How great to be almost at the end of your teacher certification journey.  Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about the certification process and fingerprinting. You also should visit our Job Search page. We know you will be successful in your teaching career!

Certification FAQs

How do I get certified?

You must initiate the certification application process by creating a DESE Online Profile.  Start this process by going to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) website: http://dese.mo.gov/

Click “DESE Web Applications” (this is the last option in the blue column on the left of the screen).   This will open the “Web Application Logon” page.  Here you will create your profile by following the steps below:

  1. Click “Register”
  2. Complete the information required (first and last name, birth date, etc.)
  3. Choose a User Name & Password.  Be sure to write them down and keep them for future use!  You will not be able to access your profile in the DESE system without this information.
  4. Once you are finished, click “Create User”
  5. Click “Continue”
  6. Enter your User Name & Password, then click “Login”
  7. The third option under “User Applications” is called “Office of Educator Quality”, click the subcategory:  “Licensure System Educator Request Access”
  8. Click “Submit”
  9. Click “Close”
  10.  Again, click the subcategory of “Office of Educator Quality:  “Licensure”
  11.  Enter your SSN & Date of Birth, Click “Submit”
  12.  Now you are at the point where you can create your profile.



  1. Fill in all Personal Information & Contact Information
  2. Click “Save Profile” once complete
  3. Since you have a new profile, the Fingerprint Information, Praxis II Test(s) and Application Status should fill in automatically within 72 hours.



  1. Click “Add”
  2. Fill in all institutions you have attended.  If you can’t remember exact attendance dates, use the 15th of the month you started and stopped attending.  If you are graduating from Maryville this semester, use today’s date in place of your graduation date (the program will not process future dates).

Please note:  if you have completed the Praxis II exam or have an FBI background check on file, those items will not immediately show up once you have created your profile.  The DESE online system will link your profile to your Praxis II and background check overnight, so it may be 24 hours before those items appear.  If you have completed both items but they do not appear within 48 hours of establishing your profile, it is still likely that they have them but their system was not able to match your records automatically.  DESE recommends you wait until Maryville recommends you for certification.  At that time, they will attempt to manually locate your Praxis II score report and your FBI background check and transfer them into their system.  If they are not able to transfer them, they will contact you with instructions.

The School of Education will sign off on your DESE web application electronically only after all program requirements have been met. You will be able to check the status of your certification application by logging into your profile.

(Thank you to Scott Fiedler (Director of Student Services-Certification Officer) at Missouri State for providing the above step-by-step instructions!)

What is the title of my teaching certificate?

Initial Professional Certificate

Is this a lifetime certificate?

No.  It is valid for a minimum of 4 years from the date of issuance.  During these four years you will need to complete a variety of requirements to upgrade to a:
Career Continuous Professional Certificate (CCPC which is valid for 99 years)

So, in a nutshell:  This Initial Professional Certificate is a four-year certificate requiring two years of mentoring, annual evaluation, one year of beginning teacher assistance, and professional development for a total of 30 contact hours during the four years. DESE will provide specific information and guidelines after they issue your certification.

How do I get certified in other states?

Students who are contemplating teaching in a state other than Missouri will need to apply for licensure in that specific state. Licensing or certification is a function of the state – look at Certification Requirements for 50 States to find the information on the state you want.   Each state sets their application fee. The fees can range from $50.00 to $150.00.  Most  states will require a copy of your Missouri license and another criminal history background check.  On any state’s application form there is a place for the signature of the “recommending institution.” The dean of the School of Education will sign the form.

Maryville University’s Teacher Education Program is a nationally (NCATE) accredited program and is recognized in all states.  Individual states may have specific requirements that are not a requirement in Missouri or they may require state or national testing.  However, the state will usually issue you a temporary license to give you time to complete the requirement.

Illinois Certification for Maryville University Education Students

Illinois accepts Missouri certification and Maryville’s program requirements.  However, you will have additional testing requirements.  Illinois does not accept our C-Base test so students will need to take the Illinois Basic Skills Test (they hope this law will change).  They accept the Praxis II test but have an additional test they require: the APT test (Assessment of Professional Teaching).  Students can apply directly to the state of Illinois and, if they have received or will receive their Missouri certification, do not need Maryville to complete any forms.  They will then be eligible for a provisional certification good for 1-2 years (during which they can complete testing requirements).  If they decide to only apply for Illinois certification and not MO certification, then the dean needs to complete the state approved program verification form and they can not get a provisional certificate.  For more information, visit their website:  https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Licensure.aspx

Where can I get more details and information about my certification.

Go to https://dese.mo.gov/.  Under the Educators tab at the top you will click on:  Certification.  From there you will find all of the topics and information regarding your certification.  You can even track the progress of your application once the dean has signed off and submitted it online for DESE verification.  If you need additional information you can call or email them – their contact numbers are listed bottom of the page.

I’ve completed my program, when will I receive my teaching certificate?

We will verify your certification application online through the DESE web applications portal only after all program requirements have been met, final grades posted and Praxis II scores are received.  The length of time required for DESE to verify and issue your certification can take several weeks. You can track your certification status by logging in to your DESE Profile.  You can also print the screen of your profile showing that your certification is in process.  DESE encourages you to print this screen and share it with the school districts that are considering you for employment.  The districts are aware that the licensure process can take time and this print out will confirm that you have been verified by Maryville and are awaiting final DESE verification.

FBI Fingerprinting FAQs

Do I need an FBI Fingerprint Background Check for Certification?


Do I need an FBI Fingerprint Background Check for Student Teaching?

Possibly.  It depends on the school district where you are student teaching.   More and more school districts are requiring the FBI clearance prior to working in the schools as a student teacher.  The coordinator of clinical experiences will notify you if you are required to have this completed prior to student teaching.  Your FBI clearance will be valid for one year and it will be on file with DESE when your application for licensure is received by their office provided you complete our teacher education program within that one year time frame.  Unless otherwise advised, you should plan to have this done no later than 1 month prior to program completion.

PLEASE NOTE:  Following a fingerprinting appointment, your result will be sent electronically to DESE and it will be added to your DESE Profile.  Should you be required to provide proof of clearance to a school district for student teaching, you will need to print the page of your DESE Profile that shows your FBI result.  It is your responsibility to take the printout to the HR department of the school district requiring this clearance.  Be sure to keep a copy for your records.

How do I get an FBI Fingerprint Background Check and how much does it cost?

You first must register with the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS). To register for your fingerprinting you must have a 4-digit code. Use code 2300 as this identifies you as an educator who is not yet employed and will route your results to your DESE Profile. The fee for the fingerprinting process is $44.80. You will have the option to make this payment online at the time of registration or at your appointment.

Additional information about the fingerprinting process may be viewed at the following website: http://dese.mo.gov/eq/cert/eq-cert-fingerprint-background.htm