Become a Teacher in Missouri

With a Bachelor’s degree in hand and a desire to make a difference, you can become a certified teacher with the help of the American Board. In May 2008, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed alternative teacher certification legislation approving the American Board as a route to full teacher licensure. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) fully recognizes the American Board certification for all school districts and charter schools in the state.

Why Choose the American Board?

The American Board offers a flexible, affordable route to earn your Missouri teaching certificate. You can complete our self-paced program online without quitting your job or taking additional college courses.

Many, like 2013 American Board Missouri Teacher of the Year Birdie Pruessner, have selected the American Board as their route to certification. Meet other career changers who chose the American Board like Patrick McDonald and the physics teacher from the St. Louis area who was featured in The New York Times.

With the American Board, you can earn your Missouri teacher certification in a manner that is both cost-effective and efficient, compared to the estimated $5,000-7,000 cost and 2 years of coursework required of the other option in Missouri. On average, candidates take 8-10 months to complete the program. We provide a variety of resources to help prepare you for exams including online workshops, practice tests, and support from our advising team.

The American Board is now a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) approved vendor in Missouri. Please check with your local career center to see if you are eligible for reimbursement by the WIA program.

To learn more or enroll, choose the certification area licensed by Missouri.

** The grade levels below reflect Missouri licenses issued after completing an American Board 6-12 certification program..

State Requirements

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires candidates to have a 2.5 GPA from a regionally accredited college or university. For more information on the GPA requirement contact DESE before enrolling.

To use the ABCTE program to obtain a teaching certificate in Missouri, you will:

    • Complete the American Board certification program. Use certificate in step 3.
      Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements for using the American Board certificate:  Phone: (573) 751-0051 or (573) 751-3847 
      DESE requires candidates to have a minimum 2.5 GPA 
    • Spend 60 contact hours in a school working with children (grades 1-12). Hours must be validated by the school principal. For Elementary Education only, an additional 30 contact hours (90 contact hours total) are required with children in grades 1-6.  Contact hours can be fulfilled at any time: before, during, or after the ABCTE program.  These may be fulfilled using a combination of the following:
      • Teaching in a public school classroom. You must be the lead instructor for at least 45 of the hours
      • Substitute teaching with at least 30 consecutive hours in the same classroom
      • Teaching in a private school
      • Teaching as a paraprofessional
    • Apply to DESE for Missouri Initial Professional Certificate (IPC) of License to Teach. This is valid for 4 years. In most subject areas, you will need to take the Missouri Content Assessment after earning the certificate to be considered “Highly Qualified.”

    *In Missouri, DESE administers the IPC as your first state license, regardless of the route to certification you choose.  You will have 4 years to upgrade your license to the Career Continuous License primarily through professional development.  Please see DESE’s website to learn how to upgrade your license.

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