Teach in Arkansas




Interested in teaching in the state of Missouri? With a Bachelor’s degree and a desire to make a difference, the American Board can help you achieve your dream.


The American Board, also known as The American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), offers a flexible, affordable path to earn your teaching certificate in Missouri. You can complete our self-paced program online without quitting your job or taking additional college courses.

The American Board is also extremely cost-efficient. Compare the cost of our program (less than $3000 in most cases) to the cost of taking 25-30 credit hours at a state university and it’s no competition.

Plus, we let candidates complete our teacher preparation program at their own pace. On average, our candidates take 8-10 months to complete the program.


To use a certificate from the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence in the state of Missouri, candidates will need to complete the following steps:

1. Hold a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Candidates must graduate with a minimum 2.5 GPA or higher. This GPA requirement will raise to a minimum of 2.75/3.0 in your major in the spring of 2017.

2. Complete the ABCTE program

3. Spend 60 hours (6-12) or 90 hours (elementary) in a school working with children. Hours must be validated by the school principal. These hours can be completed in one of the following ways:

a. Spend 60/90 hours substitute teaching in a public school classroom. You must be the lead instructor for at least 45 of these hours.

b. Spend 60/90 hours substitute teaching in a public school or an accredited non-public school with at least 30 consecutive hours in the same classroom.

c. Spend 60/90 hours teaching as a paraprofessional in a public school or an accredited non-public school.

*Elementary Educator applicants: 90 hours as a substitute teacher or paraprofessional in a public school or accredited nonpublic school classroom is required, of which at least 30 hours must be completed in an elementary classroom.

4. Apply to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for the Missouri Initial Professional Certificate (IPC) of License to Teach. This is valid for 4 years. You are now ready to begin applying to school districts and are considered to have a professional teaching certificate.

5. Once you secure a position in a Missouri school and begin teaching, you will have 4 years to upgrade your IPC to a Career Continuous Professional Certificate (CCPC), a renewable teaching certificate. You will become CCPC eligible after completing teaching experiences, mentoring, professional development, performance evaluations, and more.

Contact the DESE certification department at 573-751-0051 or certification@dese.mo.gov for more information on these requirements. You may also visit the DESE website to learn more.


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 full-funding by the WIA program.

Find a Kansas City Metro Area career center
Find a St. Louis Metro Area career center
Missouri career centers outside of Kansas City and St. Louis


Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed alternative teacher certification legislation approving the American Board as a route to full teacher licensure in 2008. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) fully recognizes the American Board’s certification in all school districts and charter schools in the state. Learn more about our partner districts here.

We offer certifications in a variety of subjects. Choose a subject below to learn more about the requirements to teach that subject:

Biology (9-12)
Chemistry (9-12)
Elementary Education (1-6)
English Language Arts (5-9, 9-12)
General Science (5-9, 9-12)
History (5-9, 9-12)
Mathematics (5-9, 9-12)
Physics (9-12)

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


In order to be deemed “Highly Qualified” per the No Child Left Behind Act, you will need to take the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA) exam. This exam will be separate from your American Board certification. Contact the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for more information.


Select the subject area of your choice above or Enroll Now!

Call 1-877-669-2228 (option 1) to speak with a representative of the American Board for answers to any questions you may have.

To learn more about the American Board program, attend a free information session in your area. See the list of upcoming events here.

No event in your area? Check out our pre-recorded Information Session by clicking here.

You can also email us at contact@abcte.org.

Please note: while we do our best to stay current with state requirements, we are not responsible for any changes to state, district, and school regulations.

Scroll to Top