Find an Education Path For Teaching in Michigan, (MI)

If you decide that you want to be a teacher, there are certain steps to follow. The first step depends on where you are now on the path toward reaching your goal. Please choose the highest level of education that you have achieved and we will guide you through the steps to take as you advance towards a teaching career in Michigan.

Choose Your Highest Level of Education

We hope the information below will serve as a guide as you discover and complete the necessary steps for becoming a Michigan educator.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

High school graduates and students who have earned their GED certificate and who want to continue their education, are eligible to apply for admission to two-year or community colleges and to four-year universities. Graduation from high school is a requirement for acceptance and enrollment in a Bachelor’s degree program in the education field. Being informed will help you choose appropriate classes to satisfy core or general education requirements, as well as education-related prerequisites. What you do after graduation and during the first toward the goal of a teaching career in Michigan.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree

Earning an Associate degree from a two-year or community college will give you a head start on the journey toward becoming a certified teacher in Michigan. General education core curricula classes and some prerequisites for the teacher education component of a Bachelor’s degree program can be completed while you are attending a community college. Approved credits are then transferable to a four-year university and will fulfill some of your Bachelor’s degree requirements.

  1. Michigan-accredited two-year colleges offer Associate degrees and course sequences that can be transferred to a four-year university. If you decide to continue your education and seek a bachelor’s degree, completed community college classes may qualify you to enter a four-year college as a Junior. With core curricula completed, it will be easier for aspiring teachers to focus on career goals and pursue a Bachelor’s degree in education that will lead to certification.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
  3. Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment shortly after graduation. A certificate or Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, may qualify you to begin working as a teaching assistant or child caretaker with infants, toddlers and pre-school children at Head Start, preschools, childcare organizations or before- and after-school programs.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree

Completing a Bachelor’s degree in your chosen field of education is an essential step on the path to becoming a teacher in Michigan. A teaching candidate must satisfy all state-mandated requirements before applying for and being issued a Provisional Certificate to teach. If a graduate who wants to teach in Michigan already has a non-Education Bachelor’s degree, the next steps toward certification will often depend on the prospective teacher’s undergraduate major.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in conjunction with an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Teacher Preparation Programs include coursework and classroom observations, fieldwork, and student teaching. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.
  2. The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) is required for all teacher candidates. The exam consists of a number of separate tests, including the Basic Skills Test, which is divided into three sections: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Subject Area Tests are also required. Teacher candidates must pass specialty tests for each subject area they want to be certified to teach. Elementary teachers who also want to teach middle school must pass a specialty test for their academic major or minor plus an Elementary Education test.
  3. Receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies can be an important step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Some certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary school classrooms.
  4. If you received your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied some certificate programs’ recommended academic requirements. Majoring in a specific subject that is taught at the secondary school level prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach high school and middle school classes in that content area.
  5. Teachers who already have a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than education may have the option of following an alternative post-baccalaureate route to initial teacher certification in Michigan. Many universities offer post-graduate, post-baccalaureate or alternative certification programs. A state-approved Teacher Preparation program and mandated assessment exams must also be completed before a post-baccalaureate graduate is eligible to apply for an initial teaching certificate in Michigan. Completing a Master’s degree in Education combined with a Teacher Preparation program is another route toward certification.
  6. Michigan requires all prospective educators to complete a series of steps that will lead you to your goal of becoming a certified to teach in the state. If you follow the following steps: earning a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, completing a State-Approved Teacher Preparation Program, satisfying student teaching hours and other experiential requirements, passing the mandatory Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC), including basic skills and subject area tests, and being recommended by your university, you will be qualified to be a teacher in Michigan.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program

Students can choose from different Master’s degrees that are designed for individuals who want to teach. Graduates who complete a Master of Arts in Teaching or Master of Education degree, in conjunction with a Teacher Preparation program, and fulfilled all Michigan-mandated requirements, will be eligible to apply for and be issued an Initial Teaching certificate from the state of Michigan.

  1. Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license and a career as an educator. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be offered concurrently with a Teacher Preparation program that is required for certification. You may also have the opportunity to focus on Elementary or Secondary Education, with an emphasis on the subject area you hope to teach.
  2. When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These steps include finishing required academic coursework, completing an approved Teacher Preparation Program, passing mandated tests, and fulfilling student teaching hours. The next step is to apply for your teaching certificate and begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the Michigan Department of Education to request an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctoral degree. Earning an Educational Doctor of Philosophy degree or a Doctorate in Education may increase your opportunities for a better job and a higher income. Gathering information about available doctorate degrees in your field or specialty will provide the information necessary to discover the best university and education program to meet your needs.