Teaching and Licensure in Michigan
How to Become a Teacher in Michigan
The teaching profession is one of the most rewarding professions today. Every year a new batch of students enters the school system in need of smart, compassionate teachers who can teach them the skills and knowledge needed to survive in today’s world. That’s why every year school districts across Michigan need new teachers to meet increasing demand and replace retiring professionals.
If you feel the call to the noblest profession of them all and live in Michigan, you’ll need to know how enter the field. Michigan has specific requirements for its teaching certificates. And that’s a good thing because everyone wants a high quality educational system. Keep reading to learn how to get a teaching certificate in Michigan.
Traditional Teaching Licenses
There are schools statewide that can help you achieve the teaching certificate you need to teach in public schools. The University of Michigan state schools, Wayne State and Baker College in Flint are just a few of the schools that will train you for a lifetime of success in teaching. First, make sure that whatever program you choose is regionally accredited so that you have no problems when you apply for your license.
All undergraduate degrees for teachers have core courses (those classes that all undergraduates—regardless of their major—must take) and then classes specific to your teacher training. You’ll also need to do a related student-teacher experience to get hands-on practice in a real classroom. Once you have completed your coursework and student teaching, you will need to pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) and the Professional Readiness Exam (PRE). After you clear those hurdles, you are eligible for a provisional teaching certificate
Your provisional certificate can be renewed on a yearly basis for three years. Each renewal carries with it certain requirements:
- First Renewal: This stage requires either six semester hours of study in area(s) appropriate to your chosen subject area and age group. You may also opt for 150 hours of State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH), or some combination of semester hours and SCECH equal to the six semester hours (25 SCECH hours = 1 semester hour). You may also complete a master’s degree during the first year.
- Second Renewal: The same semester hours/SCECH apply during your second year of teaching.
- Third Renewal: By this time, you will need to be sponsored by a local school district or private school, have completed all academic requirements, and get approval from the Michigan Department of Education.
To get your Professional Education Certificate, you will need to have taught in the classroom for three years and fulfilled the requirements for the provisional certificate. Then you need to take either six semester hours (for elementary teachers) or three semester hours (for secondary teachers) of reading methods. To reinforce the state’s commitment to reading and education, three additional semester hours are required in the area of diagnosing and dealing with reading disabilities.
Now you’re almost there. To finally get your Professional Certificate, you must complete either six semester hours of appropriate coursework, 150 SCECH or 150 District Provided Professional Development clock hours. You may also complete a master’s (or higher) program at any point.
Commonly, there are teachers who move to Michigan and want to teach. Michigan welcomes newcomers and is happy to provide them with teaching certificates, after they meet certain requirements. If you are a certified teacher coming from another state, you will hopefully have no problem meeting the state’s standards.
If your out-of-state program meets the requirements of your former home state, it may be a valid teaching degree for Michigan too. The MI DOE will need to evaluate it. You will then need to apply for a MI teaching certificate. If you received your out-of-state certificate through an alternative program, you will need to produce your certificate as well as a signed copy of the alternative program.
Luckily, if you held a full certificate in your former state, you may not have to do all your work again. If you meet all the educational and continuing educational requirements for a Michigan certificate (minus the reading courses) you are eligible for a Professional Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization (T2EA,) which will last for one year. During that year, you’ll need to take the state’s required reading courses and pass the MTTC exams.
Teaching in Michigan: A Great Career Choice
Teaching in Michigan is a great career for many reasons. Though teaching can be challenging, it’s one of the most rewarding careers you can find, and the positive effect that you can have on your students is most certainly worth it. To get the most up-to-date information on certification, check the Michigan Department of Education website, where you’ll find a list of approved teacher-prep programs and other valuable information.
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