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Online Rank 1 Certification Program

A Rank 1 teaching certification is for licensed Kentucky educators who seek to advance their careers in education and obtain a rank change. In this Kentucky teaching certificate online program, you’ll complete 30 credit hours of career-building graduate courses. You’ll gain the skills you need to realize better student learning outcomes and give your teaching technique a boost. Your online teaching certification for Kentucky program may be completed while obtaining additional certification in areas such as special education or in a school leadership role, making it the online program of choice for those who wish to excel in the field of education.

Plus, our teaching certification for Kentucky online program can be completed in as little as 10 months. It’s designed to provide convenience and flexibility, allowing you to study at a pace that meets your needs.


What is Rank 1 Teachers Certification?

Licensure for Kentucky teacher standards is established through a rank system. Generally speaking, the various “Ranks” denote the current level of education for the teaching professional. Teaching professionals are encouraged to make rank changes in order to achieve educational goals and advance their teaching careers.

Rank V are educators are those holding emergency certificates and who have sixty-four (64) to ninety-five (95) semester hours of approved college training (or the equivalent) Rank 1 programs in Kentucky. Rank IV educators are those holding emergency certificates and who have ninety-six (96) to one hundred twenty-eight (128) semester hours of approved college training or the equivalent. Both Rank V and IV professionals are likely to fill substitute teaching roles. 

Rank III educators have earned a four-year teaching degree and hold a regular certificate in a specific area of education—such as elementary education. These teachers are expected to continue to develop as educators, often through the pursuit of a master’s degree, and achieve Rank II status at some point in their careers. Rank II teachers hold regular certificates and have a master's degree in a subject field approved by the Education Professional Standards Board (Educational Professional Standards Board). Rank 1 teachers are professionals who hold regular certificates and have a master's degree in a subject field approved by the Education Professional Standards Board and have earned thirty (30) semester hours of approved graduate work. Rank I licensure can also be achieved by teachers who have met the requirements for Rank II and earned National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.

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Can You Customize Your Rank 1 Program to Your Professional Goals?

Yes. Your online degree for Rank 1 offers four distinct concentrations within administration leadership to help you follow curriculum that more closely matches your career goals. Each one of them is online to fit your schedule. Plus, these concentrations provide additional Kentucky teaching certificate options as you complete your Rank 1 Certification program. Complete your program with a concentration in Director of Pupil Personnel, Director of Special Education, Special Education, Supervision of Instruction. A School Superintendent certificate can also be acquired as an additional certification. The ability to earn Rank 1 status while simultaneously obtaining additional certifications available throughout the year, in six (6) eight-week terms, allows you to complete a rank change in less than a year.

Education Rank 1 teaching certification online programs are designed to promote the development of a set of dispositions, pedagogical strategies and technological skills that will enable you to meet the varied needs of diverse learners. The actualization of this vision is achieved through the attainment of conceptual, strategic, evaluative and communicative knowledge.

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What Careers Can I Do with an Online Rank 1 Certification Program?

Through our online Rank 1 programs in Kentucky, you can diversify and enhance your background as an educator with a certification in an area of interest. Prepare to take on the rewarding challenges of impacting learners through career paths such as the following:

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Is Rank 1 Certification Worth It?

Most teachers enter the profession because they have a love of learning and they want to share that passion with others. They understand the light-bulb moment—that moment when understanding switches on and a young learner grasps a concept. Teachers live for this moment. 

At University of the Cumberlands, we get that. We live for those moments, too. We want to share with you a love of learning and the ability to constructively share that ability with others. That’s why we provide career-building programs for educators online in an environment that imparts a breadth of information; an understanding of critical concepts; and a mastery of skills to support a life-long pursuit of educational excellence. 

And it’s why you pursue the education you need to achieve new levels of Kentucky teacher standards. It’s an investment in your teaching future that can open doors to new career opportunities, salary steps, better learning outcomes for your students and a more fulfilling educational experience for you. So, yes, this rank change program designed around Kentucky teacher standards is definitely “worth it.” 

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Director of Pupil Personnel Concentration
Do you want to gain the knowledge and experience you need to guide our communities and institutions in the right direction? Consider our director of pupil personnel certification program. As a student enrolled in this program, you will take courses which include School Law, School System Administration, Strategic Management in Education, Issues and Trends in Special Education, School Program Improvement, and more. The director of pupil personnel certification can qualify you for the job of Director of Pupil Personnel and Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel in Kentucky.

Director of Special Education Concentration
This director of special education program provides you with the knowledge, experience and dispositions needed to guide our schools and communities into the future. As a student enrolled in this special education director program, you will take courses in Human Resource Management and Supervision, School and Community Relations, School Law, Consultation and Collaboration for Curriculum Design, and more. The director of special education certification can qualify you for the job of Director of Special Education in Kentucky.

Supervision of Instruction Concentration
Are you looking for a supervision of instruction certification program? At University of the Cumberlands, you can earn the education you need to help lead our schools and communities moving forward. Students in this program will take courses, such as Curriculum Management and Assessment, Problems in Education, School Program Improvement, Human Resource Management and Supervision, Applied Research in Education, School and Community Relations, School Law, and more. If you want to advance your career in instructional supervision, choose University of the Cumberlands. The supervision of instruction certification can qualify you for the job of Supervisor of Instruction and other district-level jobs in Kentucky.

