Missouri has several methods for an individual to enter the education profession with a “certificate of license to teach.” The following routes are available:
- Traditional route: An individual completes a four-year, college-recommended course of study, does student teaching, passes the designated assessment test, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in a field of education and is issued an initial certificate.
- An alternate option is available for those who have completed a traditional route towards certification, but are unable to pass the final designated assessment test. This option includes a superintendent’s recommendation for initial certification. It was signed into law in June 2022 (Section 168.021, RSMO).
- Alternative route: An individual with a bachelor’s degree returns to a college of education for an alternative certification program of study that may enable him/her to take courses and teach simultaneously. The teacher may teach on a two-year, provisional certificate and usually completes about 30 semester hours. When the college program is completed and the designated assessment passed, the college makes a recommendation and the individual receives an initial professional 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 minimum 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 nine 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 its 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. Facts about ABCTE
- Doctoral route: Individuals who hold a PhD degree in a secondary certification content area (such as mathematics or biology) 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.
Would You Like to Speak with Someone About Your Route to Certification?
TeachMO is a DESE initiative that has coaches who are real teachers currently leading Missouri classrooms. They can help you take the next step towards certification. Sign up to attend Become a Teacher 101: Getting started with TeachMO here: https://ontch.org/MOteacher101. Click here to schedule a 1:1 call with a TeachMO coach and receive expert advice on your own path towards teaching.
The Certification Account Portal allows you to:
- Log into with your username and password (Locked out? Get help here)
- Choose the Educator Certification System link (located on the User Applications page.)
- To establish a username and password, follow the directions of the Educator Certification Help Guide
If you have a certification account, but have not accessed it for over 5 years, please follow steps #1 and #2 located in the Educator Certification Help Guide.