Sep 27, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 
Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Teacher Certification Program


Admission to the Teacher Certification Program

Education courses numbered 300 and below are open to all students. Students pursuing teacher certification may not enroll in Education courses as pass/fail unless the course is a designated pass/fail* course by the Education Department. Admission to the program is required prior to enrollment in all education courses above 300 (excluding EDUC 390 EDUC 391 /PSYC 391  and EDUC 392 /PSYC 392 ). Students are required to meet requirements and seek admission as early as possible.

(*Undesignated courses taken pass/fail will be considered as a grade of C for GPA calculations.)

Students who seek admission to the program must have:

  • Declared a Bachelor’s degree in a subject/content area (e.g. English, History, Business, etc. The exception is the Bachelor of General Studies with Elementary Education Certification);
  • Completed 5-6 hours of Education courses at Columbia College which must include EDUC 100 ;
  • Attain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (includes all coursework, Columbia College and other institutions) and a professional education and content area GPA of at least 3.0 with no grade less than C; See note above regarding pass/fail.
  • Demonstrated competency in the areas of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences as verified by passing scores on all sections of the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA);
  • Completed application materials for admission to the Teacher Certification Program (available on the Education Department website);
  • All students fully admitted to the Teacher Certification Program will be reviewed on a yearly basis until they have completed or withdrawn from the program. Areas for review could include:
    • GPA (overall, in content area, and education coursework);
    • Reports from faculty members regarding conduct and progress of student.

Retention Criteria:

  • Complete at least six hours of professional education each year;
  • Complete Field Experiences and receive favorable evaluations from cooperating teachers and faculty supervisors;
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above after acceptance to the program;
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above in professional education courses;
  • Department faculty members and staff will document instances of unprofessional behavior. Unprofessional behavior may make the student ineligible for acceptance in the Teacher Certification Program or may result in the immediate dismissal of a student from the Teacher Certification Program. Additional information regarding candidate dismissal can be obtained from the Education Department.

Other Coursework:

  • Content area coursework not completed in BA must also be taken to meet State certification requirements;
  • Any content area or professional education course(s) with grade of “D” or lower must be repeated until a grade of “C” or above is obtained.

Other requirements for certification that must be completed prior to recommendation for a Missouri teaching certificate:

  • Successful completion of appropriate Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA);
  • Successful completion of the Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA)

Beacon Program

The Beacon Program is a certification program designed so that students can graduate with a baccalaureate degree in their content area and certification in their grade level. Students complete all degree and certification requirements at the undergraduate level. Students seeking certification to teach will declare a major in their content area (i.e. Math, History, English, Science) and a minor in Elementary Education Certification, Middle Level Education Certification, Secondary Education Certification, Art K-12 Certification, or Music K-12 Certification. Students will be required to maintain a 3.0 GPA within each minor and complete a minimum of one half of the Education coursework through Columbia College, which must include an observed field experience. Certification students must apply and be accepted into the Teacher Certification Program before enrolling in most education courses above  EDUC 300. Students graduating from this program will be eligible to be recommended for certification to teach in Missouri at the elementary, middle, or secondary, or K-12 level. 

Students who choose to pursue Elementary Education Certification have two degree options:

  1. Obtain the Bachelor of General Studies for Elementary Education Certification that includes the Elementary Education Certification Minor and Elementary Education Content Area Minors in Language Arts, Mathematic/Science, and Social Studies. Students must complete all minors to earn this degree.
  2. Obtain a degree in a content area and add the Elementary Education Certification Minor. Recommended content degree programs are listed on the certification checklist.

Cost Information and Suggestions for Teacher Certification Program Students

Teaching is a very rewarding field to pursue but the various costs associated with obtaining teacher certification can be difficult without careful planning. To help with this planning, here are the fees and assessment costs associated with becoming a teacher in the state of Missouri:

Fees - All field experience courses, practicums, and student teaching include a fee categorized as a “lab fee.” These fees could vary but in most cases, lab fees are $40 per field experience/practicum/student teaching course. Students should review their certification checklist to see how many field experience courses are required for their program.

Assessments - Missouri requires various assessments throughout a student’s teacher certification program. They are:

Missouri Educator Profile (MEP) - cost = $22
Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) - cost for all subtests taken together = $29.95
                - cost for Reading Comprehension and Interpretation and Writing subtests = $17.50
                - cost for Mathematics subtest = $17.50
                - cost for Science and Social Studies subtest = $17.50
Any subtest(s) of the MoGEA that do not receive a passing grade would need to be repeated and the fee paid again. (This assessment replaced the CBASE.)
Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA) - the cost of this assessment varies ($77 to $189 per assessment) depending on the area of certification. Some certification areas require multiple assessments and others may only require one. (This assessment replaced the Praxis II.)
Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA) - cost = $275 (registration fee). If the assessment must be rescheduled, there is a $30 rescheduling fee. If a task needs to be resubmitted, there is an $85 resubmission fee. If test takers feels that their final scores were reported incorrectly, they may request that ETS conduct a review of responses scored; there is a $100 score review fee.

(Note: Some testing centers may also charge an exam sitting fee. For additional information about these assessments, go to and

Tuition - Although this may seem obvious, tuition is another cost to plan for, especially student teaching which is a 16-week placement in a school during which most students are not able to maintain a separate job for income.

How to plan - Since the assessments are not covered by financial aid, students should determine, with their advisor, the semester/session they plan to take the assessment(s) and save any financial aid refund from previous terms to help defray the cost. A semester with no income while student teaching would obviously take more budgeting, but planning ahead would certainly help reduce the financial stress during that time.