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 require 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 need to:

    • 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
      DESE requires candidates to have a minimum 2.5 GPA .
      This requirement raises to a 2.75 beginning 8/1/2017.
  • Spend 60 contact hours in a school working with children (grades K-12). Hours must be validated by the school principal. 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:
    • Sixty contact hours of substitute teaching in a public school classroom. You must be the lead instructor for at least 45 of the hours
    • Sixty contact hours of substitute teaching in a public school or an accredited nonpublic school with at least thirty consecutive hours in the same classroom
    • Sixty contact hours of teaching as a paraprofessional in a public school or an accredited nonpublic school
    • Elementary Educator applicants: Ninety contact hours as a substitute teacher or paraprofessional in a public school or accredited nonpublic school classroom of which at least thirty hours must be teaching in an elementary classroom.
  • Apply to DESE for 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.

*In Missouri, DESE issues an Initial Professional Certificate (IPC) as your first state certificate, regardless of the route to certification you choose.  You will have 4 years to upgrade your certificate to the Career Continuous Professional Certificate (CCPC) by completing the required teaching experiences, mentoring, professional development, beginning teacher assistance program and performance evaluations.  Please see DESE’s website to learn how to upgrade your license.

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


Click Here to start a webinar and live Q & A. Our Sales agents are available 7 days a week 9:00AM – 12:00AM (EST) via chat to answer your questions and help you enroll.

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.

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