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Teacher Certification Overview

The Michigan Provisional Certificate and the Michigan Professional Certificate

In Michigan the initial teaching credential is the Provisional Certificate, which is valid for a period of six years. At the end of that time, the certificate holder applies for the Professional Certificate if he or she has met the requirements. If the requirements have not been met, she or he may apply for a three-year renewal of the Provisional Certificate. If neither action is taken, the certificate expires.  A second, and final, three-year renewal of the Provisional Certificate is also available.

Requirements for a first renewal of the Provisional Certificate are at least one of the following since the issuance of the initial certificate and within three years prior to application for the renewal:

  • Six semester credit hours in a planned program at an approved teacher preparation institution or an approved college or university;
  • 180 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate, or
  • A combination of semester credit hours and SCECHs (30 clock hours of state continuing education are equivalent to 1 semester credit hour)

Requirements for a second renewal of the Provisional Certificate are at least one of the following since the issuance of the first renewal and within three years prior to application for the second renewal:

  • Six semester credit hours in a planned program at an approved teacher preparation institution or an approved college or university;
  • 180 SCECHs appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate; or
  • A combination of semester credit hours and SCECHs (30 clock hours of state continuing education are equivalent to 1 semester credit hour)

Additional requirements for the Professional Certificate include at least 3 years of successful teaching in the subject areas and at the grade levels for which the applicant is certified and satisfaction of Michigan’s reading requirements. Certificate holders may also add endorsements to an existing certificate, enabling them to teach additional student populations, grade levels and/or subjects. 

Michigan teachers earn elementary, secondary, or K-12 certification: 

Michigan Elementary-Level Certification

In Michigan, elementary teachers are certified to teach all subjects in grades K-5 and all subjects in grades K-8 in self-contained classrooms. To be recommended for certification (and to progress to the internship at MSU), candidates must pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) in Elementary Education. In addition, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requires students pursuing elementary certification to satisfy coursework requirements for at least one approved elementary teaching major. Passing the corresponding Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) leads to an endorsement to teach that subject in grades 6-8. Students pursuing elementary certification may also wish to complete one or more disciplinary teaching minors; however, minors are considered extra and optional. Passing the MTTC corresponding to a completed teaching minor also leads to an endorsement to teach that subject in grades 6-8. At MSU, students pursuing elementary certification earn degrees in Elementary Education, Special Education or Child Development.    

Michigan Secondary-Level Certification

Students pursuing certification at the secondary level (grades 6-12) earn degrees from departments and colleges across campus. Degree requirements are combined with Teacher Education courses and teaching experiences in the College of Education. The Michigan Department of Education requires that students complete coursework requirements for at least one secondary teaching major and one secondary teaching minor (comprehensive majors do not require completion of a minor). To be recommended for certification (and to progress to the internship at MSU), candidates must pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject test for their teaching major. Passing the MTTC that corresponds to the teaching minor also leads to an endorsement to teach that subject in grades 6-12.

Michigan K-12 Certification

A small number of majors lead to K-12 certification. At MSU, a K-12 endorsement to teach students in special education is added to an elementary certificate, so students must complete the full elementary program. Students pursuing a degree in special education earn elementary certification with a K-12 endorsement in Special Education-Learning Disabilities. At MSU, the other majors leading to K-12 certification are Art Education and Music Education; these endorsements appear on a secondary certificate. 

Oral Proficiency Requirement for Teachers of World Languages

Students and teachers who wish to become certified to teach a world language must the meet oral proficiency standards established by the Michigan Department of Education. Options for demonstrating oral proficiency are available on the MSU campus through the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA). Candidates for certification in a world language must also pass the MTTC for that language. 

Conviction Disclosure

A Conviction Disclosure Form is required with every application. Candidates with convictions, ordinance violations or civil infractions are required to provide supporting documents from the court in which they were convicted or admitted responsibility.