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Admission Application for MSU Students

The admission application for the MSU Teacher Preparation Program is now CLOSED. The application will reopen on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, and we welcome your application at that time. The information below is for the 2016 application cycle which has now ended.

Instructions

Information important for successfully completing the application process is contained here. Please print this information so you will have ready access to instructions as you proceed. You will be asked to indicate that you have read and printed the instructions before proceeding with the application.

Criteria for admission to the teacher preparation program include:

  • Academic accomplishments and promise
  • Commitment to teaching and dispositions that support learning to teach
  • Disposition to teach students of all races and ethnicities, students in poverty, students in urban settings and students with special needs
  • Contribution to the diversity of the program

Eligibility

The undergraduate application process is intended for MSU undergraduates who (1) are currently enrolled; (2) will have earned at least 28 credits by the end of Fall Semester 2016; (3) will have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 at the end of Fall Semester 2016; (4) have demonstrated (or will demonstrate during the 2016 Fall Semester) basic skills in Reading, Mathematics and Writing using a test approved by the Michigan Department of Education (see detailed information below); (5) have successfully completed any developmental coursework required in mathematics and/or writing (e.g., MTH 1825); and (6) wish to be considered for admission to the teacher preparation program in Spring Semester 2017.

Applicants should understand that meeting minimum requirements makes their complete application eligible for consideration. It does not guarantee admission. Each application receives a thorough and holistic review by several evaluators. Essay fees and test registration fees cannot be refunded to students who are not admitted to the program. Applicants who apply more than once must submit a new essay with each application.

Test Scores Required for Admission

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requires that teacher candidates demonstrate basic skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. The MDE allows several options for demonstrating basic skills; however, the options will change on September 23, 2017.

Before September 23, 2017:

Official ACT scores (or an approved alternative such as the MTTC PRE; see detailed information below) may be used for admission to MSU’s Teacher Preparation Program. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requires teacher candidates to have the following ACT scores:

  • Reading                 22 (or higher)
  • Mathematics          22 (or higher)
  • English + Writing   22 (or higher)

If you have already taken the ACT and your scores meet or exceed those levels, you have met MDE’s “basic skills” requirement. If you have already taken the ACT and your scores do not meet or exceed those levels, you may take the complete test again before 9/23/2017 and have official scores sent to MSU. If you have taken the ACT more than once, we will use your best score in each subarea (Reading, Mathematics, and English + Writing) across multiple test dates. The ACT can be taken a maximum of twelve times.    

Official scores are those sent to Michigan State University from the company that administers the ACT. MSU’s institutional code is 2032. For information about having your ACT scores sent to MSU, see Sending Your Scores to Others on the ACT website. For registration information, see Registering for the ACT Test. It is possible to register for the ACT with or without the Writing subtest, but it is not possible to register for and take individual ACT subtests. You will need to register for and take (or retake) the entire ACT (with or without Writing, depending on whether you need to improve your English + Writing score). This point bears repeating. If you do not take the entire ACT (all sections, with or without the Writing portion), your test results cannot be loaded into MSU's Student Information System and they will not be available to us. If that is the case, we will not be able to use your ACT scores (from that test administration) for admission. You must take all ACT subtests (with or without Writing). Finally, see ACT Online Prep for online resources to help you prepare for the ACT.

Although the MDE requires an ACT score of 22 in English + Writing, ACT no longer offers an English/Writing subtest. Effective September 1, 2015, the ACT English/Writing subtest was replaced by a new ACT Writing subtest. A score of 22 or higher on an ACT English/Writing subtest taken prior to September 2015 is still acceptable. A score from the new ACT Writing subtest (taken September 2015 or later) can be combined with your best ACT English score (taken February 2005 or later) using the ACT Writing/English Combined Score table and several simple steps:

  1. If you took the ACT Writing test between 9/1/2015 and 9/1/2016, you will need to convert your ACT Writing subscore to a “concordant value” using the two horizontal rows at the top of the table. Find your ACT Writing subscore in the top (green) row and convert it to the concordant value in the (gold) row below it. If you took the ACT Writing test after 9/1/2016, you may skip this step.  
  2. Combine your best ACT English score in the vertical column on the left with your ACT Writing score taken after 9/1/2015. If your combined score lies in the area highlighted in green, your score is 22 or greater and acceptable for admission. If your combined score lies in the area highlighted in red, it is less than 22 and does not qualify you for admission to the teacher preparation program. You may retake the ACT (before 9/23/17) and we will use the best score in each subarea (Reading, Mathematics and English + Writing) across all tests dates.
Alternatives to the ACT

