Missouri Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in Missouri

Teaching License Updated July 22, 2015

If you want a job dedicated to filling young minds with knowledge, than a teaching career may be right for you. You can receive your license to become a Missouri certified teacher by completing all the required obligations and passing the Missouri teaching certification testing. Read this basic information to make your teaching dreams come true.

Requirements for certified teachers in Missouri

If you have decided to pursue a career as a Missouri certified teacher, you must complete several requirements to receive your initial certification, called the Initial Professional Certificate (IPC). If you are taking the traditional route to become certified, you need to complete an approved bachelor’s degree in education, participate in a student teaching practice, and pass your exit exam. The traditional route is the easiest method to obtain certification.

You can also take an alternative or innovative route by obtaining your bachelor’s degree in a non-education content area, but continuing a course of study while teaching at the same time. You will be issued a provisional certificate, valid for two years. After completing 30 semester hours, the college will give its recommendation for you to receive your initial certificate. There are also other methods for out-of-state certification and temporary authorization.

Whether you have taken the traditional route, alternative route, or another method, you will have to take the appropriate Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment (MEGA) tests to receive your Missouri teaching certification. The tests consist of the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) as well as Missouri Content Assessment(s) appropriate to the grade and subject you want to teach.

Before being issued your teaching certificate, the Missouri Department of Education requires that you undergo a fingerprinting and background check. Once this is done, you will receive your Initial Professional Certificate. Your initial certificate is renewable every four years.

Missouri jobs for licensed teachers

While you may attain additional endorsements in other grade levels and subject topics, any other Missouri teaching certification will continue to be applied to your Initial Professional Certificate during the four years that this certificate is valid. You can advance in your teaching career as a Missouri certified teacher by applying for your Career Continuous Professional Certificate (CCPC).

For you to obtain your Career Continuous Professional Certificate, you must meet the following obligations:

  1. You must complete 4 years of teaching experience approved by the Missouri Department of Education.
  2. You must become involved in a 2-year district-provided mentoring program.
  3. You have to complete 30 days of professional development contact hours.
  4. You must be involved in a beginning teacher assistance program.
  5. You have to participate in the annual performance-based teacher evaluation process by your employing school.

Once you obtain your Career Continuous Professional Certificate, it will be valid for 99 years. You may also obtain your Continuous Career Education Certificate (CCEC) in the same manner if you have your four-year Initial Career Education Certificate (ICEC).

If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following Geographic Regions have TSAs that have been approved for Missouri for the 2015-2016 school year:

  • Carroll
  • Mercer
  • Reynolds
  • Scotland
  • Shannon
  • St. Louis City

A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.

Teaching license reciprocity in Missouri

Missouri participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.

Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.

Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.

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