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Get Certified to Teach
Here's what you need to know about resources, state laws and best practices for getting certified to teach in Kansas or Missouri.
Here's what you need to know about resources, state laws and best practices for getting certified to teach in Kansas or Missouri.

Where do you want to get certified?

We’ve sorted through all the resources, state laws, and best practices—this guide is your one-stop-shop for getting certified to teach in Kansas or Missouri. You’ve got this. 

We’ll cover:

  • Types of certification areas and requirements for teaching certain grades and subjects.
  • Preparation pathways you can choose from to get certified.

Note: Here at TEACH.org, we do our best to keep all information updated, but because certification requirements are regularly reviewed and revised, it is best to confirm requirements with your teacher preparation program and the Kansas Department of Education or the Missouri Department of Education before you apply.

Get Certified to Teach in Kansas

Which statement fits you best?

In Kansas, teachers are awarded certification that allows them to teach a specific set of grades and subjects.

If you know the grade and subject matter you’d like to teach, the next step is to identify your certification area.  Each certification area requires its own set of exams, and when it’s time to apply to a teacher preparation program, you can make sure your desired certification area is available.

  • You Already Know What Subject/Grade You Want to Teach
  • You’re Open To Teaching Different Grades and Subjects

Choosing a Certification Area

Once you know your grade and subject preferences, you can select a certification area. (Check out the list below). 

In some cases, you may have multiple options to choose from. In Kansas for example, if you want to teach fifth or sixth grade, you’ll have to decide between two possible certificates—one that allows you to teach all subjects in K-6, and another that allows you to teach specific subjects in grades 5-8.

In Kansas, certification of new teachers involves getting a “license” and one or more “endorsements” on that license. The license defines the grade levels you are certified to teach, and the endorsements define the subjects and/or specialty areas (e.g., special education, english language learners, etc.) that you can teach.

Pro Tip: You don’t have to get all your certifications at once. At any time during your teaching career, you can take tests and/or coursework to add additional endorsements to your license to teach additional subjects or specialty areas. Some endorsements can be obtained by passing a content test, while others require additional coursework.

  • Core-subjects or generalist certification areas that allow you to teach multiple subjects
  • Single subject certification areas - core subjects
  • Single subject certification areas - enrichment subjects
  • Academic specialty certification areas
  • Career and technical education certification areas

Kansas teacher certification requirements

  1. Gain admission into an accredited university and earn a bachelor’s degree.

    Kansas accepts degrees from a large number of universities, but you should confirm that they have been accredited by one of the Kansas-approved accreditation agencies. Note: If you have a bachelor’s degree from outside of the United States, it is possible to meet this requirement  if the educator preparation program you apply to deems your degree from a foreign credential evaluation service equivalent to an accredited program.

  2. Gain admission into and graduate from an approved Kansas educator preparation program

    You can meet this requirement either as part of your undergraduate coursework (e.g. by earning a BA in Education) or by applying to and graduating from a post-baccalaureate educator preparation program after earning your BA degree. See Pathways below, or select your program now with the Kansas City Program Explorer.

  3. Pass Praxis exams

    You’ll have to pass one or more exams that evaluate your knowledge of teaching and the subject area(s) you wish to teach. 

    • You must take the initial Principles of Learning and Teaching exam for your grade level, and specific content exams based on the subject area you wish to teach.The Principles of Learning and Teaching exam will measure your knowledge and understanding of educational practices and pedagogy, such as  human development, learning processes, instructional processes, diverse learners, educational psychology and professional issues. Principles of Learning and Teaching exam costs $146.
    • You may also need to take one or more subject competency exams. The subject competency exam measures your competency in a specific subject area. To learn more about what tests you need to take, refer to this Kansas Praxis test requirements. Content Knowledge exams typically cost about $120.
  4. Complete fingerprinting card for a criminal background check.

    You are required to complete a fingerprint check for $50. You must submit the fingerprinting card before applying for your state licensure or you will be fined. KSDE provides details and instructions for completing the fingerprinting card on their website. 
     

  5. Submit a state application.

    After you meet the requirements above, it’s time for you to formally apply for your teaching certificate. First confirm with your educator preparation program that you are eligible to apply and use any support they can provide in the process. 

