Missouri Teacher Certification

The Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education has several methods for an individual to enter the education profession with a teaching certification. There are different levels of teaching certificates based upon your qualifications:

Initial License

This is the type of certificate you normally receive if you apply via the traditional route (based on Missouri education, experience, and examination scores). It is valid for four years.

Career Continuous License

This type of certificate is permanent (valid for 99 years). It is issued once you meet initial requirements and maintain a professional development plan. Alternatively, if you have ten or more years of certified teaching experience in Missouri, receive the next highest college degree (master’s for bachelor’s holders or doctorate for master’s holders), or become nationally certified to teach through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Provisional License

This is a two-year nonrenewable certificate for educators who are generally within 12 semester hours or less of meeting all of the requirements for full certification in an additional area as determined by a Department transcript evaluation.

Temporary License

This is a one-year renewable certificate for educators who need more than 12 semester hours of coursework to meet the requirements for full certification in an additional area as determined by a Department transcript evaluation. This certificate can be renewed upon completion of 9 semester hours of coursework yearly from the deficiencies indicated on the evaluation. Temporary authorization certificates are not issued in the areas of elementary 1-6; early childhood B-3; early childhood special education B-3; blind and partially sighted K-12; and/or deaf and hearing impaired K-12.

Routes to Licensure

The following routes are available and what each route requires.shutterstock_128292053

Traditional route: An individual completes a four-year, college-recommended course of study, does student teaching, passes the designated assessment test, and graduates with a bachelor’s degree in a field of education and is issued an initial certificate.

Alternative or Innovative route: An individual with a bachelor’s degree in a content area (such as Mathematics or English) returns to a college of education for a program of study that may enable him to take courses and teach simultaneously. The teacher works under a two-year, provisional certificate and usually completes about 30 semester hours. When the college program is completed and the designated assessment test passed, the college recommends and the individual receives an initial certificate. Some of these programs are offered via distance learning, some programs offer a master’s degree plus certification and some offer only the certification.

Temporary Authorization route: An individual with a bachelor’s degree in a content area (such as Mathematics or English) takes self-directed courses – a maximum of 24 college credits (varies for different areas) to meet specified competencies, teaches for two years, is mentored by the school district and passes at least two exit examinations. The individual works under a one-year, renewable certificate that requires 9 semester hours of college credit each year in order to be renewed. When requirements are completed, the individual receives an initial certificate.

Out-of-State Certified route: An individual with a valid teaching certificate from another state can be granted a comparable certificate in Missouri. Verification of certification from the other state must be provided. Depending on the number of previous years of teaching experience, the individual may qualify for an initial or career certificate.

American Board of Certification for Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) route: An individual with a bachelor’s degree can complete a program of study from ABCTE, pass their specific test and be certified. Missouri accepts certificates from ABCTE only in the areas of middle- or high-school Mathematics, U.S./World History, English/Language Arts, Biology, Chemistry, General Science, Physics and Elementary Education. The individual receives an initial certificate.

Doctoral route: Individuals with a doctorate degree in a content area (such as Mathematics or English) may be issued an initial certificate by passing the 063 Professional Knowledge: Secondary assessment. For more information on the assessment, please visit the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments website. Individuals entering via the doctoral route are not eligible to advance to the career certificate but may renew the initial certificate as often as needed.

*The Missouri initial certificate is a four-year license requiring two-years of mentoring, annual evaluation, participate in a beginning teacher assistance program, have a professional development plan, and a total of 30 contact hours of professional development during the four years. Upon successful completion of the four years of teaching and requirements, the educator may apply for the career continuous certification.

Certification Testing

The practice of assessing candidates for entry into teacher education and for certification in Missouri was authorized by the Excellence in Education Act in 1985. The Missouri State Board of Education has adopted the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) as the official assessment required for admittance into professional education programs in the state’s colleges and universities.

The Missouri Content Assessments replace the Praxis II Content Assessments beginning on September 2, 2014. Students who have passed the Praxis II Content Assessment on or before August 31, 2014, will be allowed to use their score until December 31, 2016. They must have completed their preparation program by December 31, 2016, as well.

Contact Information

Educator Certification
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480