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Cost information and suggestions for teacher certification program students

Teaching is a very rewarding field, but the various costs associated with obtaining teacher certification can be difficult to afford without careful planning. To help make it easier, here are the main fees and assessment costs associated with becoming a teacher in the state of Missouri.

Fees

All field experience courses, practicums and student teaching include a fee categorized as a "lab fee." These fees could vary but in most cases lab fees are $40 for each field experience/practicum/student teaching course. Students should review their certification checklist to see how many field experiences are required.

Assessments

Missouri requires various assessments throughout a student's teacher certification program. They are:

Missouri Educator Profile (MEP) - cost = $22

Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) - cost for all four subtests taken together = $49; cost for a single subtest is $25 each. Any subtest of the MoGEA that does not receive the Columbia College required score would need to be repeated and the fee paid again.

Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA) - the cost of these assessments vary ($77 to $189 per assessment) depending on the area of certification. Some certification areas require multiple assessments while others may only require one.

Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA) - cost = $275 (registration fee). If the assessment must be rescheduled, there is a $30 rescheduling fee. If a task needs to be resubmitted, there is an $85 resubmission fee. If test takers feel that their final scores were reported incorrectly, they may request that ETS conduct a review of responses scored; there is a $100 score review fee.

Note: Some testing centers may also charge an exam sitting fee. For additional information about these assessments, go to http://www.mo.nesinc.com/ and http://mega.ets.org/test-takers.

Tuition

Although this may seem obvious, tuition is another cost to plan for, especially the tuition for student teaching which is a 16-week placement in a school, during which time most students are not able to maintain a separate job for income.

How to plan

Since the assessments are not covered by financial aid, students should determine, with their advisor, the semester/session they plan to take the assessments and set aside income or save any financial aid refund from previous terms to help defray the cost. A semester with no income while student teaching would obviously take more budgeting, but planning ahead will certainly help reduce the financial stress during that time.

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