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Missouri Alternative Teacher Certification

Instructor: Marissa Baranauskas
Discover alternative ways to become a certified teacher in Missouri. Learn what's involved in the process of getting certified and become familiar with resources that will help you review content found on Missouri teacher certification assessments.

Alternative Teacher Certifications in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education outlines a variety of ways in which individuals who have not completed a traditional teacher education program can become certified to teach in Missouri. Those who are interested in an alternative route to certification must have completed their bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA in a subject that is taught in Missouri schools. After passing assessments and completing training requirements for one of the following three certification routes, individuals will earn their initial professional certificate (IPC), which permits them to teach in Missouri schools for four years.

Alternative or Innovative Certification Route

This path is intended for individuals who have already been hired to teach, but have not fulfilled the coursework and supervised teaching requirements of a traditional education program. Under this option, students must be enrolled in a formal alternative certification program that has been approved by the state. Teacher candidates are granted a provisional certificate that gives them two years to complete curriculum requirements while still teaching. The required coursework is around 30 credit hours and may include classes on instructional strategies, learning theories, classroom management, and academic evaluation techniques.

Temporary Authorization Certification Route

This self-directed approach to certification is designed for individuals who are seeking teaching credentials in a specific content area and does not require applicants to enroll in a college's education program.

Individuals with a contract that will allow them to teach and be mentored for a minimum of two years in a Missouri public or non-public accredited school are issued a temporary authorization certificate. They are then required to take 9 credit hours of applicable coursework in order to maintain this one-year certificate and continue teaching. The certificate is renewed until individuals have completed up to 24 credit hours of required courses for a general subject area credential or 29 credits hours for a special education credential.

Keep in mind that temporary certificates do not allow individuals to teach in the following areas:

  • Elementary education
  • Early childhood education
  • Early childhood special education
  • Blind and low vision special education
  • Deaf and hard of hearing special education

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) Route

ABCTE offers an alternative teacher certification program that is completely online and recognized by the state of Missouri. Program coursework can be completed in around ten months and is less expensive than taking similar courses at a college or university. To earn their initial teaching certificate through this route, students must also complete 60-90 hours of observational time in a classroom. These hours can be met by teaching as a substitute or paraprofessional.

The ABCTE offers alternative certification programs in the subjects of elementary education, biology, chemistry, physics, general science, mathematics, English/language arts, and social studies. The ABCTE program cannot be used to earn special education or early childhood education certifications.

Teacher Certification Assessments

Individuals who are attempting to achieve their initial teaching certificate will be required to take a Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment (MEGA). These tests are administered in the specific content area that an individual desires to teach. Take a look at these courses covering material you will encounter on MEGA assessments in common subject areas. Each course contains interactive lessons and quizzes to test your knowledge of MEGA exam content.

Science MEGA Middle School Science, MEGA General Science, MEGA Biology, MEGA Earth Science, MEGA Physics, MEGA Chemistry
Social Science MEGA Social Science, MEGA Social Science Multi-Content
MathMEGA Middle School Mathematics, MEGA Mathematics
Health/PEMEGA Physical Education, MEGA Health
English MEGA English
Business MEGA Business, MEGA Marketing

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