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How to Choose a Teaching Program

Know your options for getting certified, and learn what to consider in a teaching program.

Browse Programs

To become a fully certified teacher in a public school, you need to attend an approved teaching program. You’ll get the skills and knowledge you need to teach in your chosen grade and subject. 

Let’s break it down and find the right path for you.

Attending a teaching program is one of several steps to earn your certificate. Get a full explanation of the certification process, plus a downloadable guide, on our About Certification page.

On this page:

4 Ways to Complete Your Teacher Training

Make sure your program works for you

Once you have an idea of which pathway is right for you, you’ll want to make sure that your must-haves are covered. 

Your teaching program should:

  • Offer a credential in the grade and subject you want to teach. Confirm that your program has been accredited by one of Missouri's approved accreditation agencies.
  • Be approved for certification in Missouri. TEACH Missouri’s program explorer can get your search started.
  • Work for you financially.
  • Work with your schedule. Program coursework can be mostly online, in-person or a mix of both, and all programs require fieldwork in schools.

Once you have these logistics covered, you can look more closely at the values and focus of the programs you’re considering, to find the best fit.


What to look for in a teaching program

Each teaching program has its own approach to skill-building, mentorship and instruction. As you explore teaching programs, consider how you learn best and what skills are important to you. 

Current teachers, teacher preparation program officials and school district HR chiefs (you know, the experts) say that a strong teaching program should offer these hallmarks:

  • Lots of hands-on experience
  • Preparation to teach diverse populations
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Commitment to continuous improvement

TEACH Missouri offers support for every step of your teacher prep journey, including how-to guides, deadline reminders, application checklists and 1-on-1 support. Sign up for free access.

Teaching Program Hallmarks


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