Steps to Certification

The process and timeline for applying for teaching licensure is dependent upon the type of program you’re in.

If you are applying for certification after June 15 for a spring graduate, January 15 for a fall graduate, or it has been more than six months since your graduation, email Candidate State and Certification Officer Alicia Lincoln 

Step-by-step instructions for completing your DESE application. If you have questions regarding this online process, please contact DESE at certification@dese.mo.gov or call (573) 751-0051.  

If you have already created a User ID and password (such as when you applied for your substitute teacher certificate), you will not need to request another one; you will just need to complete the online application for the appropriate licensure area.  

If you have taken courses or have a previous bachelor's degree from another university, please make sure you request official transcripts for that degree to be sent to DESE. DESE will only accept digital transcripts through the National Clearinghouse via NSCs Electronic Transcript Exchange. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) does not evaluate foreign transcripts. Before an application for a Missouri teaching certificate can be processed, all foreign transcripts must be sent to a credentialing agency approved by DESE.    

DESE background checks are only valid for up to one year. You will need to check your DESE background check in your DESE profile to see if it is up to d ate. If not, please follow these directions to obtain a new background check for DESE.

You must have passing scores on the appropriate Missouri Content Assessment Exam (MoCA). The testing companies report those scores directly to DESE. DESE stopped accepting Praxis II Exam scores on December 31, 2016.  

Please complete DESE’s online application prior to the end of the semester in which you will complete your program. This will ensure that your application will be processed as soon as your degree has been posted by the Registrar's Office.  

It is strongly recommended that you apply for licensure even if you don’t plan to use your license right away. If you do not apply immediately, state requirements may change, and you might have to meet additional criteria (e.g. new tests, additional courses).  

Once the Registrar's Office sends the Educator Preparation Office your final transcript with your Southeast degree posted, we will finish processing your application. This process may take several weeks after graduation.  

You will not need to request an official Southeast transcript to be sent to DESE if you apply for licensure the semester you graduate; we will mail your paper transcripts to DESE for you.  

After all application materials have been submitted to DESE, it may take an additional 4-8 weeks for DESE to finish processing your application.  

DESE background checks are only valid for up to one year. You will need to check your DESE background check in your DESE profile to see if it is up to date. If not, please follow these directions to obtain a new background check for DESE.  

Depending upon the license for which you are applying, you will probably have to have passing scores on the appropriate Missouri Content Assessment Exam (MoCA). The testing companies report those scores directly to DESE. DESE stopped accepting Praxis II Exam scores on December 31, 2016.  

Please complete DESE’s online application prior to the end of the semester in which you will complete your program. This will ensure that your application will be processed as soon as your degree has been posted by the Registrar's Office.  

Once your application has been fully processed, you will be able to access evidence of your license electronically on the DESE website.  

If you are applying for Advanced Licensure, please complete this Advanced Licensure Information Form and email to csco@semo.edu. You must complete this form in order for your application to be processed.  

Step-by-step instructions for completing your DESE application. If you have questions regarding this on-line process, please contact DESE at certification@dese.mo.gov or call (573) 751-0051. 

If you have already created a User ID and password, you will not need to request another one; you will just need to complete the online application for the appropriate licensure area.  

If you have taken courses or have a previous bachelor's/master’s/specialist degree from another university, please make sure you request official transcripts from that university to be sent to DESE. DESE will only accept digital transcripts through the National Student Clearninghouse via NSCs Electronic Transcript Exchange.  

It is strongly recommended that you apply for licensure even if you don’t plan to use your license right away. If you do not apply immediately, state requirements may change, and you might have to meet additional criteria (e.g. new tests, additional courses).  

Once the Registrar's Office sends the Educator Preparation Office your final transcript with your Southeast degree posted, we will finish processing your application. This process may take several weeks after graduation.  

In most cases, you will not need to request an official Southeast transcript to be sent to DESE if you apply for licensure the semester you graduate; we will mail your paper transcripts to DESE for you.  

After all application materials have been submitted to DESE, it may take an additional 4-8 weeks for DESE to finish processing your application. 

Once your application has been fully processed, you will be able to access evidence of your license electronically on the DESE website.

Instructions for submitting nonresident program verification forms 

  • To be eligible for certification in any state other than Missouri, candidates must contact that state's education department for requirements.  
  • Requests for completion of nonresident Program Verification Forms can be submitted to the Educator Preparation Office by email to csco@semo.edu (if the form doesn’t require your signature), by fax to (573) 651-2410, hand delivered to Scully Room 301, or by mail to:

    Southeast Missouri State University 
    College of Education, Health, and Human Studies Educator Preparation Office 
    One University Plaza, MS 5600 
    Cape Girardeau, MO 63701  
  • Please allow up to 10 business days to process – forms will not be completed in person. Complete all personal information prior to submitting the form to the certification office, and also include instructions specifying where the form should be returned to.

Programs for which no recommendation from Southeast is required 

If you are applying for licensure in ELL (English Language Learners), please contact DESE directly for application instructions at (573) 751-0051.

Phone
Educator Preparation
(573) 651-2556
Certification/Background Check
(573) 651-5932
Field Experiences
(573) 651-2411
Location
Office
Scully 301
Mailing Address
Educator Preparation
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701