Pathways to Kansas teacher certification

Besides deciding what subject and grade levels you want to teach, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is around the pathway you pursue to get trained. Each pathway has its own pros and cons, so you will have to decide which one is the best fit for you, but we’ve put together an initial summary to help you understand your options and take the first step. In Kansas, we’ve identified three major pathways to become a newly certified teacher:

  • Reduces total cost and time to complete your educator preparation program. 
  • Great for individuals who decide in high school or early in college that they want to become a teacher.
  • One of the most established and common pathways of new teachers in Kansas.
  • Undergraduate certification (+bachelor’s)
  • Post-graduate, traditional certification
  • Post-graduate, alternative certification

Get Certified to Teach in Missouri

Which statement fits you best?

In Missouri, teachers are awarded certification that allows them to teach a specific set of grades and subjects.

If you know the grade and subject matter  you’d like to teach, the next step is to identify your  certification area.  Each certification area requires its own set of exams, and when it’s time to apply to a teacher preparation program, you can make sure your desired certification area is available.

  • You Already Know What Subject/Grade You Want to Teach
  • You’re Open To Teaching Different Grades and Subjects

Choosing a Certification Area

Once you know your grade and subject preferences, you can select a certification area. (Check out the list below)., 

In some cases, you may have multiple options to choose from. In Missouri for example, if you want to teach fifth or sixth grade, you’ll have to decide between two possible certificates—one that allows you to teach all core subjects in 1-6, and another that allows you to teach specific subjects in grades 5-9.

Pro Tip: You don’t have to get all your certifications at once. At any time during your teaching career, you can take tests and/or coursework to add additional endorsements to your license to teach additional subjects or specialty areas. Some endorsements can be obtained by passing a content test, while others require additional coursework.

  • Core-Subjects or Generalist certification areas that allow you to teach multiple subjects
  • Single subject certification areas - core subjects
  • Single subject certification areas - enrichment subjects
  • Academic specialty certification areas
  • Career and Technical Education Certification Areas

Missouri teacher certification requirements

To become a teacher in Missouri:

  1. Gain admission into an accredited university and earn a bachelor’s degree.

    Missouri accepts degrees from a large number of universities, but you should confirm that they have been accredited by one of the Missouri-approved accreditation agenciesNote: If you have a bachelor's degree from outside of the United States, you will need to have your transcripts evaluated by a state-approved credential evaluation service to determine if your degree is equivalent.

    Required Testing for Undergraduate Programs: If you are planning to pursue your teacher certification while earning your bachelor’s degree, you must pass a core academic skills test—either the ACT or the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA)—in order to be admitted into a Missouri educator preparation program. 

    The ACT and MoGEA both measure your skills in the core academic subjects of reading, writing, science and math. Educator preparation programs set the required scores, which range from 20-22 on the ACT or 170-220 on each section of the MoGEA. Check with your program for specifics.

  2. Gain admission into and graduate from an approved Missouri educator preparation program

    You can meet this requirement either as part of your undergraduate coursework (e.g., earning a BA in Education) or by applying to and graduating from a post-baccalaureate educator preparation program after earning your BA degree. See Pathways below, or select your program now with the Kansas City Program Explorer.

  3. Pass Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA)

    This exam measures your competency in a specific subject area. Depending on the subjects you would like to be certified in, you may take multiple MoCA exams. For undergraduate educator preparation programs, the MoCA exams are taken halfway through your educator preparation program, prior to student teaching. 

    Some post-graduate programs require a passing score on the MoCA exams to apply, while others require a passing score after enrollment into the program. Before applying to a post-graduate program, make sure to check the MoCA requirements. See the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments website for more information about the MoCA assessments.

  4. Submit a state application

    After you meet the requirements above, you can apply for your teaching certificate. Confirm with your educator preparation program that you are eligible to apply. See the Missouri Educator Certification Help Guide for instructions.

  5. Complete fingerprinting for a criminal background check

    While having a criminal history does not automatically disqualify you from being a teacher, you are required to complete a fingerprint check for $40.30. You must pre-register at the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS) for a fingerprint-based background check. See the background check registration process for more details.

Pathways to Missouri teacher certification

How you pursue training is up to you. We’ve identified five major pathways to certification in Missouri to help you understand your options and take the first step.

  • Undergraduate certification (+bachelor’s)
  • Post-graduate, traditional certification
  • Post-graduate, alternative certification, Provisional Certificate
  • Post-graduate, alternative certification, Temporary Authorization Certificate (TAC)
  • Post-graduate, American Board of Certification for Teacher Excellence(ABCTE)

Additional Resources

If you want to learn more, here are some additional resources you might find helpful:

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