College of Education
Facts about Obtaining Professional Certification
Common Questions and Answers About Teaching Certification
Question: I have my Provisional Teacher Certificate. Now what? There are several possible answers to this question depending on your situation.
Answers: When you receive your Provisional Certificate from the Michigan Department of Education, you will notice your certificate will give the date of issuance, the expiration date, the certification level, and endorsement areas.
To move to the professional certificate level, the Michigan Department of Education requires teachers to accrue three years of successful teaching experience and fulfill the reading requirement. Effective July 1, 2009, an approved course in the diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities and differentiated instruction, including field experience, is required before obtaining the Professional Certificate. To view approved reading courses click here.
(The approved reading course can be used as 3 of the 6 credits required under Option 1, 2, or 5 listed below)
In addition, effective September 1st, 2013, one of the following options is required:
1) 6 credit hours completed from a planned program at an approved teacher preparation institution OR
2) 6 credit hours of appropriate to grade level and content endorsement OR
3) 180 hours of State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) in approved professional development appropriate to grade level and content endorsement OR
4) 150 annual District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) hours appropriate to grade level and content endorsement OR
5) A combination of semester credits, SCECH (30 SCECH equates to 1 semester credit hour), and/or DPPD hours (30 clock hours of DPPD equates to 1 semester credit hour or 30 SCECH) since the issuance of the Provisional Certificate
Once these requirements are met a Professional Certificate may be granted.
Question: When I am ready, how do I apply for my professional certificate?
Answer: Upon completion of requirements, candidates must have a MEIS account and initiate the certification recommendation process by self-registering online through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). For instructions on how to create a MEIS account and apply for your professional, renewal, or endorsement, go to: www.michigan.gov/moecs
Note: Educators will be able to print their own electronic certificate and employers must verify the validity of the certificate via MOECS.
Question: What if my Provisional Certificate expires and I don't have all the requirements met for Professional Certification?
Answer: If you have not completed all the requirements for the professional certificate, you may renew your certificate by completing number 1, 2, 3, or a combination of the 3 mentioned previously. The first renewal is valid for 3 years. If requirements for the professional certificate are not met by the expiration date of the first renewal, a second 3 year renewal may be obtain by completing number 1, 2, 3, or a combination of the 3 in addition to requirements used for the first renewal.
Question: What if I'm not currently teaching? Should I still renew my Provisional Certificate? Should I "spend" one of my two renewals?
Answer: Unless you need your Provisional Certificate for employment, you are advised to let it lapse. You can renew it at any time if you have fulfilled one of the options described earlier.
Question: If I don't have a full time teaching job, how can I gain my three years experience?
Answer: Substituting will count toward your teaching experience as long as it is in the area you are certified to teach. Experience can be accumulated through part-time (including substitute) teaching, under the following formula: 150 days = 1 year, 2 1/2 hours = 1 day. No more than one day can be counted in a day; no more than one year can be counted in a year.
Question: What if I have a master's or higher degree?
Answer: A person with an approved master's or higher degree will be required to complete 3 years of successful teaching and will have to meet the reading requirement mentioned previously. See program advisor for appropriate course.
Question: What if I have earned my Professional Certificate? What do I have to do to maintain it?
Answer: You would be required to meet one of the listed options 1, 2, 3, 4 or a combination of the 4 under the professional certificate requirements described earlier that are effective September 1, 2013.
Depending on your situation, the options below can be designed in a planned program to satisfy credit hour options for professional certificate and/or renewal.
Option 1. Master's Degree
Earning a master's degree from an approved teacher education institution, with quality graduate education programs, will enhance teacher skills at various levels. It is recommended you meet with an appropriate College of Education advisor to select a planned program that meets your needs.
Option 2. Additional Major or Minor
The applicant may earn additional endorsements consisting of at least 20 hours within the College of Education or in approved subject area majors or minors. Program advisors must approve all additional endorsements. Applicants must also pass Michigan Subject Area tests.
Option 3. Additional Certificate Level
This option is available for candidates who wish to become certified at a level other than that of their original certificate. An example: a secondary teacher who wants to become elementary certified.
Option 4. Professional Development
Candidates selecting credit hours for their professional certificate may select one of the above options in an approved planned program with a College of Education advisor or choose courses in subject matter related to the applicant's teaching grade level and content endorsement.
Page last modified February 13, 2013