Most states in the U.S. have requirements for teachers to continue professional development even after earning their college degree and teacher certification. Professional development for Missouri teachers involves taking classes that offer educators a chance to expand their knowledge and learn the latest developments in the teaching field.
Missouri teachers have a number of options for how to pursue their certification, including online continuing education courses that allow them to earn Professional Development Contact Hours (PD Contact Hours).
PD Contact Hours are required for teachers who wish to stay in the profession and earn their Career Continuous Professional Certificate (CCPC).
Two-Tier Teacher Certification in Missouri
Teachers in Missouri have two levels of certification. The first, which lasts for the first four years of their teaching career, is the Initial Professional Certificate (IPC). They then earn the CCPC.
To move from the IPC to the CCPC requires earning PD Contact Hours, among other requirements, according to the Missouri State Teachers Association. Those with the CCPC designation must also take professional development courses.
The state of Missouri breaks down the needed number of PD Contact Hours by different careers within education. Professional development for Missouri teachers requires that teachers in most core areas and librarians complete 30 hours of professional development in the first four years of teaching.
In Missouri, one college credit hour equals 15 PD Contact Hours.
After completing the 30 hours and the four years of teaching, teachers receive the CCPC. They must also:
- Complete a two-year mentoring program
- Participate in a Beginning Teacher Assistance (BTA) program
- Complete an annual performance-based teacher evaluation
- Complete four years of contracted teaching experience
- Follow a district-approved professional development plan.
After receiving the CCPC, teachers must complete 15 hours of career certification every year until they reach exemption status. Exemption status can be reached by teaching for 10 years, earning a master’s degree or attaining national certification.
Earning PD Credit Hours
Fresno Pacific University’s Continuing Education programs can support professional development for Missouri teachers by providing a convenient way to earn PD Contact Hours.
The program offers hundreds of courses that meet PD Contact Hour requirements and are offered through an online learning system. Some courses may also count toward college credit. The courses include certificates such as:
- Classroom technology integration
- Restorative strategies for the classroom
- STEM teaching
- Digital innovator
There also are more than 300 independent studies courses that educators can take to expand their knowledge and improve their classrooms.
Earning the PD Contact Hours needed for professional development in Missouri for teachers is a worthwhile choice. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 8 percent gain in high school teachers by 2026 and a 7 percent gain in elementary teachers. There is an 8.2 percent increase for all teachers expected in Missouri through 2026, according to the NLS-powered Projections Central.
Clearly, the need for qualified teachers will continue in the coming years for Missouri and the nation. For those who want to stay in the profession and earn professional development contact hours, the online options through Fresno Pacific University could provide the educational solution they are seeking.