Accelerated teacher certification programs in Michigan are a new initiative to help fill a shortage of teachers with qualified individuals at a faster pace. Although this route toward certification is in its experimental phase, accelerated programs consist of preparation and residency that allow individuals to work and fulfill certification requirements at the same time. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) reported four MDE-approved accelerated programs for the state. This article discusses how to find an accelerated program and the requirements to complete one.
How to Complete an Accelerated Teacher Program in Michigan
|Average Salaries for Teachers in Michigan (2018) *||$66,180 (Elementary School), $64,540 (Middle School), $62,950 (High School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Subject area-related|
|Testing Requirements||Michigan Test for Teacher Certification|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Find a Program
MDE-approved teacher certification programs may be found by doing some research on the internet. Because accelerated programs in Michigan are based on a hybrid format, candidates may consider programs that are not necessarily in their immediate vicinity. This opportunity allows the candidate to take courses online while obtaining employment in his/her region. Approved program providers can be found by doing a simple internet search. The Saginaw Valley State University is an example of an MDE-approved accelerated program provider that can be found by doing an internet search.
Another way to find an approved provider is to search using the MDE's interactive provider and program locator. This tool can be found on the MDE's website and allows all program providers to be listed on one page for easy viewing. The candidate will want to search for traditional programs since accelerated programs fall under a traditional certification path in Michigan. Once the candidate has generated a list through the interactive tool, it is recommended to search through all qualifying programs for post-baccalaureate teacher certification programs. It is recommended to check requirements for admission and completion before moving forward with applying for a program.
Step 2: Complete the Requirements for Certification
Accelerated programs are undertaken after a candidate has earned the minimum required education of a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. The candidate must then verify content knowledge in the subject area of certification. This is done by taking and passing the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). The MTTC exam requirement must be fulfilled before starting an accelerated program. Registration and information on scoring requirements can be found on the MTTC website.
Once the candidate has fulfilled the exam requirement, they must then apply and be accepted into an MDE-approved accelerated preparation program. Accelerated programs are available utilizing a hybrid approach with online coursework and face-to-face in-classroom teaching. The candidate must obtain employment in order satisfy the program teaching requirements and should seek assistance from their accelerated program provider to secure a position that will satisfy program requirements.
The candidate is also required to complete training in CPR and first aid by an MDE-approved provider before applying for certification.
Once all requirements have been fulfilled, the candidate can then submit the application for certification on the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) and pay the $160 application fee. Once the application and fees have been submitted and the MDE verifies the fulfillment of all requirements, the Standard Teaching Certificate will be issued. The certificate is valid for five years and must be renewed once it expires.