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Option 9 Education Certification Program

Option 9 Education Program

The influence of a teacher on a child’s life leaves an immeasurable impact. Now is your time.

University of the Cumberlands offers an  EPSB-approved Option 9 program. This alternative route is available to both in-seat and online Cumberlands students. Cumberlands offers programs in early interdisciplinary education, elementary education, and middle school education.

While education students at Cumberlands are completing coursework, they will have the opportunity to immediately put their learning into practice as an instructional assistant in a classroom, receive mentorship from experienced teachers in the district, and complete their bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate, in as little as three years.

Ready to Apply!

Check with your superintendent to see if your district has an agreement with University of the Cumberlands to offer an Option 9 Program (partnering schools listed below).
If so, have the superintendent contact Dr. Sheena Lawson and let her know you are employed as an instructional assistant and you have permission to enroll. 
You can learn more about the process by checking out our FAQ! 

Email   Student FAQ

Partnering School Districts

Principals and Superintendents wanting to learn more about partnering with University of the Cumberlands should check out our FAQ or email Sheena Lawson to get started.

Option 9 FAQ

Option 9, an amendment to KRS 161.048 added through the passing of House Bill 277, is an expedited alternative route to obtaining a teaching certification. The route was approved by the EPSB (Education Professional Standards Board) on July 11, 2022. Through Option 9, aspiring educators in Kentucky will be able to complete both their initial teaching certification and a bachelor’s degree within three school years. Students will be employed within the participating school district to gain work experience while simultaneously attending classes at a college or university.

Learn More