Michigan Teacher Certification

The state of Michigan requires any instructor in an elementary or secondary school to hold certificate, valid for the positions to which s/he is assigned to teach. An elementary certificate is valid for teaching all subjects for grades K-5 and all subjects for grades K-8 in a self-contained classroom. It can also be valid for teaching any subject areas listed on the certificate, for grades 6-8. A secondary certificate is valid for teaching the subject areas listed on the certificate, for grades 6-12.

Michigan’s teaching certificates fall into two main categories: Provisional and Professional. The Provisional certificate is the initial certification and can be renewed as a teacher progresses through and completes the requirements. Once requirements are complete, the teacher may apply for Professional certification.

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Provisional Certificate

The Provisional Certificate is Michigan’s initial teaching license/credential. It is issued upon successful completion of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree or a higher.
  • A Michigan-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Passage of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)
  • Passage of an official criminal history check, including Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprinting.
  • Provisional Certificates are valid for up to 6 years, and each renewal is valid for up to 3 years.

Two-Year Extended Provisional Certificate

A two-year Provisional Extension may be granted if certain prescribed conditions are met. An individual who is granted a two-year Provisional Extension forfeits access to any opportunity for additional renewals of the Provisional Certificate. The two-year Provisional Extension:

  • Must be initiated by sponsorship of the school district or school in which the candidate is employed.
  • Is designed for individuals who have not completed the Provisional Certificate renewal requirements.
  • Requires an individual to have least one year of satisfactory teaching experience within the grade level and/or subject area of the teaching certificate.
  • May only be granted to an individual who is currently enrolled in a planned teaching program at an approved college or university.
  • Requires the individual to submit a plan of coursework from an approved teacher preparation institution.
  • Requires the applicant to meet all requirements for the Professional Education Certificate by the end of the two-year period, with no exceptions.

Professional Education Certificate (Advanced)

This is Michigan’s advanced teaching license/credential. The Professional Education Certificate is valid for five years. The requirements for this certificate include:

  • Completion of 18 semester hours in a planned course of study following the issuance of the Provisional certificate.
  • Completion of Michigan’s reading requirements.
  • Three years of successful teaching experience within the subject area and grade level of the Provisional Certificate.

Michigan Teacher Certification for Out-of-State Candidates

Credits completed outside the state of Michigan must be in an approved Master’s degree program at a regionally accredited Teacher Preparation Institution. Candidates who hold a valid out-of-state teaching certificate and wish to receive teacher certification from Michigan have several options.

A Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization will be issued if an individual:

  • Possesses a valid out-of-state teaching certificate.
  • Has met all requirements for the Michigan Provisional certificate, except passing the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification.
  • A Michigan Professional Education Certificate will be issued to an applicant who:
  • Holds a valid out-of-state teaching certificate.
  • Has never held a Michigan teaching certificate.
  • Holds a master’s or higher degree or has completed 18 semester credit hours in an approved Master’s degree program or at an approved out-of-state teacher preparatory institution.
  • Completes three years of successful teaching experience within the subject area and/or grade level of an out-of-state certificate.
  • Has completed Michigan’s reading requirement.

Interim Teaching Certificate

An individual with an Interim certificate can be employed to teach in a public school. To qualify for an Interim Teaching Certificate, the applicant must:

  • Be a participant in a state approved alternate route-teaching program.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree of higher, with a 3.0 GPA, from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills and subject area exam(s).
  • Pass a criminal history check, including Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprinting.
  • Receive intensive observation and coaching.
  • Complete diagnostic reading requirements.
  • Receive a Master’s degree or finish 18 semester credit hours in a teaching program.
  • Be recommended by the provider of the approved alternate route.
  • Complete 3 years of satisfactory teaching experience under the Interim certificate.
  • Be recommended for a Michigan Provisional Certificate or a Professional Education Certificate.

Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization

The Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization allows out-of-state candidates to take one year to meet testing requirements. The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification is the only acceptable examination and must be passed before the candidate is granted a Michigan teaching certificate.

Vocational Teaching Certificates

The Interim Occupational Certificate (Initial) and the Occupational Education Certificate (Advanced) are valid for teaching in a state-reimbursed and approved vocational education classroom.

Alternative Routes to Certification

Michigan offers three main alternative routes to teacher certification in Michigan. These alternative programs for prospective teachers are offered at Central Michigan University, Wayne State University and Ferris State University.

Central Michigan University

The main focus of Central Michigan University’s Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) Program is on preparing math, science, and industrial education teachers for rural school districts.

Wayne State University

Wayne State University’s Pathways Program is an Alternative Route to Certification that focuses on special education and bilingual education for urban school districts in the Detroit area. Successful completion can lead to a Master’s degree.

Ferris State University

Ferris State University’s has collaborated with the Federal Troops to Teachers program that was developed to place qualified active duty personnel and reservists into teaching positions in high-need, low-income school districts in rural and urban settings. The coursework for this program is provided on-line and includes a full academic year of interning.