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Who is eligible for the Teach in 12 program?

UMSL’s Teach in 12 is a path to teacher certification for those who have already earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited program. Candidates must have maintained a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for undergraduate work and 3.0 for graduate work. All eligible candidates must have a passing score on the Missouri Content Assessment (MOCA) in their area of study: early childhood, elementary or high school subject areas.  

Can I earn a master’s degree with certification?

Yes. In addition to earning teacher certification, you can earn a Master of Education (MEd) through the program. The master’s degree requires an additional four to five courses depending on the certification area.   


How do I apply?

Before applying, we encourage all prospective students to attend a Preview Night to gain detailed information on the program and to meet with faculty and staff. Multiple preview nights are held throughout the spring.

Candidates should complete the following to enter the program in the fall semester:

  1. Submit the one-page Teach in 12 application by July 1 and then connect with one of our dedicated Teach in 12 advisors by phone at 314-516-5937 or by email at
  2. Apply to the UMSL Graduate School for admission as a teacher certification candidate by July 1. Note that official transcripts are required for every college or university you have attended.
  3. Acquire and submit all documents in the 6-Step Application process by August 1, including background check, TB test, academic audit, substitute certificate, professional resume and letter of reference.


What tests do I need to take?

All candidates seeking educator certification in Missouri are required to achieve a passing score on the appropriate Missouri Content Assessment (MOCA) by August 1. Candidates must also complete the Missouri Educator Profile (MEP). While not used for admission into the program, the MEP provides an assessment of work style preferences used to support the development of effective educator work habit.


Do I need to take the GRE or GMAT?

No. Candidates apply through the UMSL Graduate School for admissions as a teacher certification candidate. While all transcripts are required, the GRE and GMAT are not required for this program.


What careers will the certification prepare me for?

We take great pride in preparing educators who are well experienced to affect all students in a wide variety of settings, and with a much broader understanding of education's role in society. Sought after by partner districts and agencies, many of our graduates are hired directly into the studio schools or districts where they complete their clinical experiences. In addition to becoming teachers in P-12 settings, we prepare educators for a variety of careers in a variety of contexts (i.e. youth serving organizations, museums, zoos, gardens, nature centers, after school programs, tutoring/mentoring programs, businesses, legislative offices, etc.) all of which impact student learning. We prepare community educators as well as P-12 classroom teachers who provide relevance, application and meaning to student learning in developmentally, socially and culturally responsive ways.


Are courses offered in person or online?

All teacher certification courses are offered online. However, all practicum and agency field experiences take place on-site at our partner schools and agencies.


How does the student teaching practicum work?

Educator candidates complete two on-site practicum experiences within our Studio Schools, which include 36 different public, private and charter schools throughout the St. Louis region. We invite you to explore our interactive studio school map to see our many school partners. Candidates are immersed in schools where they are regarded as full members of the staff. Our expert teachers, known as clinical educators, provide candidates with support and supervision, lead seminars, give one-on-one guidance and foster partnerships for collaboration.


What is a studio school?

Studio schools are our partner schools that use the Studio School Model for clinical practice. The model utilizes a “differentiated staffing” plan where teams of candidates, clinical educators, teachers and administrators collaborate to explore, envision and enact innovative solutions that deepen learning and raise P-12 student achievement. Teacher candidates, supported by their supervisor and school site mentor, engage with students in multiple, varied and wide ranging contexts. These can include small group settings, whole class lessons, enrichment and support lessons all focused learning experiences.


How are studio schools assigned to candidates?

The Office of Clinical Experience sends all candidates a survey to complete prior to the start of the semester, asking them to rank the studio school options by preference and/or distance. Placements are ultimately assigned by factoring in the survey results and available site openings, as well as the timeframe in which practicum applications are submitted. In most instances, candidates will complete both practicum experiences at the same studio school.  


How does field experience in community agencies work?

UMSL collaborates with a number of community agency partners in the region to introduce candidates to a variety of options for careers in education and to support coursework with meaningful practice, as well as introduce candidates to learning options for students outside the classroom. As a teacher candidate, you will work with youth-serving agencies to support them in non-traditional settings. You will also gain valuable practical knowledge by applying university course content to interactions with learners in agencies such the St. Louis Chess Club, Powder Valley and many United Way agencies. All teacher candidates must complete 20 hours of field experience in a community agency, but flexible hours in the day, evening and weekends are often available.


What should I expect in the…
  • Fall/Introductory Semester? The introductory semester allows candidates to meet the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) requirement for all teacher candidates to engage in an early clinical experience. Elementary and early childhood candidates complete 15 hours of field experience while secondary candidates complete three to five evening sessions with a single day in the secondary school. This experience will give you early, direct experience in a classroom environment similar to those you could work in post certification.  In addition, students enroll in online courses (one credit hour for secondary, five credit hours for elementary and early childhood) during the introductory semester.
  • Winter Intersession? The Teach in 12 pathway officially begins during the winter intersession following the fall. Over the intersession, students take part in a practicum orientation at our studio schools. Elementary and early childhood candidates also take a three credit hour course over the intersession.
  • Spring Semester? The spring semester requires completion of 11 – 14 credit hours, which includes hours for Practicum 1 – your first site-based experience.  Elementary and early childhood candidates spend two days per week in a classroom while secondary candidates spend one day per week. The semester includes five Grand Seminars, held on Fridays where all teacher candidates to work together to prepare for the Practicum II, DESE assessments and career preparation. Early childhood candidates must also complete 20 hours of fieldwork with a community agency during this semester.
  • Summer Semester? Summer courses equate to about 10 credit hours for the elementary and early childhood candidates and seven credit hours for secondary candidates. These hours include site-based experiences and online courses.  For site-based experience, elementary education and secondary candidates complete 20 hours of fieldwork with a community agency while early childhood candidates complete 64 hours of fieldwork at UMSL’s University Child Development Center.
  • Fall Semester? The final semester consists of 11 hours for all candidates, and includes four days per week in the classroom for Practicum II for elementary and early childhood candidates and five days per week for secondary candidates. Like the spring semester, all candidates participate in five Grand Seminars held on Fridays during the fall. Candidates will typically begin to explore employment options at this time and prepare for final testing. 


What is the final step to earning teacher certification?

During their final semester, candidates must pass the final DESE assessment known as the Missouri Pre-Teachers Assessment (MoPTA). Upon completion of all assessments and courses, UMSL will recommend candidates to DESE for certification.