Alternative Teacher Certification in Michigan

Instructor: Fola Rae
If you're interested in a teaching career, but have a bachelor's degree in a field other than education, you can still become a teacher in Michigan by completing an alternative teacher certification program. Read on to learn more about the steps required to complete these programs and discover resources that can help prepare you for a teaching career.

Michigan Alternate Route to Teaching

The Michigan Alternate Route to Teaching (MARTC) is for career changers who are interested in training to become certified teachers. In cases where there aren't enough teachers for a particular age group or study area, programs like MARTC can help prepare people from other professions to fill in the gaps.

MARTC programs pair classroom instruction in an approved program with supervised teaching over the course of a three-year period. Michigan schools offering these programs include Schoolcraft College, the University of Michigan - Flint and the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. However, the latter program is strictly for Teach for America members who've been offered positions in Detroit-area schools.

Eligibility Requirements

To enter an alternative teacher certification program in Michigan, you must have a bachelor's degree and meet the minimum grade point average requirements. You'll also need to pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Professional Readiness Exam, which includes three subtests designed to measure your reading, writing and math skills. Passing scores on a content test in the subject you're interested in teaching are required as well. The MTTC website has more information on these tests (

Additionally, offers a number of MTTC study guides you can access at your convenience to prepare for the Professional Readiness Exam or any of the subject tests you have to take.

Investigation Requirements

The Michigan Department of Education requires school district employees to be fingerprinted as part of a background check. You will need to complete this requirement before you are placed in a school.

Education and Training Requirements

Once you've completed your alternative teacher certification program's introductory coursework on such topics as instructional strategies and literacy education, you're given what is called an interim teaching certificate that allows you to start teaching right away. You'll be paired with a more experienced teacher who can guide you and give you advice. For the next three years you'll work to gain as much experience as possible and get used to being in the school environment.

During this time, you must also complete your program's curriculum requirements, which can include workshops, seminars and around 20 credit hours of coursework in topics including child development, special needs education and classroom management.

Whether you're looking for study aids that can help you review class material or would like to find some resources that could be used to enhance the instruction you deliver in the classroom, check out the following resources available from

Additional Training Options

More traditional teacher certification programs for career changers also exist. For instance, you might consider completing a post-baccalaureate or master's degree program designed to prepare graduates for teaching certification. Michigan schools offering these pathways are much more common.

Post-baccalaureate options typically require you to complete teacher education coursework, followed by a year-long teaching internship. Master's degree programs that allow you to complete all program requirements in as little as one year are also available. These curricula include coursework and field experiences that begin with observational visits to local schools and culminate in about a month of lead teaching experience.

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