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Michigan Alternative Teacher Certification

Michigan’s Alternate Route to Interim Teaching (MARITC) process allows candidates who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program to be hired as a teacher while completing the certification requirements. This career-switcher program provides pathways to completing a teacher preparation program while teaching full-time.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

To qualify for an alternate route certification program in the state of Michigan, candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and at least a 3.0 post-secondary GPA. They must also take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills test as well as a subject-area test for the grade level and content area they wish to teach. Once these qualifications are achieved, candidates must enroll in a state-approved alternate route teaching program to receive an Interim teaching certificate.

Approved alternate route teaching programs in Michigan require only 12 credit hours and typically lead to a post-graduate certificate. There are also programs leading to a master’s degree in education or a post-graduate degree in a core subject that includes an approved certification program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Michigan

The Michigan’s Alternate Route to Interim Teaching (MARITC) program is designed to lead to an Interim teaching certificate. However, there are other routes that candidates can follow based on previous education and experience.

Interim Teaching Certificate

The Interim teaching certificate is issued to those who meet the qualifications for and enroll in an alternate route teaching program in the state of Michigan. You can see a list of approved programs on the Office of Professional Preparation Services website. There are two important conditions to note for the Interim certificate:

  • Special Education and Early Childhood-General endorsements may not be added to an Interim certificate. Candidates for these areas of teaching must follow traditional routes to certification.
  • Once issued, no endorsements can be added to an Interim certificate. Therefore, candidates must be sure to qualify and test for the appropriate endorsements prior to applying for the certificate.

Those candidates who qualify will receive an Interim Teaching Certificate for a period of three years while they complete a mentoring program designed to enhance their skills and effectiveness as a classroom teacher. Successful completion of this three-year program will result in the candidate being recommended for a Provisional Certificate or Professional Education Certificate, depending on his or her level of education.

Occupational Certification/Authorization for Career and Technical Education

Those who wish to teach career and technical education subjects recognized by the Michigan Department of Education may apply for either an Interim Occupational Certification or an Annual Occupational Authorization to teach.

An Interim Occupational Certificate can be issued to those who have a bachelor’s degree that includes a major or minor in the vocational subject to be taught plus 4,000 hours of experience in that occupational area, plus 6 semester credit hours of professional/occupational education credit. Candidates for this certificate must also pass the MTTC Professional Readiness Examination and the subject area exam for the occupation to be taught. The Interim Occupational Certification leads to the Occupational Education Certification upon completion of three years of successful teaching and 3 semester credits of reading diagnostics and remediation, plus continuing education clock hours.

The Annual Occupational Authorization is an annual certificate similar to an emergency certificate that is valid only for one year for each application. This certificate may be issued to a teacher who is not certified under other pathways but fulfills a district need if no qualified teachers are available. The candidate must have a minimum of a high school diploma and 4,000 clock hours of recent and relevant experience in the subject to be taught. Once a teacher is authorized under this track he or she must enroll in an approved CTE Teacher Preparation Program and complete at least one credit per year, and complete the preparation program fully within 8 consecutive years.

Testing Requirements for Michigan Alternative Certification

Except for Annual Occupational Authorizations for career and technical education subjects, all candidates for alternative route teacher licensing in Michigan must pass the MTTC Professional Readiness Examination and the subject area exam for the occupation to be taught. Candidates must also pass a fingerprint-based background check, which is typically completed prior to student teaching in a teacher preparation program.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Under reciprocity, applicants who hold a valid teaching license in another state may be eligible for Michigan certification so long as they can verify their licensure and teaching experience. Those who meet these requirements may apply for the Provisional Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization (T2EA). Once issued, candidates have one year to pass the MTTC Professional Readiness Examination and the subject area exam for the occupation to be taught. Once the exam requirements are fulfilled, candidates may apply for a Provisional certificate and follow the traditional three-tier certification pathway in Michigan. See our guide to interstate teacher certification reciprocity for further information.

Michigan School District Requirements

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Additional Resources

Michigan Department of Education
Michigan Department of Education Office of Professional Preparation Services Approved Programs
ASSIST Beginning Teachers

Schools with Alternative Certification Programs in Michigan

Because the alternative certification process is complex, we have researched and provided specific school programs below for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and want to become a teacher. We recommend you request information from one or more of these specific programs:

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References:
1. Michigan State Department of Education: http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-5683—,00.html