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Numerous 4-year colleges and universities offer teacher preparation programs that are approved by the Michigan Department of Education. These programs culminate in bachelor's or master's degrees and generally include field experience, internship or student teaching requirements. Some schools offer accelerated formats for students with bachelor's degrees in other fields. Depending on the field students plan to teach in, they might need to choose a specialization or content area to focus on while pursuing a degree.
Below are brief overviews of the teacher education programs at ten of Michigan's largest schools. All these programs are approved by the state for certification.
Central Michigan University
Students seeking a bachelor's degree in teaching can study at Central Michigan University's main campus in Mount Pleasant; elementary education is offered also at the global campus sites in East Lansing and Traverse City. The main campus has a new Education and Human Services Building, which boasts state-of-the-art technology. Students can participate in teaching programs in other countries and work with community education projects. Elementary education students specialize in one of eight areas: early childhood development and learning, integrated science, language arts, mathematics, social studies: geography, social studies: history, special education: cognitive impairment or special education: emotional impairment. Secondary education students must choose a major from 19 approved areas of study such as English, geography or mathematics.
Eastern Michigan University
Elementary education majors at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti can choose a second major, such as language arts or social studies, or two minor subjects. All elementary education bachelor's degree students take liberal arts requirements such as dance for elementary teachers, problem solving in elementary math, Earth science and children's literature. Other courses are in the content area they have chosen. After acceptance to the teacher education program, aspiring teachers study curriculum development, teaching methods and complete a student teaching experience. Students seeking a post-baccalaureate secondary education certificate must major in one of 21 approved subjects and choose a minor. They also take professional education courses that conclude with student teaching. Master's degrees in teaching are also available.
Ferris State University
Located in Big Rapids, Ferris State University offers a bachelor's degree programs for elementary and secondary education. Teacher certification candidates choose a major from a list of approved topics and complete courses in the major area as well as in education. The education programs include field experience and student teaching. There is also a path to teacher certification for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education.
Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University offers teacher certification programs at its Traverse City Regional Center and the Grand Rapids campus. Students can qualify for teacher certification as they earn a bachelor's degree in an approved major area. They begin with three foundational courses, and then move on to courses in education and in their major area. Student teaching work is mandatory. Individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree can qualify for certification through a one-year accelerated teacher preparation program.
Michigan State University
The teacher education program at Michigan State University in East Lansing offers bachelor's degree programs in elementary and secondary education with many majors available. There is also a program leading to certification in special education. Michigan State's teacher preparation programs require five years, the fifth year being a post-graduate teaching internship. There is a special cohort for students who want to teach in urban areas, and another that trains teaching students for work in a culturally diverse atmosphere.
In Rochester Hills, Oakland University offers teacher certification programs at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. All faculty members in Oakland's Department of Teacher Development and Educational Studies have elementary or secondary teaching experience. Students earning a bachelor's degree in secondary education must major in one of ten approved subjects through the education department, while students who want to teach music must enroll in the music department. Individuals with bachelor's degrees in subjects other than education can qualify for elementary or secondary certification through master's degree programs. Secondary education students spend a year after graduation in a teaching internship in a nearby school district.
Saginaw Valley State University
Saginaw Valley State University in University Center offers bachelor's degree programs in elementary education and secondary education. Students gain hands-on experience in their first year; they'll have amassed 300 hours of real life experience before beginning their student teaching. Elementary education majors complete two minors, choosing from mathematics, English, integrated science or social studies, and take four courses in the remaining two subject areas. Secondary education students complete a major and a minor. In addition to these degrees, teaching students can earn endorsements in early childhood, educational technology and English as a second language.
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
At the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, students can earn bachelor's degrees in elementary or secondary education or, if they already have a bachelor's degree, pursue a master's degree with certification to teach in either of those areas. Bachelor's degree students begin the education program in their junior year, taking courses and gaining experience working with students. The master's degree programs require 12 months of study and student teaching. Teaching certification programs are also available through the Department of Music Education and the School of Kinesiology. Several other programs also provide pathways to certification.
