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Missouri Certification Application

How to submit your application for certification 

News / April 9, 2024
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Certification has many steps and requirements, not least of which is the actual act of completing the Missouri Certification application. That is why we have created this step-by-step guide outlining the certification application process.  Whether you are actively applying for certification or are simply inquiring about what might be required for this career pathway, this guide will give you important details on the certification application process. 


To apply for certification, you must first complete a certification program and all the required programmatic elements. Wondering which program to apply for? There are traditional and alteration certification programs to consider. Depending on what you are looking for, you might fit with one program over another. The Educator Academy has two certification programs–the teacher residency is a great fit regardless of education experience. In contrast, the teacher fellows program is geared towards individuals who are already lead teaching in some capacity. Learn more about the differences between the residency and fellows programs


  1. On the DESE website, create an account or if you already have an existing account, log in. 
  2. Click Educator Certification System. This may prompt you to verify your Social Security number and date of birth. 
  3. Click on application > Initial Certification 
  4. Complete the prompts and questions. Be sure to choose the correct certifying institution. For example, if you are getting certified through The Educator Academy’s fellowship or residency, this is where you will put “Educator Academy”. This will prompt DESE to confirm with us the successful completion of our program. 



Another key step is completing your background check. Follow these steps in alignment with Missouri Certification application process.

  1. Pre-register via the Missouri Automated Criminal History System (MACHS)
  2. Click “Click here to Register with the Fingerprint Portal” 
  3. Enter the appropriate registration code. If you employed at a school, contact your district for the appropriate registration code. If you don’t have a school you are yet, you will use will use the code 2300. Refer to this DESE document to know which code to use. 
    1. Note that background check clearances are only valid for 12 months. If you have questions about background checks, reach out to the Missouri Department of Education and Secondary Education’s Conduct and Investigations Office at 573-522-8315.
  4. Next, identify a location to complete your background check



You must send an official transcript from each and every institution you have ever attended. This includes institutions attended via study abroad, dual enrollment in high school, community college, etc. DESE will not accept pdf, screenshots, or unofficial documents. Applicants must send their official transcripts  to Educator Certification, P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480. You can request an electronic transcript be sent directly to DESE only if your institution works with the National Student Clearinghouse. This is the only way an electronic transcript will be accepted. 

These documents must arrive to DESE within 120 days of submitting your online application. Additionally, once DESE posses a document, they considered it their property. If in the future a different institution requires an official transcript, DESE will not forward their copy to any other institution. 

Likewise, be aware that many institutions will pose a few for producing an official transcript. This varies based on the institution issuing the transcript. For teachers pursuing certification with The Educator Academy, transcript fees are something that we support candidates with. 


Ready to earn your teacher certification? 

Apply to one of The Educator Academy’s certification programs! While certification can be a confusing process, The Educator Academy walks you through the process. Join our residency or fellows program to earn your teacher certification! 

Apply today!