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The American Board, also known as The American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), offers a flexible, affordable path to earn your teaching certificate in Missouri. You can complete our self-paced program online without quitting your job or taking additional college courses.


To use a certificate from the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence in the state of Missouri, candidates will need to complete the following steps:

1. Hold a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Candidates must graduate with a minimum 2.5 GPA or higher. This GPA requirement will raise to a minimum of 2.75/3.0 in your major in the spring of 2017.

2. Complete the ABCTE program

3. Spend 60 hours (6-12) or 90 hours (elementary) in a school working with children. Hours must be validated by the school principal. These hours can be completed in one of the following ways:

a. Spend 60/90 hours substitute teaching in a public school classroom. You must be the lead instructor for at least 45 of these hours.

b. Spend 60/90 hours substitute teaching in a public school or an accredited non-public school with at least 30 consecutive hours in the same classroom.

c. Spend 60/90 hours teaching as a paraprofessional in a public school or an accredited non-public school.

*Elementary Educator applicants: 90 hours as a substitute teacher or paraprofessional in a public school or accredited nonpublic school classroom is required, of which at least 30 hours must be completed in an elementary classroom.

4. Apply to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for the Missouri Initial Professional Certificate (IPC) of License to Teach. This is valid for 4 years. You are now ready to begin applying to school districts and are considered to have a professional teaching certificate.

5. Once you secure a position in a Missouri school and begin teaching, you will have 4 years to upgrade your IPC to a Career Continuous Professional Certificate (CCPC), a renewable teaching certificate. You will become CCPC eligible after completing teaching experiences, mentoring, professional development, performance evaluations, and more.


Contact the DESE certification department at 573-751-0051 or for more information on these requirements. You may also visit the DESE website to learn more.


The American Board is now a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) approved vendor in Missouri. Please check with your local career center to see if you are eligible for full-funding by the WIOA program.

Find a Kansas City Metro Area career center
Find a St. Louis Metro Area career center
Missouri career centers outside of Kansas City and St. Louis


Choose a subject below to learn more about the requirements to teach that subject:

Biology (9-12)
Chemistry (9-12)
Elementary Education (1-6)
English Language Arts (5-9, 9-12)
General Science (5-9, 9-12)
History (5-9, 9-12)
Mathematics (5-9, 9-12)
Physics (9-12)

*The grade levels above reflect Missouri licenses issued after completing an American Board 6-12 certification program.

Select the subject area of your choice above to Enroll Now!


Call 877-669-2228 or email us at to speak with our team about starting a new career as a teacher in Missouri.

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Please note: while we do our best to stay current with state requirements, we are not responsible for any changes to state, district, and school regulations.