Schools Offering Alternate Paths to Teacher Certification in Michigan

Oct 21, 2019

Earning a teacher certification in Michigan can be achieved by participating in an alternative path program that is approved by the Michigan Department of Education. This article provides information on alternative route programs in Michigan and the requirements to complete one.

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Alternative route programs that lead to a teaching certification in Michigan must be approved by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). This route is designed for individuals who hold the minimum of a bachelor's degree in a non-education field. The MDE designed its alternative route program to fill a shortage of teachers in the state. This article provides information on MDE alternative route programs in the state and the requirements needed to achieve certification.

Information on Alternative Route Programs 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 Preferably in subject area of certification, but not required
Testing Requirements Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (103) or (086)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step One: Research Approved Programs

A list of MDE-approved program providers can be found on the MDE site. There are currently seven program providers that have met the standards to prepare candidates for certification. Providers consist of both higher education institutions and private entities. They include:

  • #T.E.A.C.H
  • Davenport University
  • Professional Innovators in Teaching
  • Schoolcraft College
  • University of Michigan M-ARC
  • University of Michigan - Flint Alt. Route

When researching approved programs, it is important that the individual consider whether the program can meet special needs. For example, important considerations may include the course schedule and accessibility, assistance in job placement in the candidate's region, and costs and financial aid options.

Step 2: Apply for the Program

Each program provider will have a different application process. Information on applying may be found on the provider's website or by calling the registrar's office or an advising department. At the very least, every approved program is required to receive proof of MDE-required criteria that the candidate completed. The candidate is required to provide official transcripts from the higher-level institution where the bachelor's degree was received. It is a requirement of the state that the bachelor's degree was earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The candidate is also required to show evidence of successfully passing the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) in the subject area the candidate is seeking certification in, and is also required to provide proof of holding current CPR and first aid certification from an MDE-approved provider. The final requirement mandated by the MDE is a criminal background check that meets the standard of the state.

Step 3: Complete the Program

MDE alternative route programs require the candidate meet the MDE-mandated twelve semester hours of coursework and clinicals that develop the candidate's pedagogy practices. Coursework and face-to-face clinical experience provide instruction and training in teaching methods, child development and psychology, and inclusiveness of family and community. Alternative route programs allow participants to complete program requirements while working full-time. The alternative route candidate will be issued an Interim Teaching Certificate that will allow them to obtain employment as a teacher. The certificate is valid for five years and allows the candidate to fulfill the required three years of teaching with a minimum requirement of twelve weeks teaching in the area in which the participants seeks certification. Once the candidate fulfills all program requirements, the program provider will recommend the candidate for the Standard Teaching Certificate. The candidate will be required to submit the application for certification using the Michigan Online Educator Certification System to complete the process of obtaining certification.

Teacher Certification Resources

The link below provides information to help you prepare for the MTTC that is required to apply for an alternative route certification.

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