On September 3, the state launched a 22-hour online training program for Missourians interested in becoming a K-12 substitute teacher. State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) spokesperson Mallory McGowin tells Missourinet as of last Thursday afternoon, 734 have enrolled in the program.

Hundreds seek to become Missouri substitute teachers through speedy online training path

Last month, the Missouri Board of Education voted to temporarily give prospective substitutes the option of using the expedited certification method or completing the standard 60 college credit hours. The move is meant to help bridge a projected teacher gap during COVID-19. Missouri has had a persistent shortage of permanent teachers and state officials think the need for teachers could be greater during the pandemic. The demand for extra teachers is expected to vary depending on the district, subject, region, among other things.

McGowin says some people have already completed the training and the department has issued a substitute teacher certificate to them. She says Frontline Education, the company offering the training, issues the certificates of completion one business day after the training has been completed. The certificates are available online, and then can be printed and mailed into the state agency’s Certification Office.

If DESE has verification the candidates have received training and they passed a background check, the department can issue a certification in about 1-2 business days, depending on the volume the certification team is handling.

The cost for the full set of courses required to meet certification is $175. The program is available on the Missouri Department Elementary and Secondary Education’s website.

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