Michigan Alternative Teacher Certification

Alternative teacher preparation programs, also known as non-traditional programs, are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and typically lead to the award of a certificate or master’s degree. Michigan’s alternative preparation programs, which include the Michigan Alternate Route to Interim Teaching (MARITC), allow candidates who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program to pursue certification. If you don’t already have your bachelor’s degree, see our guide to traditional certification in Michigan. Continue reading below to find out more about this option for teacher licensing in Michigan.

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 can be completed in as little as one year and typically lead to a post-graduate certificate. There are also programs leading to a master’s degree in education or a postgraduate degree in a core subject that includes an approved certification program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Michigan

The Michigan 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 approved 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.

Annual Career Authorization for Career and Technical Education

Those who wish to teach career and technical education (CTE) subjects recognized by the Michigan Department of Education may apply for an Annual Career Authorization to teach in state-approved CTE programs and career pathway courses. The Annual Career 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 may continue to work under subsequent approved annual authorizations provided that they continue to meet recent, continuing relevant experience requirements, are supervised by a mentor teacher, and maintain effective or highly effective teacher evaluations.

Testing Requirements for Michigan Alternative Certification

Except for Annual Career 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

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Michigan

The list below includes school-based programs that typically lead to a certificate or master’s degree have been approved by the Michigan Department of Education (MDOE). Selecting a state-approved program is important in order to ensure that you qualify for teacher licensure.

  • Andrews University (Master’s)
  • Aquinas College (Master’s)
  • Davenport University* (Alternative)
  • Eastern Michigan University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Grand Valley State University (Certificate)
  • Madonna University (Master’s)
  • Michigan State University* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Oakland University (Master’s)
  • Saginaw Valley State University* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Schoolcraft College* (Alternative)
  • Spring Arbor University (Certificate)
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor* (Alternative, Master’s), Dearborn (Master’s), Flint* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Wayne State University* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Western Michigan University* (Certificate, Master’s)

*Schools with an asterisk offer programs that can include paid classroom placements, subject to qualifications and experience. The student may be responsible for securing their own placement. Contact program(s) of interest for further information.

Additional Resources

1. Michigan State Department of Education: https://www.michigan.gov/mde/Services/ed-serv