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Teaching Programs in Kansas

You can help improve the learning environment for Kansas students by becoming a teacher. Kansas is undergoing significant changes in its educational system — it is ranked 13th in the nation for teacher friendliness, is increasing education spending, and is raising pay and making it easier to become an educator to make up for a teacher shortage. Now is an exciting time to be an educator in the Sunflower State.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Kansas?

Kansas requires all teachers have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certification. While a degree in education is generally preferred, there are alternative routes to certification for specific areas of instruction.

Traditional Pathway

The traditional route to becoming an educator in Kansas involves getting an undergraduate degree in education, passing Praxis exams, and obtaining classroom certification. Kansas teacher certification programs are offered either online or in-person. In these programs, you’ll learn how to teach fundamentals and implement learning experiences in a hands-on setting through student teaching, observations, internships, or a combination of all three. Requirements vary based on the program.

Kansas requires educators to show competency by passing two exams: the Praxis II: Subject Test and the Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT). The Praxis assessments focus on the grade levels you want to teach, and you must pass both in order to become a teacher.

Once this work is completed, teachers work under a one-year initial license and then must apply for a permanent license. You can apply for your license online through the Kansas State Department of Education.

You may also enter many graduate-level education programs without an undergraduate degree in education, which would allow you to meet the expectations of the traditional pathway.

Alternative Certification

Kansas offers an alternative certification called a restricted teaching license, which allows professionals to transition from another career into education. There are three areas in which a restricted teaching license is accepted: STEM subjects (such as science, engineering, or math), foreign language education if the applicant is a native speaker, and career and technical education.

Certification Reciprocity

Licensed teachers who move to Kansas from another state can quickly earn Kansas teaching licensure. Kansas is a member of NASDTEC, which means the state will often offer a two-year “exchange license” to teachers from other states that have signed that agreement. Out-of-state applicants needn’t take additional classes so long as they have completed at least one year of teaching. Additional assessment requirements depend on the candidate’s amount of previous experience.

Kansas also offers a Foreign Exchange License for teachers from countries outside of the United States who are already credentialed educators.

If you are an educator with an expired license, you may be able to apply for a transitional license, which involves taking additional professional development courses while teaching full time. The amount of required professional development hours varies based on their previous degree and retirement status.

The Kansas Department of Education provides additional requirements for all pathways to teaching on its website.

Career Outlook and Salaries for Educators in Kansas

Although educators in Kansas earn a slightly lower salary than the nationwide average, job growth in the field is projected to increase much faster than in other states.

As in other locations, Kansas teacher salaries vary based on the grade level you teach. Postsecondary teachers nationwide, for example, tend to earn more than elementary school teachers.

However, teaching salaries in Kansas vary drastically according to an area’s cost of living. The northeastern portion of Kansas is primarily urban and suburban, while western Kansas is largely made up of farmlands. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), middle school teachers earn the following average annual salaries in various parts of Kansas:

  • Topeka: $50,630
  • Wichita: $52,230
  • Manhattan: $52,180
  • Lawrence: $50,810
  • Kansas City (metro including KS and MO): $57,220
  • Nonmetropolitan areas (western KS): $47,660

According to Career One Stop, teacher jobs nationwide are growing at a rate of 3-4%. Teacher jobs in Kansas, however, are projected to grow faster than the national average at a rate of 5%.

Kansas Mean Teaching Salaries (2018)
Elementary:$51,020 per year
Middle School:$51,790 per year
Secondary:$51,490 per year
Post-Secondary:$75,227‬ per year (averaged from all mean salaries)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher Training Programs in Kansas

While there are many teacher training programs in the state of Kansas, below are a few well-respected options:

Emporia State University

The nationally recognized programs within the Teachers College at Emporia State University cover a wide range of undergraduate majors, Master of Science degrees, graduate certificates, and licensures. Undergraduate courses are mostly on-campus, but online and hybrid programs are common among graduate students.

Emporia State University offers flat-rate tuition for full-time on-campus students, which means graduates finish their degree with less debt than any other public university in Kansas. For the 2019-2020 academic year, undergraduate tuition for in-state and qualifying near-state residents is $3,404 per semester and $10,357 for non-residents. Graduate tuition varies based on the program and whether you take courses online or in-person.

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University shapes industry leaders. Students can take a broad spectrum of accredited programs, from elementary and secondary education to early childhood and special education. Classes are available either on-campus for undergrads or online for graduates.

Tuition at Fort Hays State University for the full 2019-2020 academic year is $5,274 for residents and $15,432.90 for non-residents. Fort Hays offers a Midwest student exchange program for tuition reduction. Graduate student rates vary based on credit hours, residency, and virtual or in-person.

Kansas State University

The College of Education at Kansas State University prepares students to be ethical and caring educators. Programs include elementary or secondary education for undergraduates as well as top-rated master’s and doctoral degree opportunities. Some graduate programs are entirely online, while most undergraduate courses are on-campus.

In-state tuition for the full 2019-2020 academic year at K-State is $9,375, and $25,251 for out-of-state students. Advanced degree tuition rates vary.

Ottawa University

At Ottawa University, you can find hybrid and online options. The School of Education offers Bachelor of Arts degree programs in early childhood education, elementary education, physical education, and secondary education as well as a Master of Arts in Education. Courses take place at Ottawa and Kansas City campuses, with more evening classes offered in Kansas City. Fully online options are available too.

Tuition for 2019-2020 at Ottawa University’s Kansas campuses starts at $499 per credit hour for on-campus and online bachelor’s degrees. On-campus tuition for the Master of Arts in Education for Kansas residents $395 per credit hour, and $490 per credit hour for online students. Teacher certification cost ranges between $450 for on-campus students and $465 for online students.

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas (KU) prepares educators in health, sport, and exercise sciences, and the School of Education is ranked ninth best in the country. KU offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral programs. Undergraduate education degrees mainly focus on exercise sciences and are available at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. Graduate students can focus on early childhood or exercise science in on-campus programs, while online programs are available in administration and special education.

Tuition varies by degree and where you attend classes. KU’s 2019-2020 tuition is $10,092 for residents and $26,960 for out-of-state students. The KU Edwards Campus rates even include Missouri residents in the metro area.

Johnson County Community College

Johnson County Community College (JCCC) offers a well-known early childhood education program. You can earn your associate degree or take continuing education courses to stay up to date. The school even partners with the Hiersteiner Child Development Center (HCDC) for hands-on learning in an on-site licensed facility. Most of the courses are in-person and require hours of observation in a school setting.

JCCC students pay lower tuition than many universities, and there are many scholarship opportunities available. Tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year starts at $94 per credit hour for Johnson County residents, $112 per credit hour for Kansas residents, $138 per credit hour for Kansas City metro-area residents, and $223 per credit hour for out-of-state students.

Kansas Teacher Resources

  • Kansas Education Employment Board: This resource lists recent teaching jobs in Kansas, including high school special education teachers, ESL teachers, and health science teachers.
  • Kansas National Education Association: KNEA is a state-level affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). Members gain access to resources, participate in legislative advocacy, and receive exclusive benefits.
  • Kansas State Department of Education: KSDE is a comprehensive resource for Kansas teachers with information on licensure, educator evaluations, professional learning opportunities, and jobs.
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