Applicants may also take the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Professional Readiness Exam (PRE). Applicants may pass all three PRE subtests (Reading, Mathematics and Writing), or they may combine passing scores from the ACT, PRE and MTTC Basic Skills Test (the Basic Skills Test is no longer available, but we will continue to accept those scores). For example, an applicant may have an ACT Reading score of 25, an ACT Mathematics score of 22, and an ACT English + Writing score of 21. In this case, the applicant could use ACT scores to demonstrate basic skills in Reading and Mathematics, but would need to retake the complete ACT (with Writing) or pass the PRE Writing subtest to demonstrate basic skills in Writing. In another example, an applicant might pass the PRE Reading subtest, use an ACT score of 22 or better to demonstrate basic skills in Mathematics, and use a pass on the Writing subtest of Basic Skills Test to demonstrate basic skills in Writing.    

In addition to combining passing scores on the ACT, PRE and Basic Skills Test, the MDE allows an additional alternative pass measure. For applicants who have passed two subtests (e.g., for those who have passed two PRE subtests, have two acceptable ACT scores, or have passed one PRE subtest and have an acceptable ACT score for a second subtest), a scaled score within -1 Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) of the PRE passing scaled score (220) may be used to demonstrate basic skills in the third area. Basic Skills subtests may not be combined with PRE subtests or ACT scores for this purpose. Scores that are within -1 SEM of the passing score can change with each PRE administration. Minimally acceptable scores (within -1 SEM) are posted after each test administration on the MTTC website. Generally speaking, scores within -1 SEM of the passing scaled score (220) are:  193-200 (depending on the test administration) for Reading, 196-198 (depending on the test administration) for Mathematics, and 197-202 (depending on the test administration) for Writing.

Like the ACT, the PRE requires separate registration and fee payment. Please visit the MTTC website for information about test preparation and registration. Students should request that official results be sent to MSU when they register to take the test (MSU's Institution Code is 18). Students who do not use MSU's Institution Code at the time of registration will need to request that an official report be sent to MSU at a later date (at an added cost to the student). This could delay admission. Both the paper-based test (PBT) and the computer-based test (CBT) are acceptable (but the paper-based version is less expensive).

The Professional Readiness Exam is a challenging test, and we strongly encourage applicants to prepare before taking it. This is especially true of the Writing subtest. Study materials, including full-length practice tests, are available on the MTTC website. Commercially-available study materials are available at the Reserve Desk in the MSU Main Library and in all of the neighborhood engagement centers. These and other study materials for the Professional Readiness Exam (PRE) are also available for purchase online. If you fail to pass one or more of the PRE subtests, you only need to retake the subtest(s) you did not pass. Consult the MTTC website for more information.

After September 23, 2017:

  • The PRE will be offered for the last time on 9/23/2017; however, results from the PRE (and the Basic Skills Test) will always be valid.
  • For students who took the ACT before 9/23/2017 and have scores of 22 or better in Reading, Mathematics and English + Writing, those scores are acceptable for admission until October 1, 2025 (per MDE).
  • Students who took the ACT and/or PRE on or before 9/23/2017 and have "passes" in two areas may use the -1 SEM alternative passing option to pass the third area until October 1, 2025 (per MDE). However, only results from test administrations on or before September 23, 2017 can be used for admission (per MDE).

After 9/23/2017, the only testing option will be the "new" SAT (administered March 5, 2016 or later). Scores acceptable for admission will be:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 480 or higher
  • Mathematics: 530 or higher

Scores from SAT subtests may be combined with scores from ACT subtests and scores from PRE subtests until October 1, 2025; however, -1 SEM scores cannot be used in combination with SAT scores.

In Summary:

  1. The last administration of the MTTC PRE will be on September 23, 2017. PRE results will always be valid (as will the results from the earlier test, the MTTC Basic Skills). Results from the 9/23/17 PRE test administration will arrive on 10/20/17.

