Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Kentucky

Follow these five steps to become a math teacher in Kentucky:

Complete Your Math Education Coursework
Take the Praxis Exams Required in Kentucky
Complete Your Student Teaching Requirements
Apply for Your Kentucky Math Teacher’s License
Complete Kentucky’s Professional Development Requirements to Renew Your License

A thorough understanding of math has become increasingly necessary to succeed in today’s technological world. Despite the critical importance of this subject, there is a shortage of qualified math teachers in Kentucky. The Commonwealth has designated math as an area where improvement is needed.

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Math teachers in Kentucky base their instruction on the Common Core State Standards and specialize in either middle school or high school math education. Their goals are to help students develop a specific set of skills:

  • Attend to precision
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
  • Look for and make use of structure
  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  • Use appropriate tools strategically
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively

Kentucky has strict math requirements for its high school graduates. These students must take math each year of high school and accumulate three credits. Courses must include Algebra I and II and Geometry.



Step 1. Complete Your Math Education Coursework

The traditional way to become a math teacher in Kentucky is to enroll in a math educator preparation program that confers a bachelor’s degree at minimum. Kentucky also provides a number of alternative ways for those with existing bachelor’s degrees to become math teachers.

Initial certification provides you with a Rank I classification, while a Planned Fifth-year Program such as a master’s degree can lead to the more elite Rank II classification.

The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) provides a list of 28 approved educator preparation institutions in Kentucky. Over twenty of them have programs in math education.

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Math Education Degrees for Initial Certification

Math education degrees that lead to initial certification in Kentucky range from a bachelor’s to a master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.).

The bachelor’s degrees for math education in Kentucky vary a great deal in their approach. Consider these degree options when pursuing your math teacher education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education Grades 8-12
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Teaching
  • Bachelor of Arts in (Applied) Mathematics with Secondary Teacher Certification
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with Secondary Certification (8-12)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Mathematics Education

In other cases, you obtain your primary degree in education while also taking math courses. Degree programs structured like this include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education 8-12 (major in math)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (focus on 5-9 or 8-12 math)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Education (focus on 5-9 or 8-12 math)

Other schools that produce math teachers require you to double major in math and education. In one case, you would double major in Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) along with math.

You can also obtain an M.A.T. for either middle or secondary school math. Another option is to get a degree such as a Master of Arts in Secondary Education with Initial Certification (MIC). To get this degree, you must first obtain a B.A. in Education while majoring in secondary education with an option of math education. This type of BA does not lead to certification. It is designed to prepare you for the MIC.

In all cases, you must take courses in professional education along with those in math. Typical professional educational requirements include:

  • Assessment in education
  • Exceptional learners in inclusive classrooms
  • Human development and learning
  • Introduction to education

Most math education degrees require at least 30 credits in math. Core math courses that you will take frequently include:

  • Calculus I and II
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Logic and set theory
  • Linear algebra and matrices
  • Modern college geometry
  • Modern algebra I
  • Probability and statistics

In many cases, you must complete your general undergraduate requirements before you can apply to a teacher preparation program. This usually requires a GPA of at least 2.5.

Alternative Types of Math Education Degrees

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, but not in teaching, you can take part in several of the approved math educator programs to obtain math teacher jobs in Kentucky.

One option is a Post-baccalaureate Certification Only Program in which you can specialize in teaching math to middle or secondary students. You will need to take courses in science and mathematics education (SMED) along with math.

Some of the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degrees provide training to become a math teacher if you do not have an undergraduate teaching degree. You can choose between training to teach middle or secondary school students.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky allows you to work as a teacher while becoming certified to teach math. In one case, you take your master’s degree courses during evenings, weekends, and the summer to complete your degree while you teach.



Step 2. Take the Praxis Exams Required in Kentucky

You must take a number of Praxis exams to become certified to teach in Kentucky. You have to take the Praxis I tests before you enter your teacher education program. This is a combination of tests that measure your abilities in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Before you can enroll in student teaching, Kentucky requires you to take several sets of Praxis II exams. The tests that you will take vary depending on whether you will be teaching middle or high school students.

You must take a general pedagogical exam—the Principles of Learning and Teaching. You need to take either the exam for grades 5-9 or for 7-12. In both cases, you need to score 160 to pass.

You must also take a math content exam. For middle school, you take exam 0069. You must score at least 148 to pass. If you will be teaching high school students, you must take these two Praxis II math exams and score the following qualifying scores:

  • Content knowledge (5061 or 0061) – 125
  • Proofs, models and problems, part I (0063) – 141



Step 3. Complete Your Student Teaching Requirements

In addition to taking rigorous pedagogical and math courses, Kentucky also requires that you teach students to become certified. Before you can do this, you need to complete at least 200 clock hours of field experiences in school settings. Some schools will have you complete your coursework before you embark on student teaching.

In one Educator Preparation Program, however, you will be in the classroom from your very first semester onwards. One program features a four week practicum in May that involves spending full days in a classroom. It culminates in a full semester of teaching in a public school during your senior year. The MIC program includes a full-time professional year for student teaching.

You must complete your student teaching under the supervision of a cooperating teacher. He or she will provide daily guidance to you and help you plan your lessons and select differentiated instructional strategies. Kentucky has strict requirements for these cooperating teachers. They must meet the following standards:

  • Certification at Rank II
  • At least four years of teaching experience
  • A Kentucky teaching certificate for math and each grade taught
  • At least one year of previous teaching in your school system



Step 4. Apply for Your Kentucky Math Teacher’s License

After you have completed a four year program, you can apply for initial Rank 1 certification to teach math in Kentucky. To do this, you must get a recommendation from the certification official of your institution that provides the following information:

  • Grade level
  • The specific teacher preparation program you completed
  • Degree level
  • When you completed the program

You then fill out a TC-1 application form. You will need to provide official transcripts of all of your coursework and provide verification that you completed your full-time classroom teaching. You can get this from your Personnel Director or Superintendent.

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There is also a recency requirement for initial certification. You must have prepared as a teacher within five years of your application. If you are past this time frame, you must have six semester credits of graduate credit.

If you have completed a fifth year program, you can apply for Rank II or advanced certification. If you meet this standard and have taught successfully for two years within the past ten, you are exempt from the recency requirement for graduate credit.



Step 5. Complete Kentucky’s Professional Development Requirements to Renew Your License

Once you are a certified math teacher, you may want to take part in professional development activities. The Kentucky Department of Education provides a list of an array of opportunities for mathematics professional development.

You have an option of strengthening your background in math and keeping up with current information in educational curriculum, theory, and research through an M.A.T. program in math for certified math teachers. Completing this program makes you eligible to apply for Rank II classification.

After you have taught for five years, you will need to renew your math teacher certification. You will need to complete a TC-2 application and meet the following standards:

  • Verification of your three years of teaching experience by your superintendent
  • Half of the CEO requirements or 15 graduate hours
    • The CEO option includes submitting an independent professional growth plan


  • The recommendation from your college of education official and an official transcript of your courses

Your second five year renewal requires that you will out a TC-1 application and complete one of the following:

  • Your CEO requirements
  • An approved master’s degree
  • An approved fifth year program (32 graduate hours)

You will also need to meet these requirements:

  • Verification of your three years of teaching experience by your superintendent


  • The recommendation from your college of education official and an official transcript of your courses

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