ESL Teacher Certification Requirements in Missouri

The state of Missouri has requirements to ensure that ESL teachers are prepared and qualified to teach English language learners. This article provides information on how to become a certified ESL teacher in Missouri. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDESE) has set standards for qualifying and certifying English as second language teachers. The Educating Linguistically Diverse Students requirements and practices manual for the MDESE requires all schools have a full-time English Speaker of Other Language certified teacher if the school has more than 20 English language learners (ELL) enrolled. It is also required that teachers seeking ESL teaching certification to be fluent in English and the other language they will be communicating to the student with. This mandated standard has set a need for ESL teachers in Missouri school.

Education/Experience Required' Bachelor's Degree and TESOL Program
Exam Requirements Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA)
Certification Renewal Period 4 years for Initial Certificate and 99 years for Career Continuance Professional Certificate
Re-education Credits Required for Renewal 30 hours of Initial Professional Certificate Upgrade classes
Average Salary $49,860 Elementary, $55,070 Middle School, $54,280 High School (Missouri Stats as of May 2018)*
Estimated Job Growth 7% Elementary, 8% Middle & High School (National Stats 2016 to 2026)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education

The minimum education requirement to be a certified teacher in Missouri is a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university. The candidate must fulfill all requirements of the undergraduate degree with a minimum combined grade point average of 2.75. The undergraduate degree should be an education-based degree that includes a teacher preparation program that is approved by the MDESE. The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is the degree that prepares a candidate to be an ESL teacher. The Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) will need to be taken and passed to begin the teacher preparation program.

Preparation

The TESOL program fulfills all requirements for candidates to receive an endorsement to teach ESL in Missouri. If a candidate holds a degree that is not a TESOL, they may receive a TESOL certification by completing the program requirements separately. The program includes 30 hours of educator preparation content that are presented as educator preparation courses and clinical practice hours. The program requires 3 semester hours in studying the psychological and educational needs of ELL students, 6 semester hours in teaching literacy to ELL students, 18 semester hours in technical practices for implementing core curriculum for ELL students, and 3 semester hours of in-classroom teaching with ELL students.

Application

The candidate must file an initial teacher certification application with the institution in which their teacher preparation program was fulfilled. The institution will then provide or deny endorsement for the ESL certification to the MDESE. All candidates must have completed a background investigation using the fingerprinting process within the twelve months prior to the certification application being submitted. The cost for fingerprinting is $41.75 and provides the MDESE with both a federal and state criminal background history of the candidate. Once the candidate's ESL endorsement and background history are verified, the MDESE will issue the candidate an Initial Professional License (IPC).

Renewal

The IPC is renewed after four years. If the candidate has fulfilled all requirements of the MDESE, they may apply for a Career Continuance Professional Certificate (CCPC). The CCPC is valid for 99 years and will be given to initial certificate holders if they have been employed at least part-time as an educator in a public school, participated in a district-approved mentoring program for two years, fulfilled 30 hours of Initial Professional Certificate Upgrade classes, participate in the Beginning Teacher Assistance Program, participate in a performance evaluation by the school of employment, create a an education plan that is submitted and filed with the candidates district of employment .

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