  2. Alternate pass measures for the PRE, such as ACT scores and -1 SEM scores, must be based on test administration dates on or before 9/23/17. ACT scores and -1 SEM scores from test administrations before 9/23/17 will be valid until 10/1/2025.

  3. On October 1, 2025, ACT scores and -1 SEM scores will no longer be acceptable as alternate pass measures, even if the test administration was on or before 9/23/17.

  4. For students who do not meet minimum test scores for either the ACT or PRE based on tests taken prior to or on 9/23/17, the only acceptable test (after 9/23/17) will be the new SAT test (administered March 5, 2016 or later). Acceptable scores are 480 or higher on Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 530 or higher on Mathematics. Applicants must take the entire SAT. Taking only portions of the SAT will make it impossible for us to use the results for admission to the teacher preparation program.

  5. Until October 1, 2025, scores on SAT subtests may be combined with scores on ACT subtests and PRE subtests.

Additional Assistance

MSU’s Learning Resources Center offers excellent help to students who are preparing to take the ACT (or PRE). Please contact the LRC to schedule an appointment at lrc@msu.edu or 355 2363. Prior to your visit, the test preparation experts at the LRC ask that you complete a "diagnostic" practice test that they will use to better understand your challenges. If you are seeking help with ACT preparation, please complete the practice test contained within the 2016/2017 Preparing for the ACT Test guide. If you are seeking help with PRE preparation, please request a copy of the (free) practice test from an advisor in the College of Education or the Student Affairs Office in the College of Education (coesao@msu.edu or 353 9680). Please indicate which section(s) of the practice test you need. Be sure to take the completed practice test to your appointment at the LRC. Without a completed practice test, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment.

Using Your Scores to Apply for Admission to the Teacher Preparation Program

Before students can be admitted to the teacher preparation program, MSU must receive official notification that they have demonstrated basic skills in Reading, Mathematics and Writing. Applicants who have registered to take/retake a test, but have not yet taken it, may apply; however, they cannot be admitted until official, passing results have been received.

For students in our current applicant pool, we will apply alternative pass measures automatically (i.e., it is not necessary for applicants to request this). However, we cannot speculate or advise students who are not in our current applicant pool about their scores, as we are unable to predict what MDE policies will be in effect if/when they apply for admission in the future.

Deadline for Taking the ACT, PRE or SAT in the Current Admission Cycle

  • The last opportunity to take the ACT is the September 9, 2017 test administration.
  • The last opportunity to take the PRE is September 23, 2017.
  • For admission to the teacher preparation program in 2018, the last opportunity to take the SAT is December 2, 2017.

There can be no exceptions to these deadlines, so students should plan carefully.

Online Application

The undergraduate application is open only during the fall semester. This year, the application is available beginning September 6, 2016. The applicant's application is closed when the applicant's timed and proctored essay is submitted from the testing center (see below). You will need Adobe PDF Viewer to access the online application and the additional paper materials that may be required (see below).

After logging on to the application from your MSU email account, a unique password will be sent to your MSU email address. The password is necessary to complete the application process, so please treat it carefully.

Timed and Proctored Essay

As part of the online application, all applicants must write a timed and proctored essay at a testing site on campus (view a sample essay question, sample essay answer and essay scoring guide).

At the end of the online application, you will have an opportunity to select a time and date to write the essay.

Test dates for 2016 (2017 test dates will be posted later this summer):

  • Sunday, December 4, 2016
  • Saturday, December 10, 2016
  • Sunday, December 11, 2016

You must arrange your schedule to be available on one of the test dates. If you must schedule an essay after the last test date, you will be charged a $40 late fee by the MSU Testing Center. At the end of the online application, please reserve a seat in one of the essay sessions. If you postpone making a reservation, you may find that your preferred session is full. Scheduling the essay requires online payment of a $20.00 essay fee using a credit card or electronic check. After you have reserved a space in a session, you will receive an email message confirming the date, time and location. Please print and keep that information so you know where and when to write your essay.

Reserving an essay session and closing your application will not prevent you from re-entering the application at a later time to make changes; however, once you have written the essay your application will be closed. Your essay will be electronically loaded into your application from the testing site, and your application will be complete at that time. You will not be able to re-enter your application after you have written your essay.

