Admission to all UK teacher preparation programs is competitive. All candidates for admission must meet basic skills requirements. In addition to meeting minimum requirements, candidates must demonstrate excellence in a variety of areas. Among these are skills in working with students in educational environments, ability to be successful in cooperative groups, ability to communicate effectively, experience with school and community programs, and ability to engage in effective problem solving.
All applicants for teacher preparation programs will complete a standard application process and will be assessed through a rigorous interview procedure with a specific program admissions committee. Students who are not admitted to a teacher preparation program may apply again at a later date.
NOTE: Secondary education majors do not apply to the TEP until they apply for the MIC program. STEM majors follow the TEP process as outlined below.
A. Applying for Admission to a Teacher Education Program
All applicants must complete a TEP application packet and portfolio. This is done at a time when the student has earned the appropriate number of hours and when standardized testing and GPA requirements have been met. Application packets are available online. (The application process for graduate-level programs do vary. Applicants to graduate-level initial teacher education programs should consult with a program advisor prior to beginning the application process.) Students are not permitted to apply for a TEP without official copies of passing test scores in hand.
All applicants for an initial teacher education program must have a minimum 2.75 GPA overall or a GPA of 3.0 in the last 30 hours. (Note: the average GPA for students admitted to TEP is about a 3.0.) Questions about GPA must be referred to an advisor in Academic Services and Teacher Certification, 166 TEB. The UK Graduate School will require a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 for admission to a graduate degree program.
C. Earned Hours
Students must have earned at least 45 or 60 undergraduate hours (depending on the program) by the time they begin the teacher education program. Some STEM majors may apply after earning 30 hours. It is expected that students will have completed most of the UK Core by the time they are admitted to a teacher preparation program.
D. Letters of Recommendation
Students must gather at least three letters of recommendation on official College of Education recommendation forms. These letters of recommendation are used to document a student’s skills and aptitude related to becoming a teacher. Recommendation forms are included in the TEP Application packet. Recommendations may not be used for other programs than that for which they were written. (Graduate certificate-only programs may be an exception to this rule.)
E. Code of Ethics and The Character and Fitness Review
All students who wish to be admitted to a teacher education program must understand that teachers in Kentucky are held to a high standard of conduct towards the students, the community and the profession. Teachers are role models for students; so engaging in many types of illegal conduct is grounds for revoking or denying a teaching certificate. Students wishing to be admitted to a teacher education program must declare that they have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than traffic violations), and that they have not had any serious problems with any legal system. Forms are available from 166 TEB.
F. Transcript Verification
The UK College of Education requires students to submit copies of all undergraduate and graduate coursework. Students may use an unofficial transcript (available in myUK) as proof of their UK coursework. If a student has taken courses at another institution, a copy or photocopy of the official transcript from that university must be included in the TEP application. When possible, if a student’s file contains such a copy, the staff of TEB166 will provide a copy at the student’s request. This request must be made at least 48 hours prior to the application deadline.
G. Admissions Portfolio
All teacher education programs will require students to present an admissions portfolio at the time of application. In general, this portfolio will include the following items: 1) sample of writing, 2) written autobiography or resume, and 3) documentation of experiences with children of the age covered by the program. Portfolio requirements do vary by program, so students should inquire with a program advisor for specifics. Portfolio requirements for Elementary Education majors can be found here.
H. Experience with children and education
Good teachers have lots of experiences with children, parents, and educational activities. Students wishing to become teachers should seek opportunities for experiences in education-related environments. The amount and quality of a student’s experience is often a factor in being admitted to a teacher education program. Some programs have specific requirements about experiences with children and education required for admission to the teacher education program.
I. TEP Interview and other criteria for being admitted
All students must complete an admission interview with the admissions committee in the program to which they are seeking admission. During the interview, the committee will take a number of factors into consideration in making a decision. All of the criteria listed in this section will be utilized. Also, because admission to programs is competitive and space is limited, not all students who meet the minimum criteria will necessarily be accepted in any one admission period. Students may apply again if they are not accepted.
J. Testing Rules
All students seeking admission to an initial teacher education program must present acceptable standardized test scores.
A complete TEP application consists of the following:
- TEP application & Basic Information forms – Blank forms will be included in the application.
- Character and Fitness Review – Blank form will be included in the application. If you have an arrest record (anything more serious than a speeding ticket), you are required to submit additional documentation. Please review the Character Fitness Intructions prior to applying. You must submit these additional materials to TEB 166 prior to submitting the TEP application.
- Three letters of recommendation – Blank forms will be included in the application. Recommendation forms are required and may be accompanied by an additional letter, but the additional letter is not required. One recommendation must be from a college instructor. Completed forms do not need to be in sealed envelopes.
- Standards Sets Self-Assessment Worksheet – Blank forms will be included in the application.
- Proof of passing scores on the Praxis I or GRE – PRAXIS I scores are required for most undergraduate students. Only students who have previously completed a Bachelor’s degree may use GRE scores. Students who take the PRAXIS I are required to print off their score reports through the ETS website and include those scores in their TEP application. Scores must be complete and in hand in order to apply to TEP. An application without an official score is incomplete and, therefore, not eligible to proceed.
- Transcripts from all higher education institutions attended by student – Current UK students should print an unofficial UK transcript from myUK for the application. If there are any schools listed on your UK transcript (including KCTCS schools and college work completed in high school), you must have a copy of the transcript from that school. (Although the # of credit hours appears on the UK transcript, the grades awarded from those courses are not listed). Only UK transcripts may be unofficial. Legible photocopies of official transcripts are acceptable. Please inquire in TEB 166 if a copy of the transcript is on file (before the deadline) and, if so, we will provide you a copy. Art & Music Education majors should check with Jane Johnson in Fine Arts about copies of transcripts. **High School transcripts are NOT required**
- Check or money order for $30.00 to the “University of Kentucky”
- Portfolio – Most majors turn in their portfolio with their application. The exceptions to this rule are STEM, Music, Art, Kinesiology, & Health Promotion, Comm. Disorders, Ag. Ed, and Family/Consumer Science majors. Portfolio information sheets for IECE, Special Education, LBD & MSD, ELED, and Middle School Education are available in TEB 166.