Wayne State University
Aspiring teachers have many program options for teacher certification at Wayne State University in Detroit, including bachelor's degrees in education or master's degrees in teaching. Students who already have bachelor's degrees can qualify for certification through a special program. Some bachelor's degree programs in Wayne State's College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts also have certification options. Students who major in elementary education can choose a teaching major and minor subject or pursue three minors. Secondary education students must pick an academic subject major and a minor. All students are required to participate in student teaching and field experiences in both urban and suburban classrooms.
Western Michigan University
In Kalamazoo, at Western Michigan University, teaching students can earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education with certification to teach grades kindergarten through eight and can add an early childhood endorsement to teach general and special education students. Students who want to teach music and art at the elementary level must major in those subjects and minor in elementary education. A pre-internship requirement lets elementary education students work with mentor teachers two days a week; the degree program ends with a full-time student teaching experience. Secondary education students have more than 20 content areas from which to choose a major. They take courses in their major subject and how to teach it, along with general courses in teaching theory and methods. Students spend time working with teens in mentoring and tutoring programs as well as in pre-internships and student teaching experiences in real classrooms.
Teachers in Michigan must be licensed by the Michigan Department of Education. Individuals who have completed an approved Michigan teacher preparation program and passed the required state certification exams can apply for a provisional, or initial, teaching certificate, which is valid for up to six years. Teachers seeking a professional certificate must acquire 18 semester hours of education in a planned course of study or earn a graduate degree. The professional certificate calls for at least three years of teaching experience.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Teacher Education Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-16)|
|Central Michigan University||Four-year; public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Education||$11,850 in-state; $23,670 out-of-state*|
|Eastern Michigan University||Four-year; public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science with Various Majors or Two Minors for Elementary Education,
Post-Baccalaureate Program in Secondary Education
Master of Arts in Teaching
|$10,417 in-state (undergraduate); $27,712 out-of-state (undergraduate); $15,573 in-state (graduate); $27,645 out-of-state (graduate)*|
|Ferris State University||Four-year; public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Elementary or Secondary Education in an Approved Major Area||$10,970 in-state; $17,562 out-of-state*|
|Grand Valley State University||Four-year; public; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts/Science in an Approved Major Area||$11,363 in-state; $16,044 out-of-state*|
|Michigan State University||Four-year; public; small city|| Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Bachelor of Arts in Special Education,
Bachelor of Arts/Science in an Approved Major
|$13,560 in-state; $36,360 out-of-state*|
|Oakland University||Four-year; public; suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education ,
Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education,
Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education
|$11,344 in-state (undergraduate); $23,522 out-of-state (undergraduate); $15,720 in-state (graduate); $24,648 out-of-state (graduate)*|
|Saginaw Valley State University||Four-year; public; fringe rural|| Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education
|$8,968 in-state; $21,061 out-of-state*|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Four-year; public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts/Science in Elementary Teacher Education,
Bachelor of Arts/Science in Secondary Education,
Master of Arts in Educational Studies-Elementary Teacher Certification or Secondary Teacher Certification
|$13,856 in-state (undergraduate); $43,476 out-of-state (undergraduate); $20,966 in-state (graduate); $42,016 out-of-state (graduate)*|
|Wayne State University||Four-year; public; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Bachelor of Arts in a Secondary Education Major Area,
Master of Arts in Teaching - Elementary,
Master of Arts in Teaching - Secondary Subject Area
|$11,814 in-state (undergraduate); $25,254 out-of-state (undergraduate); $15,853 in-state (graduate); $32,370 out-of-state (graduate)*|
|Western Michigan University||Four-year; public; small city|| Bachelor of Science - Elementary Education,
Bachelor of Science - Secondary Education
|$11,029 in-state; $25,713 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.