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Missouri Secondary Teacher Certification

Read about how Missouri certifies secondary teacher candidates. Find out which tests are specific to Missouri, how to apply for certification, and when to complete all requirements.

According to the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education in 2017, there were 518 school districts in the state. The majority of students lived in the rural or suburban areas in the 2015-2016 school year, said the National Center for Education Statistics. Getting an Initial Professional Certificate in Missouri enables teachers to instruct students in districts statewide, from the country to the heart of the city.

Missouri Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Secondary Teachers in Missouri (2017)* $51,720
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education, content area
Testing Requirements MoPTA, MEGA subject exams, Missouri Educator Profile

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in the Content Area

All future secondary school teachers in Missouri will need to complete an approved, accredited teacher preparation program and graduate with a degree in their field. For example, a future math teacher would pursue a degree in mathematics education, while a future PE teacher would focus on physical education. Every degree program will be different depending on the subject area. All will require students to complete student teaching prior to graduation in order to practice working with the age group at hand. The teacher preparation programs will focus on educational principles and pedagogy. Those programs vary slightly, but all will include classes that fall into the following categories:

  • Curriculum and instructional planning
  • Pedagogical theory, methods, and practices
  • English language learning (ELL)
  • Introduction to ELL and culturally responsive pedagogy

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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Step 2: Pass Required Assessments

Teachers will take the Missouri Educator Profile, which assesses a candidate's work style and habits. The results of this test are given to the test-taker in order to shed some light on how habits could be changed to use time more efficiently. This exam is required when beginning a preparation program and needs to be completed within a year of registering. It has 192 questions and cost $22.

During student teaching, teachers will need to take the Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA), which assesses instructional strategies. It will help test-takers grow by identifying any areas that need improvement, and it will help teachers create a more specific path for professional growth. The registration fee is $275.

Finally, teachers will complete the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment (MEGA) that best fits with their subject area. For example, a secondary English teacher would take the English exam, while chemistry teachers would take the chemistry test.

Step 3: Submit the Certification Application

After all Missouri performance assessments have been completed, teachers can begin the application process. Teachers will apply for their Initial Professional Certificate, which requires transcripts as well as a recommendation for certification from a teacher or advisor at their university. Teachers need to be able to prove they have an overall GPA of at least 2.75 and a 3.00 in all education-related classes. Teachers will submit their passing scores on the Missouri performance assessments and fill out an Initial Professional application. This application will be submitted to the university where teachers received their diploma, because the university will need to complete several steps before submitting the application to the Department of Education. Finally, teachers will complete a background check and pay the $40.30 fee. When all of these steps have been completed, teachers will be certified and receive their Initial Professional Certificate.

Study Resources for Future Secondary Teachers

There are study guides available for all MEGA tests given in Missouri. Students can start studying early and learn test-taking strategies prior to registering for the exams.


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