Facts about Obtaining Professional Certification in Michigan

COE Graduates

Michigan Department of Education January 2014 update:
Facts about Certification in Michigan

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.

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.
Applicants for the Professional Certificate may complete the National Board Professional Teaching Standards Certification ( www.nbpts.org ) or meet the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) two-part requirements listed below:


Note: State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) replaces State
Board Continuing Education Units (SB-CEU). See SCECH offerings

Candidates for professional certification must meet ONE of the following requirements:

  1. Six semester credit hours in a planned program at an approved teacher preparation institution (EPI); OR
  2. Six semester credit hours of academic credit appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate at any regionally accredited college or university; OR
  3. 180 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) in appropriate to grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate held; OR
  4. 150 District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) hours through professional development programs appropriate to grade level and content endorsement(s); 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 SCECHs) since the issuance of the Provisional Certificate. The total must equal 180 hours.

All credit hours need to be completed within FIVE years of application for Professional Certification and after the issuance of the most recent certificate. Credit/hours options older than FIVE years will not count toward professional certification.


In addition, the Michigan Department of Education requires teachers to:

  1. accrue three years of successful teaching experience;
  2. fulfill the reading requirement. (Approved reading course offerings)

Effective July 1, 2009 an approved reading course in the diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities and differentiated instruction, including field experiences, is required before obtaining the Professional Certificate. (The approved reading course can be used as 3 of the 6 credits required under Option 1, 2, or 5 listed above)

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 by the expiration date of your initial provisional, you may renew your certificate by completing number 1,2, 3, or 5 mentioned previously. Courses for the first renewal must be taken within three years prior to application. Note: You may NOT use DPPDs for renewals.

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 three year renewal may be obtained by completing number 1,2, 3, or 5 within the three year time limit prior to application. Note: You may NOT use DPPDs for second renewals.

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 within the three years prior to applying for your renewal.

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 earned masters or higher degree will need to meet with the certification coordinator to review and approve credits. Credits from a masters degree will not automatically meet the new requirements unless the six credits (Option 1 or 2) are taken within the three to five years prior to application for the professional certificate. In addition, the reading requirement mentioned previously will need to be met. (Approved reading course offerings)

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 5) mention under the professional certificate requirements described earlier that are effective September 1, 2013. All credit hours need to be completed within FIVE years of application for Professional Renewal and after the issuance of the most recent certificate.

All professional education certificates expire 5 years from June 30 of the calendar year that the certificate was issued.

Certification Options

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.

For further information contact:
COE Student Information and Services Center
401 C DeVos Center Pew Campus Grand Rapids, MI 49504-6495 Telephone: (616) 331-6650 email: coeserve@gvsu.edu