By Kathy Gress, director, Columbia College-Springfield

Did you know that Columbia College-Springfield now offers various routes you can choose to secure a teaching license in the state of Missouri?

According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Teacher Shortage report, the top 10 shortage areas as of December 2021 are Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical K-12, Elementary Education 1-6, Early Childhood Special Education B-3, Severe Development Disabled B-12, Early Childhood education B-3, Physics 9-12, Mathematics 5-9, Biology 9-12, General Science 5-9. And Art K-12.

One route is the Beacon program. This is for students who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree along with Missouri teacher certification requirements. Students obtain a degree in a content area (such as psychology, English, math, history, etc.) and minor in a certification area such as elementary, middle school, secondary, art K-12 or music K-12.

Kathy Gress, director, Columbia College-Springfield

The second route is a post-baccalaureate certificate through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with Columbia College offering the required courses. This program is for students who have a bachelor’s degree and wish to fulfill Missouri teacher certification requirements by taking certification courses at the undergraduate level. Students must already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have the option of taking many of their education certification courses at the graduate level. Courses taken at the graduate level for certification may also apply toward the Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

If you, or anyone you know, are interested in these programs, I highly encourage you to reach out to your advisor. As W.B. Yeates said, “Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.”