CLAS Academic Advising Center

Elementary Education

Elementary Teaching Certificate holders are qualified to teach K-5 all subjects and grades 6, 7 and 8 in a major content area. To obtain a Michigan Provisional Teaching Certificate, the Michigan Department of Education normally requires a minimum of two content subject areas.

At Grand Valley, students are required to complete a teachable major and a teachable minor for initial certification. Students must select one major area for elementary certification from the following majors:

º  Integrated Science
º  English: Language Arts
º  Mathematics
º  Social Studies

In addition to a major, Grand Valley students must complete the “Elementary Distributed” minor which allows them to teach (K-5) all subjects. The Elementary Distributed minor is currently being revised. Click here for detailed information. The College of Education also requires the completion of three education pre-requisite courses: EDF 315, EDI 337, and PSY 301. See more information here.

Normally, students complete the majority of their degree, major, minor and pre-requisite courses before they apply to the College of Education (COE). Once admitted into the COE, students complete one semester of student assisting and one semester of student teaching. A sequence of course requirements leading to certification can be found here. Most students wait to graduate with their Bachelor’s degree until after they have completed their final semester of student teaching.

Students who plan to receive a Michigan teaching certificate must take the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) in their major, minor, and endorsement(s), if applicable. Please discuss which test are appropriate for you with your COE advisor.

For students seeking elementary certification in English: Language Arts please note that the appropriate MTTC test for this major is the Language Arts test (#90) and NOT the English test which is only for secondary certification.

For more information about the Elementary Certification program and the admission criteria for the undergraduate certification program, go to Grand Valley’s “College of Education” webpage at

The advisors in the CLAS Academic Advising Center can help you understand the requirements for the teachable majors, admission to the College of Education, and teacher's certification, and assist you in developing an academic plan. Please call us at 616 331-8585 or stop by our office in C-1-140 Mackinac (MAK) Hall to schedule an appointment.

Page last modified March 13, 2014