Click here for Rank 1 Course Details | Click here for Rank 1 Program Resources

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Admission Requirements

Please submit a graduate application BEFORE you submit any additional admissions requirements.

The following items are necessary for admission to the Rank 1 Certification program:

  • Submit official transcripts from all applicable colleges/universities attended; must be received directly from the issuing college or university.
    • Must show a cumulative degree GPA of a 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale)
    • Transcripts sent in from students cannot be accepted even if they are in a sealed envelope
    • Official transcripts can be accepted two ways:

Mailed to:
Graduate & Online Admissions
649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769

(ie: National Clearinghouse, eScript, Parchment)

Official transcripts must show a cumulative degree GPA of a 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale).

  • A valid Teaching License with current Kentucky Rank II status is required
  • Documentation of three (3) years of teaching experience (Administrative programs only) Verification of Employment
  • Submit (3) three Letters of Recommendation
  • Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are: 
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550 
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79 
    • IELTS - 6
    • Duolingo - 100
  • Any international course work completed must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission.
    Approved Evaluation Firms are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    • Educational Perspectives (EP)
    • SpanTran

For additional admissions information, please contact:

University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769

Phone 606.539.4390
Toll Free 855.791.7199

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Certification and Reciprocity 

Certification is the process in which a candidate is recommended for licensure and/or rank change. Upon completion of a degree, certification, or rank change program, it is the responsibility of the candidate to submit the appropriate certification paperwork to the Certification Office. University of the Cumberlands can only submit a recommendation for certification and/or rank change completed through this institution.

Applications for teacher certification/rank change should be turned in to the appropriate certification specialist no earlier than three weeks prior to program completion. Applications for certification/rank change are processed upon verification of successful completion of required assessments and receipt of the candidate’s official transcript verifying completion of the program.

Undergraduate and MAT programs
Ms. Lisa Jones

Advanced Programs
Ms. Kim White

Certification Office
7792 College Station Drive
Williamsburg KY 40769
Fax: (606) 539-4014

Check Status of CA1
Once an application is processed by the UC Certification Office, candidates may check the status of their CA1 application by logging on to the EPSB website at and accessing "View my Application History".

Certification is provided for the state of Kentucky through the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), however, certification can transfer to all states through reciprocity. The map below displays the states that have an Interstate Reciprocity Agreement in place with Kentucky; some, not necessarily all certifications will be accepted. 

The interstate agreement, arranged by NASDTEC, is a collection of over 50 individual agreements by states and Canadian provinces. Each individual "agreement" is a statement by that state or jurisdiction outlining which other states' educator certificates will be accepted by that state.

Such an "acceptance" agreement means that the "receiving" state will issue some form of authorization allowing the inbound certificate holder to legally teach or provide service in the receiving state, provided the license issued by the "sending" state is acceptable under the agreement. This authorization may be limited in time by the receiving state, and the receiving state may impose additional requirements which need to be accomplished before the educator can teach or practice after the end of the time limit.

The Interstate Agreement is not a collection of 2-way agreements of reciprocal acceptance. For example, although Georgia affirms with its agreement that it will accept certificates from Connecticut, this acceptance in no way implies that Connecticut will accept Georgia certificates. Also the agreement does not necessarily indicate "full" reciprocity. The educator may have to complete additional requirements, such as coursework, assessments, or classroom experience, before receiving a full professional certificate in the new state. Candidates working out-of-state should contact their state’s certification office for reciprocity eligibility and details.

Teachers certifications from Kentucky are accepted in all states except Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Mississippi

Click here for links to State Boards.

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Certification Submission

Click here to view certification submission details for the state of Kentucky. 

Out of State
It is the responsibility of the candidate to check with their home state regarding certification requirements. If a state licensure application requires verification of degree/certification completion, the application/verification form may be sent directly to the Certification Office. Please be certain to provide your full name, UC student ID number, phone number, and email address in the event that additional information is needed.

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Graduate Student Success

The purpose of Graduate Student Success (GSS) is to assist students with class registration and program management. Click here to navigate the GSS webpage to better understand what to expect throughout the Rank 1 program.

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Mid-Point Assessment

You will be working with the Graduate Advising Center (GAC) to make sure you are on track. UC offers a variety of programs in education so certain requirements do not apply to everyone. It is important to review your specific Plan Program/Curriculum Contract to know what is required of you.

GAC has provided a list of items you are required to have turned in by the time you complete your program. The list can be seen on your MyUC account located under the “Student Tab”. The list appears in red and will show the item(s) that are past due. Please do not be alarmed when you see this, it is a computer glitch and you need not worry. We are simply letting you know what is still needed from you at this point, as well as, what will be required of you to complete the program. It is our hope that you will have a smooth transition when you exit your program.

Click here to view the mid-point assessment documents. 

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, the specialized accrediting bodies related to this degree are listed below. 

KDE/EPSB – State Accreditation
University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is further accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB), 100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. (502) 564-4606. Fax: (502) 564-7080.

CAEP – National Accreditation
The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands (UC) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level.  CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement.  UC’s School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.
CAEP Address: 1140 19th St NW #400, Washington, DC 20036
CAEP Phone Number: (202) 223-0077

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Click here to view a list of the Rank 1 faculty. 

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Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone: 606.539.4390
Tollfree: 855.791.7199

Visit Us In Person

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769

CAEP Accreditation


 The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands complies with all CAEP standards across programs at the initial and advanced levels.