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For any additional questions or clarifications, please contact Lora Shields, Program Director at


Are there any prerequisites for this program?

This program is an EPSB-approved continuing education option Plan Two program. In 2018, the state legislature approved that rank change could be granted through approved programs through professional learning pathways.

ChangeMaker applicants should have a bachelor’s degree and either Rank III or Rank II teaching certification. This program enables a Rank III teacher to obtain Rank II or a Rank II teacher to obtain Rank I. Note that only one rank change may be obtained through a CEO program.

Some districts we have agreements with or who may support the program fees  (JCPS) may require an additional application or approval process.

JCPS EmployeesClick here to express interest in the JCPS 2024 cohort

Learning Experience

What are the learning experience details?

The ChangeMakers Program is designed for teachers to achieve rank change in one year. Teachers demonstrate competency according to the program criteria by bringing artifacts of changed practice as evidence of learning. There are ten asynchronous modules (four interconnected action research portions, along with six content modules). Competency on the action research is determined via scoring by rubric with exhibition of learning shared. Competency on the content modules is determined by content lead with team scoring by rubric. Content leads, crew chiefs, copilots and peers sit on the defense panels.

Each month, ChangeMakers should be prepared to attend a synchronous 1:1 coaching session or crew meeting, a 1.5 hour module seminar, and implement their learning in the classroom so that they can bring back artifacts/evidence of learning.

Crews may elect to meet in person, but typically, the only in-person events are for the kickoff/orientation and the final defense/celebration. There is a lot of flexibility for attending and we offer recorded options for nearly all events.

Will I be able to use this in my class immediately?

The learning modules have authentic tasks that engage the ChangeMakers in applying understanding to current context as they learn.


How are components of this program personalized?

ChangeMakers are able to work through the modules in any order, and demonstrate competency through classroom implementation. We encourage ChangeMakers to work with other professionals and other role groups to learn together and apply understanding.

If professionals are currently working in a role without a classroom (assistant principal, instructional coach, etc.), classrooms may be “adopted” for the purpose of demonstrating competent implementation of program outcomes.

How are components scored?

There are rubrics for each module. For tasks not yet meeting criteria, there is a feedback and re-submission process so that ChangeMakers are able to revise and resubmit for scoring until their submission meets criteria.  There is a capstone with an exhibition of action research results, and a final defense of learning in front of a panel.


How is a mentor selected?

Within our program, there is a Crew Chief that supports a small group typically made up of 5-8 ChangeMakers. It is recommended that school ChangeMakers teams or partner ChangeMakers teams be on the same crew.  Our Crew Chiefs have experience with program implementation as teachers, administrators or coaches, and we align the expertise with the crews.

How does this program compare to the other continuing education programs in Kentucky?

There are several continuing education option providers across the state. What makes UK Next Gen Change Makers unique is that the process is designed to be one year of learning centered around Next Gen Nine Deeper Learning tenets, the structure of Crews with Crew Chiefs and CoPilots supporting smaller groups within the Cohort, and the competency-based nature of the learning and implementation.

If a ChangeMaker needs additional time beyond the one year to demonstrate competency, they may extend their time with no additional fees.

For more information about Change Makers programs: EPSB  CEO Plan One and Plan Two.


When will the program begin?

Cohort #4 orientation/kickoff: June 25, 2024 (and runs through June 2025)

Finance and Certification

Does this make financial sense? (Are there payments? Are there payment plans available or financial aid to help cover the cost? Will FAFSA information need to be sent to UK?)

It is important to remember that this is a professional learning experience that leads to rank change in Kentucky, NOT a university degree program; therefore, no financial aid is available to participants and FAFSA would not apply, nor are there tuition-related tax breaks.  Participants should, however, remember that upon earning the rank change, their salary will increase significantly and will remain at that higher rate for the remainder of their career.  Most candidates will be able to “pay themselves back” for the $6,000 fee within the first two years of earning their rank change.  

Certification disclaimer: Interested parties are encouraged to contact the EPSB directly for any questions related to teacher certification and rank change.


What can we do with a Rank 1?

Link to Kentucky statute:

Most districts pay a higher salary to those teachers who have earned rank 1, but there are no specific job roles attached to the earning of a rank change.

Can I add grade levels to my certification?

No. See answer to question "What can we do with a Rank 1?" above.

Does the program guarantee a permanent rank change or is it subject to changes made by the state? Meaning if the state shifts away from the focus of UK Next Gen could this rank change become invalid?

Once you have earned your rank change, your certification will permanently display your new rank and the date upon which your Kentucky certificate expires. Periodic certificate renewal, as always, applies, but there is no maintenance requirement to maintain your rank change.

Will this rank change be recognized consistently and across counties?

Each school district determines how they compensate teachers when it comes to rank. See your district’s pay scale to ascertain your change in pay given rank change.  Upon ChangeMakers Program completion, you will be responsible for applying for certificate change through the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), and then you must submit your new certificate to your school district to qualify for a pay bump. When the rank change is awarded by the EPSB, your new certificate will indicate your new rank in the state of Kentucky

As someone interested in an administrative degree/a principalship, how does this feed that both from a certification and cost standpoint? Does it?

This program leads to a rank change (see #1 above) only. 

Kentucky’s new regulation regarding advanced educational leadership certification (principal) allows university principal preparation programs to admit candidates who have earned Rank 2 so once you have earned Rank 2 and have completed 3 years teaching experience, you may then apply to a university principal preparation program, which is a degreed program through university coursework and credits.


Is the fee considered tuition and does it have tax impacts?

The fee is for a professional learning program and is therefore not a tuition payment for courses to the University of Kentucky. You will not receive a 1098. Consult your tax advisor to determine if there are other ways the fees impact your taxes for this program fee.