Kansas Special Education Certification

Special education teachers in Kansas are also called high/low incidence special education teachers. Read the following article to find out how to become a special education teacher in the Sunflower State.

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Teachers in Kansas can get endorsed in either high incidence (adaptive) special education or low incidence (functional) special education. If you would like to join the ranks and become licensed as a K-12 special education teacher in Kansas, follow the steps below.

Requirements for Kansas Special Education Teachers

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Kansas (2016)* $54,380 (Elementary School)
$53,240 (Middle School)
$53,240 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Required Field Special Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam: Grades K-6 (5622), Grades 5-9 (5623), or Grades 7-12 (5624) AND
Praxis II Content Exam AND
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications (5543) or
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Severe to Profound Applications (5545)

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Education

There are a few educational possibilities for those who want to teach special education students in Kansas. The traditional path to an initial certificate is a state-approved bachelor's degree in elementary (K-6) or secondary (6-12) education with an added endorsement in special education. For those who already possess a teaching license and seek to add the endorsement, options include a master's degree in special education or a certificate in special education. Standalone endorsement programs are also available.

Teacher Preparation

Kansas requires students complete an approved teacher preparation program. This is included in degree programs that lead to a combined initial teacher's license and special education endorsement. Undergraduate students may be able to fulfill their internship requirements in special education settings based on provisional endorsement. Graduate-level students also complete clinical hours in classrooms to prepare for the endorsement. Courses students may encounter include disabilities, behavior management, assessment, strategies for special education students, special education services, teaching methods for special needs, and American sign language (ASL).

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Step 2: Complete Required Examinations

Teachers must decide whether or not they want to teach younger students or older students with special needs since the special education endorsement is added to an existing teaching license.

To become a teacher in Kansas, you'll need to pass a Principles of Learning and Teaching exam for grades K-6 (5622), grades 5-9 (5623), or grades 7-12 (5624). Each is made up of four categories: students as learners; instructional process; assessment; and professional development, leadership, and community. These four categories include a total of 70 multiple-choice questions. Four other questions require written responses, and these are focused on teaching scenarios. You must earn a minimum score of 160.

After the PLT, you will sit for another subject/content area test. These exams range from Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment to Mathematics 6-12. Requirements depend on the initial license earned.

The Special Education Endorsement Exams

Finally, the endorsement seeker can sit for the Praxis special education certification exams. There are two for special education, one for hard of hearing, one for visual impairment teaching, and one for gifted education. The Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications (5543) is for teachers who want to work with high incidence special education students. You are given two hours to complete 90 multiple-choice questions and three integrated-response questions. The Special Education: Core Knowledge and Severe to Profound Applications (5545) exam is for low incidence special education teachers. This, too, has 90 multiple-choice and three integrated-response questions. You'll be given two hours. For both exams, you must earn a qualifying score of 155 to earn the endorsement.

Step 3: Submit Fingerprints and Application

The application process is online via the Kansas Department of Education website. New teachers and those without fingerprints on file must submit fingerprints and a $50 fee with their application for an FBI background check. The application fee is $60, and new teachers and those adding an endorsement must use Form 1. Processing time is generally 6-8 weeks.

Kansas Special Education Teachers Certification Resources

There are several exam options for teachers who want to work with special needs students. If you need help studying and preparing for the exams, consider the following resources:

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