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Program Overview

The Teacher Leadership Program is fully online and approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) to recommend Teacher Leader Endorsement to a valid Kentucky Professional Certificate for Teacher for individuals holding a graduate degree. Individuals seeking only the Teacher Leader Endorsement must have completed an EPSB-approved master’s program prior to admission, whereas individuals not holding a graduate degree should apply to the MEd in Teacher Leadership Program. IMPORTANT: This option does not lead to a graduate degree or rank change.

These five required endorsement courses (see below) are designed to provide practicing teachers with specialized leadership development they can use in their classrooms and as leaders in schools, districts, and the wider context of education, such as

  • Change agent
  • Classroom supporter
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Data coach
  • Department chair or team leader
  • Instructional coach
  • Peer mentor
  • Resource provider
  • School leader

Required Teacher Leader Endorsement Courses

Recommendation for Teacher Leader Endorsement requires successful completion of the five core courses listed below (15 credits). All components of the continuous assessment plan (e.g., self-assessments of professional standards, classroom observations, action research project, leadership practice) are completed in these five core courses.

  • ELS 600 Leadership in Learning-Centered Schools [Fall Y1]
  • ELS 604 Leadership in Professional Learning Communities [Spring Y1]
  • ELS 620 Leading Action Research for School Renewal I [Summer Y1]
  • ELS 621 Leading Action Research for School Renewal II [Fall Y2]
  • ELS 624 Leadership Practicum: Monitoring Learning, Assessment, and Accountability [Spring Y2]

Admission Requirements

Teachers awarded the Teacher Leader Endorsement through this option are expected to engage actively in instructional leadership through both formal and informal teacher-leader roles in their schools, districts, and the broader education system. Thus, applicants must be experienced P12 teachers or other educational practitioners who meet the following requirements:

  • Hold graduate degree prior to admission
  • Achieved a cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA on all previous postsecondary coursework
  • Hold valid P12 teacher certification
  • Demonstrate the attributes of a highly effective teacher as defined by EPOSB
  • Are recommended by supervisor or principal who attests to applicant’s success as a classroom teacher and as potential teacher leader
  • Aspire to serve as teacher leaders in schools, districts, and other settings

Application Documents

A complete application file to the Teacher Leadership Program includes the following documents that you, the applicant, are responsible for submitting. Your application file will not be reviewed until all information has been received.

  1. UK Application for Admission (Certification Only—Teacher Leadership Program)
  2. Official transcript showing successful completion of an approved master’s program for Kentucky classroom teachers.
  3. Professional Resume (limited to 2 pages) that provides applicant’s name and contact information as well as postsecondary education (all degrees, years awarded, institution names, emphasis area), relevant work experiences (beginning with current employment), education certifications, and professional memberships.
  4. Copy of valid Kentucky Professional Certificate for Teaching.
  5. Personal Statement in the form of a Professional Essay (3-5 double-spaced pages, word-processed in either Times New Roman 12-point or Ariel 10-point, page numbers and your name in upper right corner). If you cite literature/resources to support your comments, adhere to the academic writing guidelines provided in 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
    1. Part I: Provide background about your experiences as an educational leader and share how these experiences have prompted you to enroll in a graduate program in educational leadership studies. Share your career aspirations and explain how completing an EDL program will assist you in achieving your professional goals.
    2. Part II: Articulate your beliefs, perceptions, and reflections about each of the following four themes related to effective educational leadership: (a) a vision of success, (b) a focus on learning and teaching, (c) an engagement of all stakeholders, and (d) a demonstration of ethical practice.
  6. Writing Sample in the form of a Professional Reflection (3-5 double-spaced pages, word-processed in either Times New Roman 12-point or Ariel 10-point, page numbers and your name in upper right corner). Describe how your classroom evidences the components of highly effective teaching and learning (i.e., learning climate, classroom assessment and reflection, instructional rigor and student engagement, instructional relevance, knowledge of content). If you cite literature or resources to support your comments, then you must adhere to the academic writing guidelines provided in 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
  7. Four references including one by your principal or department chair.

Delivery Options

All five courses required for Teacher Leadership Endorsement are delivered online with evening face-to-face class meetings via Adobe Connect Pro. Program participants must have access to a personal computer with web camera and ear phones with microphone. These courses can also be delivered in hybrid format (i.e., face-to-face meetings, online learning activities, field-based experiences) with sufficient enrollments in courses.

Program Faculty

Dr. Justin Bathon
Professor Lars Bjork
Professor Tricia Browne-Ferrigno
Dr. Maria Cahill
Dr. Amanda Ellis
Dr. Wayne Lewis
Dr. John Nash
Dr. Marti Quintero
Professor Beth Rous
Dr. Anna Marie Tracy


Professor Tricia Browne-Ferrigno

State Authorization and Licensure

If you plan to complete a University of Kentucky online program while living outside of Kentucky, you should check the Out-of-State Students page to determine if the University of Kentucky is authorized to provide this program in your state of residence. If you plan to use the degree to seek licensure, you should also determine if the degree meets the educational requirements for licensure in your state.

Refund Policies

You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.