Find an Education Path For Teaching in Kansas, (KS)

Once the decision has been made to become a teacher, the level of education completed determines the next steps.

Look over the information below and discover steps you should take to become a teacher in Kansas.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

Having a high school diploma or a GED opens doors to many institutions of higher learning that can lead you to a teaching career in Kansas. Bachelor’s degree programs require first year applicants to be high school graduates or to have earned a GED. Passing scores on college entrance exams are mandatory for many colleges. Kansas offers a variety of choices for high school graduates who want to become teachers.

  1. Learn about accredited, state-approved schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, child development, specific academic content areas, grade levels or student populations. Kansas high school students are encouraged to make inquiries and initiate the application process early in their senior year, especially if they want to attend a four-year university.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching, and find out if the school(s) you are considering offer an education major. If you want to teach a specific subject or age group, you can pursue a degree that combines a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a major in your subject of choice.
  3. A number of academic paths prepare prospective teachers to apply for a Kansas teaching license. Students who have the grade point average and prerequisites required to enroll in a four-year college, are qualified to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. Some colleges include a teacher preparation program within the B.A. curriculum or as a fifth year option.
  4. After graduating from high school, some aspiring teachers choose to enroll at a two-year or community college. Depending on the college they choose, students can earn a range of degrees, such as an Associate in Arts or an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education.
  5. Some high school graduates choose to attend a two-year college that offers programs leading to certification in the field of early childhood education and care.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree

Attending a community college and earning an Associate degree can be a valuable step toward becoming a teacher in Kansas. Community college classes taken before entering a Bachelor’s degree program, may provide some necessary prerequisites for courses offered in a four-year program. Two-year colleges also offer degrees and certificates that may qualify you to work in the childcare field.

  1. Some, but not all, community college credits can be transferred to public and independent four-year colleges and universities, where aspiring teachers can pursue a Bachelor’s degree. All applicants seeking a Kansas teaching license or certificate must complete a Bachelor’s degree at an accredited school.
  2. A student with an Associate degree may choose to transfer from a two-year to a four-year college to prepare for an Initial Kansas teaching license. Not all Associate degree coursework credits are transferable to a teaching program at a four-year college, so, before you choose this route, ask about transferability of courses and credits.
  3. Some two-year colleges offer specific programs that lead to an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education. Graduating with an Associate degree in some of these programs may increase your chances of entering Bachelor in Education program. For example, credits and coursework from an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree in Kansas are transferable, if university-specific requirements are met.
  4. Aspiring educators may want to enter the work force directly after completing their two-year or community college degree program. These include the Associate in Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees in Early Childhood Education.
  5. Some two-year colleges offer certification programs that prepare students for jobs as childcare professionals. Certificates vary from school to school and include certification in Assistant Teaching, Child Care and Guidance, Early Childhood Education or Child Care and Development. One of these certificates may qualify you to work with very young children in Kansas childcare centers and some preschools.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree or higher, from a regionally accredited institution, is essential if you want to qualify for a Kansas Teacher’s License. If you want to teach in Kansas and already have a Bachelor’s degree, the next steps toward teacher certification will often depend on your undergraduate major.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree that focused on early childhood, elementary or secondary education, you may have fulfilled some of the academic coursework required prior to applying for licensure in Kansas.
  2. All teaching candidates must successfully complete a Professional Education Program, approved by the Kansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Preparation programs may be part of a Bachelor in Education degree, or they may be available as stand-alone Teacher Preparation Programs.
  3. The most direct path to teacher licensure is to complete a Bachelor’s degree from a college or university that provides Elementary, Middle or Secondary school Teacher Preparation Programs. The Kansas Board of Education requires candidates for licensure to pass the state’s official Praxis tests: the grade-level appropriate Principles of Learning and Teaching exams; Education of Young Children assessment; Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment test; and Content Area Knowledge exams for each subject an educator intends to teach in middle school or high school.
  4. A Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S. Ed.), with a major in Elementary Education, prepares an aspiring teacher to become a Kansas educator for children in grades 1 to 6. Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle School or Secondary School Education, with a major or focus on at least one content area, will prepare you to become a Middle School teacher for grades 5 to 9 or a High School teacher for students in grades 9 to 12.
  5. Successfully completing certain Bachelor of Science in Education programs will fulfill requirements for both the degree and a Kansas Initial Teaching License.
  6. To be issued a Kansas Initial teacher’s license, you must complete at least a Bachelor’s degree. Some degree programs are integrated with Teacher Preparation Program that typically includes experiential training, such as classroom observations, fieldwork and student teaching. Kansas also accepts completion of a regionally accredited Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation program.
  7. If, after earning a bachelor’s degree, you decide to move forward academically, you may be qualified to enter graduate school and pursue a Master in Education degree.
  8. By exploring different licensure routes, you will discover which option satisfies your interests and goals. Once all academic, experiential and test requirements are fulfilled, you will be ready to begin the application for licensure process.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or Are in a Master’s Degree Program

College and graduate programs in Education typically offer a course of study that includes a Teacher Preparation Program. If your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree major was not Education, a Teacher Preparation Program must be completed, in addition to your academic degree, prior to applying for a full teaching certificate. You can move forward in a few different directions once you have a Master’s degree.

  1. Some, but not all, Kansas-accredited universities offer a Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) that is blended with a Teaching Credential program. You can earn a Master of Education degree in Elementary Education or in Secondary Education. Look into state-accredited Master’s programs and contact the universities that interest you.
  2. After completing your graduate coursework and mandatory teacher preparation, passing all required tests, and fulfilling student teaching requirements, the next step is to apply for your Initial Teacher’s License. Contact the Kansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to request information and an application.
  3. Some students may want to continue their education and pursue a doctorate (PH.D.). Doctoral programs tend to attract students who want to research an aspect of education, such as Educational Psychology & Research, School Psychology or Curriculum and Instruction. Graduate schools offer a variety of Educational Doctoral Programs, so gather information to discover the best university and graduate program for you.