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Northwest Missouri State University

Secondary Certification (9-12)

Alternative Certification

The Alternative Certification program is designed to prepare students to become effective classroom teachers. This two-year provisional certification program is an alternative route for candidates that have a bachelor's degree or higher in a related subject area and a desire to pursue a Missouri teacher's certification in the areas listed below.

Interested candidates may contact the department to make an appointment for an initial audit to determine viability in the program. A standard program of study consists of 20 graduate level education credit hours and subject matter coursework the candidate is found deficient in as a result of the degree audit. The total number of credit hours may not exceed 34. Students who meet the below admission requirements will teach their approved certification area in a Missouri school district. While teaching, students will be participating in courses that may be completed through on-site and online classes available at Northwest Missouri State University, Kansas City Center in Liberty, MO, St. Joseph Center, and other convenient locations based on demand. Supervision is provided for students through observations offering valuable feedback to students to become successful teachers. Completion requirements include above coursework, a passing score on the prescribed PRAXIS II exam for the certification area and a teacher work sample.

Upon completion of this program students will possess a Missouri initial teaching certificate in the respective certification area. Students may transfer 12 graduate credit hours from this program toward a master's degree. Specific options may be discussed with the Alternative Certification Director.

Secondary Certification Course Requirements

Areas of Certification

(20 graduate credit hours)*
  • Agriculture
  • Business Education
  • English
  • Math
  • Sciences
  • Social Studies
  • Speech/Theater
Introduction to Teaching (61-614)
August of Year 1
3 hrs
Organizing for Learning (61-615)
One night per week fall Year 1
3 hrs
Organizing for Learning II (61-617)
One night per week spring Year 1
3 hrs
Teaching Strategies (61-616)
Two nights per month fall/spring Year 2
5 hrs
Issues in Education (61-649) 3 hrs
Secondary Curriculum (61-684) 3 hrs
*Plus any additional subject coursework identified through the subject are audit

Admission Requirements

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Be employed as a teacher of record by a Missouri school district
  • Have a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in the subject area or closely related field
  • Maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA overall and in the subject area
  • Interview on campus may be required

Application Process and Materials

If you meet these requirements and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Alternative Certification Office.


Alternative Certification
Northwest Missouri State University
St. Joseph Center
Suite 100 South
3500 N. Village Dr.
St. Joseph, MO 64506
Phone: 816.364.5000
Fax: 816.364.5010




Praxis Test Information      
Licensure Area  CDT Test Code PDT Test Code Test Name

Qualifying Score

Agriculture N/A 0700 Agriculture


Business Education (9-12 only) 5101 0101 Business Education: Content Knowledge


English (9-12) 5041 0041 English Language, Literature and Composition: Content Knowledge


Mathematics (9-12) 5061 0061 Mathematics: Content Knowledge


Biology (9-12) & Unified Science: Biology (9-12) 5235 0235 Biology: Content Knowledge


Chemistry (9-12) & Unified Science: Chemistry (9-12) 5245 0245 Chemistry: Content Knowledge


Earth Science (9-12) & Unified Science: Earth Science (9-12) 5571 0571 Earth and Space Sciences: Content Knowledge


Social Science (9-12) 5081 0081 Social Studies: Content Knowledge


Speech/Theater (9-12) N/A 0221 Speech Communication: Content Knowledge




For current course offerings, times, and dates please refer to the below link. Be sure to select the correct term/trimester while searching. Type in the five digit course number without dashes into the "Course Number" square and click "Get Class Openings"

Course Offerings on CatPAWS

Please check CatPAWS frequently for updated course offering dates and times.

To fulfill all requirements for class enrollment, please register at least 3 weeks in advance. Order your books early from the Bearcat Bookstore.