New dual credit stipend in place to help KCPS grow its own college-level teachers

Dual credit logo showing graduate outline with student in center with subjects listed in the background.

There is an eminence shortage of teachers across the state and country, and that is not limited to K-12 education.

Knox County Public Schools is taking its “grow your own” program to the next level by offering core content teachers the opportunity to earn a stipend for teaching academic dual credit courses.

Dual credit logo showing graduate outline with student in center with subjects listed in the background.

“Our goal is always to give our students the best education possible,” said Superintendent Jeremy Ledford.

“We want to offer our students the best opportunity to get college credits to prepare them for the future.  The more teachers and content areas we have with dual credit certified teachers, the more college classes we can offer.”

The number of college classes the district offers continues to increase.  According to Frank Shelton, the district’s coordinator of dual credit, over 100 students have participated in academic dual credit each year for the past five years.

“Our families and our students are seeing this as a way to prepare for the rigors of college while receiving additional support in the high school classroom.”

Shelton hopes to see the number of dual credit courses taught at Knox Central and Lynn Camp grow to include all core academic areas, not just the traditional math and English.

“We give raises or stipends for a Masters degree, rank change, athletic and academic coaches, and other activities,” explained Ledford.

“Why not invest more in our teachers and students in higher-level learning?”

What do Ledford and the district hope will be the result of the new dual credit stipend?

“I hope it inspires other teachers to go back to school and earn the extra 18 hours of content in their field to give our students more opportunities for higher level learning,” said Ledford.

The stipend was approved at the Board’s July meeting held on Tuesday, July 26.  The Board collectively stated and agreed that this investment in our teachers is one of the best ways for both teachers and students to learn, giving students more opportunities to be college and career ready before they ever graduate high school.  It is also a way for teachers to learn more about their content area.

The district currently has other “grow your own” programs in place.  A dual credit teaching and learning pathway exists for high school students, allowing them to earn college credit in education-related courses.  An inspiring leaders program for those looking to move into leadership, whether that is principal, curriculum coach, or other school leader has been in place for several years and has resulted in the hiring of many participants in the program.

For more information about Knox County’s dual credit program and instructor qualifications, please contact Frank Shelton at or by phone at 606-546-3157, ext. 2446.