Facts about the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE)


Facts about the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE

On May 1, 2008, Governor Matt Blunt signed Senate Bill 1066, authorizing another form of alternative certification of teachers in Missouri.  The law took effect August 28, 2008.  It allows persons who hold a certificate from the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) to be eligible for a regular Missouri teaching certificate in these areas:

  • Elementary Education
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English/Language Arts
  • General Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Social Science (Must pass the US and World History Tests)

By law, American Board certificate-holders are NOT eligible for a regular Missouri license in the areas of Early Childhood Education or Special Education.

Candidates for the American Board-based certificate must:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and meet American Board requirements;
  • Have an overall (all courses taken from all institutions) GPA of 2.50.  This requirement will change to 2.75 on August 1, 2017;
  • Earn a certificate from the American Board;
  • Complete a Missouri fingerprint background check; and
  • Verify teaching/substitute experience (60 classroom hours).  See form provided by DESE.

Successful applicants will be issued an Initial Professional Certificate by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Once employed, American Board certificate-holders will be subject to the same mentoring and professional development requirements that apply to all new teachers in Missouri schools.

Application Procedure

Complete the online ABCTE application.  In order to create a certification account (online profile) you will need to follow the Educator Certification System Help Guide.  Submit remaining items on the ABCTE checklist (located on the ABCTE application) in one packet to DESE-Educator Certification, P. O. Box 480, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0480.

For More Information

Visit https://www.americanboard.org/ to learn more about the American Board program, examination process, and fees.




To access your certification account (online profile) you must first log into DESE Web Applications with a userid and password, and then choose the Educator Certification System link located on the User Applications page.  Your certification account (online profile) provides access to each of the following:

  • Apply for a certificate
  • Print out a certificate
  • View a certificate or pending application
  • View assessment scores
  • Check for the receipt of transcripts
  • Check fingerprint/background status

Please Note:  If you have not logged in to your certification account (online profile) in over 12 months, please contact the Office of Data System Management at webappsloginassistance@dese.mo.gov or 573-522-3207.