Western Kentucky University

School of Teacher Education

Become A Teacher

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Bachelor's Degree Program

Become a Teacher

If you seek to enroll in a bachelor's degree program that leads to a BA or BS degree and certification as a teacher:

You have decided that you would like to become a teacher – so what do you do next?

Step 1

First, you will need to decide WHOM you want to teach, and WHAT you want to teach:

  • WHOM: If you want to teach:
    • Very young children (birth to pre-school-aged), with and without disabilities, click here.
    • Children who are about age 5 to 10 years old, click here.
    • Children from pre-school-aged to high school-aged who have physical, cognitive/learning, emotional, and/or behavioral disabilities, click here.
    • Children who are about age 10 to 13 years old, click here.
    • Youths who are about age 13 to 18 years old, click here.
  • WHAT:If you want to teach a specific subject or subjects to middle school students or high school students, you will need to select the subject or content area(s) you want to teach.
    • To teach English/communication and social studies at the middle school level, you must complete the BS in Middle Grades Education, a program that is offered in the School of Teacher Education. Click here for details.
    • To teach mathematics at the middle school level, you must complete the major in Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) and the major in Middle Grades Mathematics (MGM). These majors are a part of the SKyTeach program. Click here for details.
    • To teach science at the middle school level, you must complete the major in Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) and the major in Middle School Science (MSS). These majors are a part of the SKyTeach program. Click here for details.
    • To teach mathematics or one of the science fields (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, or physics) at the secondary (high school) level, you must complete a major in the desired content area and a second major in Science and Mathematics Education (SMED). These majors are part of the SKyTeach program. Click here for details.
    • To teach one or more of the following content areas at the secondary (high school) level, you must complete a BA or BS degree in the chosen content area and take certain courses in education: Art, English, French, German, Music, Physical Education, Social Studies, or Spanish. For example, if you want to teach high school social studies, you must complete a BA in Social Studies, along with certain courses in education. You should declare your major in the content area, and then be sure to tell your advisor that you want to earn a teaching certificate. Click here for details.
    • Content areas for teacher certification. 
      • AGRICULTURE (Certification is for Grade 5 through Grade 12)
      • ART (Certification is for the Primary grades through Grade 12)
      • BIOLOGY (Certification is for Grade 8 through Grade 12). You must also complete the major in Science and Mathematics Education.
      • BUSINESS AND MARKETING (Certification is for Grade 5 through Grade 12)
      • CHEMISTRY (Certification is for Grade 8 through Grade 12). You must also complete the major in Science and Mathematics Education. 
      • EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE (Certification is for Grade 8 through Grade 12). You must also complete the major in Science and Mathematics Education.
      • ENGLISH FOR SECONDARY TEACHERS (Certification is for Grade 8 through Grade 12); however, if you want to teach English/communication to middle school children, you should choose the major in Middle Grades Education.
      • FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES (Certification is for Grade 5 through Grade 12)
      • FRENCH (Certification is for the Primary grades through Grade 12)
      • GERMAN (Certification is for the Primary grades through Grade 12)
      • MATHEMATICS (Certification is for Grade 8 through Grade 12). You must also complete the major in Science and Mathematics Education. If you want to teach mathematics to middle school children, you must complete the majors in Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) and Middle Grades Mathematics (MGM).
      • MUSIC (Certification is for the Primary grades through Grade 12)
      • PHYSICAL EDUCATION (Certification is for the Primary grades through Grade 12)
      • PHYSICS (Certification is for Grade 8 through Grade 12). You must also complete the major in Science and Mathematics Education.
      • SOCIAL STUDIES (Certification is for Grade 8 through Grade 12); however, if you want to teach social studies to middle school children, you will be a Middle School Education Major.
      • SPANISH (Certification is for the Primary grades through Grade 12)
      • TECHNOLOGY (VOCATIONAL/INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION) (Certification is for Grade 5 through Grade 12)

Step 2
Next, you will need to declare the appropriate major:

Step 3
Finally, work with your advisor to complete not only the requirements for your major(s) but also the requirements for admission to teacher education and requirements for teacher certification:

In order to be recommended for initial certification as a teacher in Kentucky, a teacher candidate must document the following:

  • Completion of an approved teacher preparation program in each desired certification area;
  • Passing score(s) on the PRAXIS II specialty exams or other assessments required for each desired teaching area;
  • Achievement of at least a 2.5 GPA overall, in each major(s) and minor(s), and in professional education courses; and
  • Attainment of at least a "C" in all professional education courses, including EDU 489 and student teaching. (Some majors also require attainment of at least a "C" in required major courses; check with your advisor.)
 Last Modified 1/17/14