Initial Professional Certificate

The process outlined here is for students who have completed or are mid-way through the final semester of their academic program in teacher education, counseling, or K-12 school administration. Students can also seek certification to other states, but the process will vary. Check with the state’s Department of Education that you are interested for details.

  1. Start by going to: https://www.dese.mo.gov/. (Make sure to have pop-up blockers turned off to access the website.)
  2. In the middle of the page click on “Web Applications“.
  3. Enter your DESE User Name and Password and click “Login“. If you have not established your DESE Profile you need to do that first.
  4. Under the heading “Office of Educator Quality“, click on “Educator Certification System“.
  5. Click on the third triangle for “3) New Applications“.
  6. Click on “Initial Professional“.
  7. If you have not filled out the education section, leave that blank and that will be completed by our Certification Manager.
  8. Complete the Professional Conduct Information. All questions will need to be completed.
  9. Purpose of Application:
    • If you are applying for your Teaching certificate, select “Professional“.
    • If you are applying for a School Counseling certificate, select “Student Services“.
    • If you completed an Administrative (Principal or Superintendent) certificate, select “Administrator“.
  10. If you select either Student Services or Administrative, you will then see a section for Occupational Experience. Enter any relevant work experience in this section. Those who selected Professional will not see this section.
  11. Read the Sworn Statement.
  12. Click “I accept” under the Release of Educational Information.
  13. Select the institution where coursework was completed in the drop down menu. You will need to select the “University of Missouri, Kansas City“.
  14. Click “OK”.
  15. You have finished the application and may log out of the system.
  16. Submit original transcripts from all institutions attended. DESE will not accept electron, faxed, scanned, emailed or photocopies of transcripts. Please be sure your social security number or educator ID number is listed on all transcripts.
    • There are two ways to obtain your official transcript. You can go to the Registrar’s office in the Administrative Center and request an official transcript be mailed to DESE or you can log into Pathway, go to your “self service” tab, and then click ‘academic records’ ‘request transcript’, and ‘official transcript’. There is a $10.00 charge for your transcript. If you go to the Registrar’s office in person, they will accept check or money order. Requesting a transcript online requires a credit card.
    • All required documentation should be mailed to Educator Certification, PO Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480. Any information sent to the Department should include a name and either a Social Security Number or Educator ID number.

Your application will automatically be submitted to the work log for UMKC’s Certification Manager. Your application will be processed as soon as you have completed your last requirement and are eligible for initial certification. If your FBI background check is more than 12 months old at the time you complete your program you will need to do it again. For more information on when your certification will be processed by UMKC, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).