Western Kentucky University

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

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Policy on Recommending Teacher Certification Based on Proficiency Evaluation

Consistent with 16 KAR 5:030 on Proficiency Evaluation, Western Kentucky University “may evaluate and accept competency for teacher certification purposes for any of the specific curriculum requirements when the teacher candidate can demonstrate proficiency by reason of previous education, unusual experience, or proficiency evaluation at a level comparable to the usual requirements in that curriculum area.”

An applicant who wishes to be recommended for teacher certification on the basis of proficiency evaluation must document the following qualifications:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution;
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.75, or a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 30 hours of attempted course work;
  • A major in the content area in which certification is being sought, or the equivalent of a major, as determined by faculty in the content area;
  • A minimum GPA of 2.75 in the major;
  • Passing score(s) on required PRAXIS II examination(s) for the desired certification area, and a passing score on the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) examination;
  • Work experience in an educational setting; and
  • Satisfaction of all requirements (e.g., physical exam, TB test, Kentucky criminal background check, qualifying standardized test scores, etc.) for admission to professional education.

The faculty of the School of Teacher Education provide oversight for the Proficiency Evaluation process. An applicant must submit a personal statement; transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate work; letters of recommendation from at least three persons qualified to evaluate the applicant’s performance or potential as a teacher; documentation of qualifying PRAXIS II score(s) and PLT score; other required teacher admission materials; and a resume or curriculum vitae to provide details of work experience related to the desired certification area.

Once the applicant has qualified to participate in the Proficiency Evaluation process, the Director of the School of Teacher Education will designate a faculty member to serve as a mentor to the applicant. The mentor will meet with the applicant to provide advice regarding the preparation and submission of a portfolio to document that the applicant has met all Kentucky Teacher Standards and, if applicable, the standards of the relevant learned society. The portfolio may be multi-media. If the applicant is seeking certification in a content area (e.g., Biology, Music), the faculty in that area must review the portfolio and offer a favorable recommendation before the portfolio is reviewed by faculty in the School of Teacher Education.

The portfolio will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Director of the School of Teacher Education. The committee will include at least three persons, including two faculty members in the STE and a faculty member in the content area. If available, a practitioner from the desired certification area will also serve on the review committee.

The portfolio review committee may request that the applicant meet with the committee. The committee may also recommend, following its review, that the applicant take specific courses and/or seek specific experiences to remedy deficiencies identified in the portfolio review process.

If the committee judges that the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence that he or she has met the Kentucky Teacher Standards, the committee will issue a favorable recommendation to the Director of the School of Teacher Education, who must also endorse the recommendation. The Director will then submit a recommendation to the Office of Teacher Services that the applicant be admitted to professional education and that the applicant be recommended for certification. These recommendations must be approved by the Professional Education Council.

Approved by the Professional Education Council, 7/14/2010; revision approved by PEC 11/14/2012.

 Last Modified 8/1/13