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Teach Your Career

Nursing students at Rockcastle County High School.
Nursing students at Rockcastle County High School.

The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) New Teacher Institute is a program designed to help career professionals obtain occupation-based certification for career and technical education (CTE) teachers. Candidates who have a degree in the occupation area for which they are seeking certification will be recommended for licensure after completing the program. For those who do not have at least an associate degree, the institute partners with four universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System to find the right degree for each teacher.

The New Teacher Institute gives teachers what they need to know about how to function well in the classroom so they can help start students on their way to careers in a field where they will be needed.

“Secondary educators can start a pipeline. For example, we have a shortage of nurses in Kentucky and around the country, mainly due to a shortage of nursing faculty at the college level. Nurses can teach entry-level courses to high schoolers in dual-credit courses. Those high schoolers can get the lower-level classes out of the way, and the college faculty can focus on the higher-level courses needed to complete a registered nurse degree. Prepared nurses enter the workforce sooner with less debt. It’s a domino effect.”

New Teacher Institute Director Jodi Adams

The New Teacher Institute has existed in some form for almost 40 years. It was modeled after a highly effective military instructor training course that eventually was administered by five universities.


Candidates for the New Teacher Institute must:

  • Be employed by or have an offer of employment from a Kentucky school district, KDE or the Kentucky Community and Technical College System as a career and technical education teacher;
  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
  • Have four years of successful and appropriate occupational experience in the area of desired certification, including at least two years completed within the past five years. A maximum of one year of the required work experience may be satisfied by completion of an occupation-based educator preparation program in the area in which the candidate wishes to teach.

A new cohort begins each summer. Email Jodi Adams for more information.