You may reserve a seat in an essay session until eight hours before the session begins. If you miss your scheduled session, you will be able to re-enter your application and reschedule if there are seats available in other sessions at that time. If all sessions are full, please check again. It is possible that additional sessions on one of the three test dates may be opened.

You will not be allowed to write an essay without (1) picture identification, (2) your application login and application password and (3) your essay fee receipt. You must bring these items with you to the testing site.

Please arrive at the assigned testing site on the correct date at least 20 minutes early. You will need this time to receive instructions and complete pre-test paperwork. You will not be permitted to enter the session late. Do not bring a dictionary, thesaurus, backpack, books, computer disk, computer software, food or drink to the testing site. You will be given one hour to complete the essay using word-processing software. You will not be permitted to print or save copies of your essay, except as directed at the testing site. Software used to detect cheating is applied to all essays. Evidence of plagiarism, cheating or falsification will result in denial of admission. Essays that do not directly address the essay prompt will not be considered (view sample).

Acceleration Grids

Applicants who have earned 56 or more credits (junior standing) before the beginning of Fall Semester 2016 and who plan to graduate and meet all internship requirements by Spring or Summer 2018, should complete an Elementary or Secondary Acceleration Grid (see below). Other applicants are not eligible to accelerate. Please complete as much of your Acceleration Grid as possible, and then meet with your major advisor to discuss it. Your major advisor must sign the form. Additional instructions are provided on the Acceleration Grids. You will not be eligible to accelerate your program if you do not submit a signed Acceleration Grid before the deadline.

UECP and GECP Students

Students admitted to UECP and GECP are required to meet all admission requirements. However, they are not required to complete the entire application for admission to the teacher preparation program. In the online application, they are required to complete only the Personal Information and Application pages. They are not required to write an essay or answer questions about their experiences with children and youth or diversity. Cohort students who are denied admission as sophomores must complete the full application (including the essay) if they decide to reapply. Cohort students applying for the special education major, the elementary Mathematics teaching major, and/or to accelerate their programs must submit those additional materials (see below).

Applying for the Elementary Mathematics Teaching Major

In addition to meeting minimum requirements for admission to the teacher preparation program, admission to the elementary mathematics teaching major is competitive and requires submission of the Supplemental Application for Admission to the Elementary Mathematics Teaching Major before 5:00 PM on Friday, December 16, 2016 (see link below). Applicants will receive decisions about admission to the teacher preparation program the week before spring break. However, decisions about admission to the mathematics teaching major are made and communicated before the beginning of spring semester so students can adjust their spring semester schedules accordingly. Therefore, applicants who do not submit the supplemental application and required transcripts before the December 16 deadline, or who are not fully admissible to the teacher preparation program on January 3, 2017 cannot be considered for admission to the elementary mathematics teaching major as the cohort of students admitted to the major will be filled before classes begin on January 9, 2017. Please follow the instructions on supplemental application.

The Application Package

A complete application package includes the following items. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Paper materials must be submitted in a single package to 134 Erickson before 5:00 p.m. on December 16, 2016:
  • A complete online application, including the timed and proctored essay
  • Official passing scores on the ACT or MTTC Professional Readiness Exam (PRE)
  • Acceleration Grid (Elementary) (only for students who already have at least 56 credits)
  • Acceleration Grid (Secondary) (only for students who already have at least 56 credits)
  • Students applying for admission to the Special Education major must complete a pre-admission experience and submit documentation to 134 Erickson Hall before the end of the first week of Spring Semester 2017:  Special Education Pre-Admission Experience
  • Students applying for admission to the elementary Mathematics teaching major must submit the Supplemental Application for Admission to the Elementary Mathematics Teaching Major. This is the only elementary teaching major that is space-limited and requires a separate admission decision. Applicants who are not fully admissible to the teacher preparation program on January 3, 2017 or who did not submit the supplemental application and required transcripts before the December 16 deadline cannot be considered for admission to the elementary Mathematics teaching major.

Deadlines

The application is open during the fall semester of each year. Undergraduates are not admitted at other times of the year. All materials, including acceleration grids, applications for the elementary mathematics teaching major and other documents, are due before 5:00 p.m. on December 16, 2016. Please note that other materials are required during the admission process (e.g., after admission decisions have been communicated, students are required to return a Reply Form before a deadline). Under extreme circumstances, it is possible that materials may be accepted late. However, when that occurs late fees will be applied.