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, along with a second major in Education. Students must select one major area for elementary certification from the following majors:

In addition to a teachable major and major in Education, Grand Valley students must complete the "Elementary Certification" minor which allows them to teach (K-5) all subjects. The College of Education also requires the completion of three education pre-requisite courses: EDF 315, EDI 337, and PSY 301. See more information about admissions requirements.

Starting in fall 2014, students also have the option of completing a first major in Comprehensive Science and Arts for Teaching and a minor in Spanish-Elementary Teaching (CSAT/SPA), along with the second major in Education to obtain elementary certification. Students are still required to complete the three education pre-requisite courses: EDF 315, EDI 337, and PSY 301. This option allows students to obtain K-5 certification in all subjects, as well as Spanish K-8.

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 for elementary certification, and here for the elementary with Spanish certification.  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, as well as obtain passing scores on the OPI if they plan to pursue the CSAT/SPA program. Please discuss which tests are appropriate for you with your COE advisor. Study materials for the MTTC can be found online here.

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 www.gvsu.edu/coe.

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 December 5, 2018