Substitute Certificate Processes
PLEASE NOTE: The emergency action passed by the State Board of Education in August 2020 allowing online training to earn a substitute teacher certificate has expired.
The Governor’s Office recently announced an additional allocation from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) intended to support Missourians wishing to serve or currently serving as substitute teachers during the staffing challenges Missouri schools are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will take the form of reimbursements for the $50 application fee paid between November 5, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
There is no action required by the substitute teachers to be reimbursed; the payment method used to pay the fees associated with the application (i.e. a credit card number) will be automatically credited. DESE will begin processing those reimbursements on April 1, 2021. Processing reimbursements will take a minimum of several weeks to complete.
NOTE: Individuals with valid Missouri teaching certificates who wish to substitute teach in a school district are no longer required by DESE to apply for a substitute certificate. This includes individuals who hold an initial professional, career continuous professional, lifetime, student services, administration, provisional, and/or temporary certificate. There are restrictions on the number of hours a retired teacher may substitute teach. If, at any time, the educator allows his/her teaching certificate to expire, then a substitute certificate would be required.
To apply for your first Substitute Certificate
To Renew a Substitute Certificate that has expired or will expire soon
DESE issues two types of substitute certificates, depending upon the setting(s) in which an individual will be placed. Regardless of the type of substitute certificate, each applicant is required to complete a background check if he/she is requesting a new certificate or is considered to be a new hire at a school district. If an applicant has previously fingerprinted for DESE, a new fingerprint clearance will be required if the previous one is over twelve months old.
A Content Substitute certificate is for individuals wishing to substitute teach in the K-12 classroom setting (elementary, middle/high school content areas, special education, art, music, PE, etc.). A Content Substitute certificate may be granted to an individual who has completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit from a regionally accredited, academic degree-granting, college or university. Verification of these hours must be provided with an original transcript from each institution the applicant has attended.
PLEASE NOTE: The alternative route to the substitute teaching certificate using the 20 hours of online training has expired.
Reimbursements will also be provided for the $175 fee for the online training offered by Frontline paid between November 5, 2020 and February 28, 2021. There is no action required by the substitute teachers to be reimbursed; the payment method used to pay the fees associated with the online training (i.e. a credit card number) will be automatically credited. Frontline will begin processing those reimbursements on March 1, 2021. Processing reimbursements will take a minimum of several weeks to complete.
A Career Technical Substitute certificate is for individuals who will only substitute teach in a career center or an approved vocational program in courses such as carpentry, welding, nursing, etc. A Career Technical Substitute certificate is granted based upon an applicant’s occupational experience and training in a specific field. Applicants must meet one of the following:
The Certification Account Portal allows you to: