Missouri Early Childhood Special Education Certification

Working with young children in a special education environment can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Find out what you'll need to do this in the state of Missouri as a certified teacher of early childhood special education!

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Teachers of younger children with special needs have their own set of requirements for certification in the state of Missouri. You can expect to earn a degree, take several rounds of exams, and submit to a background check before beginning your career as a certified teacher.

Requirements for Missouri Early Childhood Special Education

Average Salary for Early Childhood Special Education Teachers in Missouri (2017)* $37,180 (Preschool), $53,910 (Kindergarten and Elementary)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Special Education
Testing Requirements Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA), Missouri Educator Profile (MEP), Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA), Missouri Content Assessment: Early Childhood Special Education

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Early Childhood Special Education Teachers

Similar to other states, Missouri requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree for unsupervised teaching of early childhood special education. A Bachelor of Science in Special Education with a concentration in early childhood is the perfect choice for your career. Along with education courses, this program should include a teacher preparation experience with student teaching to properly prepare you for a future as a teacher. Inside your four-year degree program, you can expect to find classes such as foundations of literacy instruction, introduction to teaching and assessing students with autism spectrum disorders, and the bases of speech and language. Your student teaching session typically takes place in the final year of your degree program.

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Testing Requirements for Early Childhood Special Education Teachers

In this state, a total of four Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGAs) must be taken and passed to teach special education at the early childhood level. The Missouri Educator Profile (MEP) is not a typical exam; the survey, made up of 192 multiple-choice questions, analyzes your teaching personality to provide Missouri with information needed on the road to clearing you for your certification. The MEP can be completed at any computer with a reliable Internet connection and there is no time limit to finish it.

The Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) is required of all educators, regardless of grade level. Four subtests (Reading Comprehension and Interpretation, Mathematics, Writing, and Science and Social Studies) are given, either in one long session or in separate blocks. Three of the tests contain multiple-choice questions, while the Writing section asks you to provide an answer to a writing prompt. If you opt to take all four tests at once, you will receive a break between the second and third sections.

Student teachers will undergo the Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA), an evaluation of classroom habits and workplace rituals. This exam is designed to identify strength areas, as well as places you can improve your performance before gaining your teacher certificate. Four tasks are needed to complete the assessment, including one that utilizes video of your own student teaching classroom if allowed by your teaching institution. Finally, the Missouri Content Assessment for Special Education: Early Childhood Education examines your understanding of concepts specific to your area of study. This is another multiple-choice exam, and a score of 220 is required to pass.

Certification Requirements for Early Childhood Special Education

Before getting your own classroom, a few more steps are necessary on the road to becoming a certified special education teacher for early childhood students. Missouri issues an Initial Professional Certificate to new educators, which mandates a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 out of 4.00, as well as a 3.00 in special education courses. Evidence of passing scores on all MEGA assessments must be submitted with your application. Unless you have undergone a background check in the twelve months leading up to your application, you will need to submit a new criminal history investigation to the Missouri Highway Patrol. This will include fingerprinting, and it comes with a $40.30 fee. Once your institution issuing your degree receives your application, they will send their recommendation to the state department of education, and you will await final confirmation of your teaching certificate.

Extra Resources for Missouri Early Childhood Special Education Certification

At, you'll have the chance to review entire courses on special education as you prepare to take your exams. Check out the courses below to refresh your knowledge on important special education topics:

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