In most cases, a Missouri certificate is issued by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) with no further coursework or test requirements provided your out-of-state certificate is valid and comparable to an area of study that aligns to Missouri certification. If an area of certification is not equivalent, your request may be evaluated based upon DESE’s current requirements for the most closely aligned certificate.

The steps to completing the application packet to obtain Missouri certification are as follows:

  1. Complete the online Non-Missouri Graduate application form on the DESE website.  (Note:  Section III of the form is NOT required because you hold a valid professional teaching certificate from another state.)
    Click the Educator Certification link

    Click the Teachers link

    Click the Teachers link again
  2. In the column that says, “To Become Certified as a Teacher in Missouri”, click the first link.  It says, “You have completed a teacher preparation program from another state and wish to become certified in Missouri.” You have completed a teacher preparation program from another state and wish to become certified in Missouri.
    A NON-REFUNDABLE processing fee of $100 must be paid at the time the application is submitted online.  Fees may be paid by credit/debit card or e-check.
  3. Original transcripts (no photocopies) from ALL institutions attended must be provided.  Be sure to provide your complete social security number or educator ID.  A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale is required.
  4. Teaching experience from your school district(s) must be verified using DESE Verification of Teaching Experience form.  The letter should include subject areas and grade levels taught, as well as dates of employment.  The letter must be signed by an official of the school system where you taught and sealed in the school’s official envelope.  (Note:  Substitute teaching, student teaching, college-level teaching, or serving as a teacher’s aide or assistant does not qualify as acceptable teaching experience.)
  5. Include a photocopy of your valid teaching certificate(s) or license(s).
  6. A criminal background check by the Missouri Highway Patrol must be completed. The Fingerprinting/Background Check information page will provide comprehensive information to meet this requirement. Nothing needs to be mailed to DESE as the information will be sent directly to them once the criminal background check is completed.

Each of these steps in their entirety completes the application packet.  Once submitted, the items become the property of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and will not be returned or released to other agencies.

Mail the complete packet to Educator Certification, PO Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480.

Note:  The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education oversees the teacher certification process.  It is within DESE’s purview to determine if an out-of-state professional certificate meets the current Missouri professional certificate requirements.    

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