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EPSB Information

Use of Out-of-State Online Programs for Rank Change or Certification

The EPSB's Division of Certification or Division of Educator Preparation cannot “pre-approve” the use of an out-of-state online program for use by Kentucky 's educators. This is due to the fact that there are thousands of online providers, both reputable and non-reputable, which may attempt to cater to educators. Since Kentucky has unique requirements for rank change and certification, it is impossible for the EPSB staff to have knowledge of all such programs and how they may fit Kentucky requirements.

In general, educators considering out-of-state online programs should be aware of some key EPSB requirements and regulations, and understand that it is the educator's responsibility to verify that these requirements are met . These requirements changed via state regulation (16 KAR 5:010, Section 28) on February 1, 2008. Kentucky educators must be aware of these requirements, whether or not the educator is interested in such programs for rank change or for a new area of certification (the latter includes ANY initial certificate, new addition/area to an existing certificate, or endorsement to an existing certificate.)

Below is the relevant excerpt from 16 KAR 5:010, which governs the use of out-of-state, on-line programs by Kentucky educators to receive a rank change or to add any area of certification to their existing educator certification.

16 KAR 5:010, Section 28

      (2)(a) Until May 31, 2008, initial and continuing on-line educator preparation programs shall be regionally or nationally accredited and accredited or approved, as applicable, by the program's state of origin.

      (b) Beginning June 1, 2008, initial and continuing on-line educator preparation programs originating from outside Kentucky shall be regionally accredited, accredited or approved, as applicable, by the program's state of origin, and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

NOTE: This revised regulation DOES ALLOW educators who began a program (have evidence of completed coursework via official transcript) prior to June 1, 2008, to complete this program and have it honored under the provisions of the prior regulation. The prior regulation DID NOT require NCATE accreditation.

Rank Change
Any rank change granted from an out-of-state online program must meet the following standards:

  • the coursework must have been taken at a regionally accredited * university, and the institution must have state approval or accreditation as well as NCATE accreditation;
  • the coursework must constitute a complete and identifiable program containing at least 30 graduate hours and noted as such on the university transcript or recommendation page of the TC-1 form;
  • the coursework may not duplicate a program taken by the educator during a previous rank change program;
  • the program must be in an area of P-12 education and enhance the educator's base certificate.

New or Additional Certification
Kentucky educators should be particularly careful if attempting to obtain either initial Kentucky teaching or administrative certification or additions/endorsements to an existing Kentucky certificate via an out-of-state online program. EPSB regulations require that any program for initial certifications or endorsement of any kind must be approved for the particular certification in the state of origin. This is important because it means that the Kentucky educator is, in fact, obtaining the certification in another state, then transferring the certification to Kentucky.

With this caveat in mind, any new or additional certification programs must meet the following standards:

  • the program must be approved in the state of origin for the certification area which will be requested in Kentucky;
  • the program must be regionally accredited* as well as NCATE accredited;
  • the certification area and/or grade range must be compatible with Kentucky certificates;
  • the completion of the program must be accompanied by the successful completion of assessments required in Kentucky before certification may be granted; and
  • the university must be prepared to make a recommendation via the TC-1 form upon the educator's completion of the program.

As Kentucky educators consider out-of-state online programs, they should consider that none of these programs will address the content specific to the unique components found in the state's education system. The lack of this content will likely hold the educator at a disadvantage when he/she faces the programs and assessments that are unique to Kentucky, e.g., the Kentucky Teacher/Principal Internship Program, the Kentucky Specialty Test of Instructional and Administrative Practices, or the Kentucky Interdisciplinary Early Education Childhood Test.

*Regional accreditation associations are the following Associations of Colleges and Schools: Middle States , New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, and Western.


EPSB Division of Certification
100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 564-4606
Fax: (502) 564-7092
Toll Free: (888) 598-7667

Contact the EPSB Division of Certification