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How to Become a School Principal in Kentucky: Professional Advancement Opportunities

Written: February 9, 2024 by Isabel Ashley
Quote from Lu Young, Director of the Educational Leadership Program that says: “This program allows teachers to advance their education and become leaders in their field. It is accessible and opens up opportunities for promotion and career advancement.”

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    Becoming a school principal is a natural career progression for teachers who excel at administration and leadership. In order to take that next step, certain requirements must be met before you can be considered for a principal position in Kentucky schools.  

    Experience Requirement 

    To be eligible for admission to a principal preparation program in KY, you must have completed at least three years of full-time teaching experience.  

    Education Requirement 

    UK Online offers two degree programs that meet the requirements for principal certification in Kentucky schools.   

    1. Education Specialist (Ed.S) degree  - the pathway for those who already hold a master’s degree 

    1. Master of Education (M.Ed.) - the pathway for those who do not already hold a master’s degree 

    Training Requirement 

    To be eligible for the school principal certification in Kentucky, candidates must first complete an approved certification/training program. The UK Online principal certification program meets this requirement, and students often complete the training program in conjunction with their M.Ed. or Ed.S. program and attainment of a rank change.   

    The completion of the program is spread out over 21 months/5 semesters and consists of 10 courses. The format of the program includes a cohort model with two fully online courses each semester. Completion of the program results in Level II principal certification in Kentucky. The program aims to advance leadership skills, offer high-quality online courses with nationally recognized professors, and provide practical insights into challenges faced by today’s educational leaders.  

    The Benefits of School Principal Certification in Kentucky 

    The UK principal preparation program equips teachers to successfully take on the roles of principals, assistant principals, administrative deans, academic deans, instructional coaches, and other district leadership roles. In addition to earning their graduate degree, successful candidates also earn KY principal certification and rank change.  

    For those wanting to progress their career even further, UK Online offers a certification program to receive an External Certification in Educational Leadership as a Superintendent.  

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