Kentucky

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Updated on April 22, 1998


Kentucky -

The one year Kentucky Beginning Teacher Internship Program (KBTIP) was mandated & funded by the state legislature in the amount of $4.2 million. The law providing for KBTIP was passed in 1984 and implemented in 1985. All new teachers and out-of-state teachers who have less than two years of experience have been required to complete the internship. The program's purpose is both assessment and assistance.

A 1986 article describes the KBTIP. See Sultana, Q. & Leung, E. (1986). "Evaluation of Resource Teachers: Kentucky Beginning Teacher Internship Program". ED278647. Another good resource is the 1986 "Keys to Effective Internship: A Guide for Kentucky Beginning Teachers", which describes the internship program, suggests how to work in the internship program, describes resources available, and explains how observations and conferences will be conducted. This 10 page guide is item AL-987-WR and costs $4 from the Appalachia Educational Lab, PO Box 1348, Charleston, WV 23525.

Teacher candidates complete a teacher preparation program which recommends them to the Kentucky Department of Education. The Division of Certification sends the candidate a Statement of Eligibility for employment. The employing school district confirms employment to the state Division of Testing and Internship to establish the internship.

The intern is provided a committee made up of the intern's principal, a resource teacher (mentor) which is named by the school district, and a teacher educator from a teacher training institution. The resource teacher must be from the same content area as the intern if at all possible. Committee members are required to complete a training program developed and funded by the State Department. The committee members observe the intern and review the intern's portfolio at least three times each throughout the year. After each round of observations and portfolio review, the committee meets with the intern and discusses the progress of the intern in meeting Kentucky's New Teacher Standards. A professional development plan is established collaboratively with the intern, which determines the assistance that is primarily provided by the resource teacher. At the meeting following the third round of observations, the committee makes the decision regarding the successful completion of the internship and submits a final report to the State Internship Office, which notifies the Division of Certification. When that happens the limited intern certificate is extended for four more years.

A 1990 State Department publication describes the KBTIP, provides a handbook for interns and offers guidelines for the Teacher Internship Support teams. See Kentucky Dept. of Education. (1990). "Kentucky Teacher Internship Program". Frankfort, KY: Dept. of Education.

In 1991 the KBTIP was funded at $3.2 million.

Such a high-stakes evaluative role for the committee has often been shown to compromise the safety a new teacher needs to feel to take the risks of seeking help, discussing their problems, and becoming vulnerable in order to learn to teach. Despite these concerns, a 1996 study found that 88% of the beginning teachers in one study reported receiving adequate and helpful support. See Attwood, VA, Shake, MC, Slaton, DB, & Hales, RM (1996). "Beginning Teachers and the KERA", Journal of Curriculum and Supervision. 11(2). 193-200.

The resource teacher is mandated to provide at least 70 hours of mentoring to the intern, 20 during school time and 50 outside of school time. He/she is provided a $1000 stipend for this assistance and to cover the costs of attending the state mentor training. The teacher educator is provided partial reimbursed by the state program in the form of $220 plus travel for each intern. The state provides additional help to the resource teacher regarding how to best assist the interns.

The State Department says that about 1-2 percent do not pass the internship the first time. Those who fail get a second chance if they are employed another year. If they do not pass the second year, they have no options to get a certificate unless they go out-of-state, are certified, teach two years, and come back. There is a complaint process built into the program for those who fail.

The importance of a collaborative approach is seen in Kentucky's university teacher education programs. Another study was done in 1997 involving over 1000 teachers and 125 principals. This study found that 90% of new teachers reported being very well, well, or moderately well prepared by their teacher training institution for a number of important areas of teacher responsibility., such as communicating high expectations to students, and using different teaching strategies for different instructional purposes. About 70% of the principals stated that these teachers were better prepared to assume teaching responsibilities. See Wise, A. (1997). "New Teachers Say They Are Well Prepared: A Study in Kentucky Reveals Progress". in Quality Teaching, a newsletter of the NCATE, Spring (6), 1-2.

Even Kentucky principals must do a year long internship, during which they are evaluated by a three person Principal Intern Committee. See White, E. & Swezig, W. (1989) "The Kentucky Principal Testing and Internship Program". The Teacher Educator, 24, 21-28. The state contact person for the Principal Internship Program is Pamela Sewell, whose phone number is 502-573-4606.

A contact at the Kentucky Dept. of Education is Rita Osborne <>, the Director of the Division of Testing and Internship which administers the KBTIP. Her phone number is 502-573-4606. The State Department of Education web site is at <http://www.kde.state.ky.us>. and their address is 1024 Capital Center Drive, Frankfort, KY 60601.


If you are aware of incorrect statements in this material OR if you can add authoritative new information concerning mentoring and induction in the various United States, please contact Barry Sweeny with that information. His e-mail is

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