach, and the endorsements define the subjects and/or specialty areas (e.g., special education, english language learners, etc.) that you can teach.
Pro Tip: You don’t have to get all your certifications at once. At any time during your teaching career, you can take tests and/or coursework to add additional endorsements to your license to teach additional subjects or specialty areas. Some endorsements can be obtained by passing a content test, while others require additional coursework.
Kansas teacher certification requirements
Gain admission into an accredited university and earn a bachelor’s degree.
Kansas accepts degrees from a large number of universities, but you should confirm that they have been accredited by one of the Kansas-approved accreditation agencies.
Note: If you have a bachelor’s degree from outside of the US, it is possible to meet this requirement if the educator preparation program you apply to considers your degree from a foreign credential evaluation service equal to an accredited program.
Gain admission into and graduate from an approved Kansas educator preparation program
You can meet this requirement either as part of your undergraduate coursework (e.g. by earning a BA in Education) or by applying to and graduating from a post-baccalaureate educator preparation program after earning your BA degree. See Pathways below, or select your program now with the Kansas City Program Explorer.
Pass Praxis exams
You’ll have to pass one or more exams that evaluate your knowledge of teaching and the subject area(s) you wish to teach.
- You must take the initial Principles of Learning and Teaching exam for your grade level, and specific content exams based on the subject area you wish to teach.The Principles of Learning and Teaching exam will measure your knowledge and understanding of educational practices and pedagogy, such as human development, learning processes, instructional processes, diverse learners, educational psychology and professional issues. Principles of Learning and Teaching exam costs $146.
- You may also need to take one or more subject competency exams. The subject competency exam measures your competency in a specific subject area. To learn more about what tests you need to take, refer to this Kansas Praxis test requirements. Content Knowledge exams typically cost about $120.
Complete fingerprinting card for a criminal background check.
You are required to complete a fingerprint check for $50. You must submit the fingerprinting card before applying for your state licensure or you will be fined. KSDE provides details and instructions for completing the fingerprinting card on their website.
Submit a state application.
After you meet the requirements above, it’s time for you to apply for your teaching certificate. First confirm with your educator preparation program that you are eligible to apply and use any support they can provide in the process.
Pathways to Kansas teacher certification
- Reduces total cost and time to complete your educator preparation program.
- Great for individuals who decide in high school or early in college that they want to become a teacher.
- One of the most established and common pathways of new teachers in Kansas.