Steps for Becoming a Teacher
“I am in awe of the opportunities that Grand Valley gives students to become the best versions of themselves, whether that's through academic development, leadership development, or professional development.”
—Selena Brown, Comprehensive Science and Arts for Teaching Major / Class of 2020
Become a GVSU Student
The first step in your journey to becoming a teacher is to apply to GVSU. The College of Education is a secondary admit program, which means you need to be a GVSU student before you can apply to the College of Education. You will begin taking courses in the COE your freshman year and then apply for Teacher Assisting and Student Teaching your junior year.
Explore College of Education Program Information
The GVSU College of Education offers three undergraduate majors - Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education. In all of your courses, you will learn the most effective, research-based teaching methods to help you meet the unique needs of each of your students.
Connect with Your Advisor
Academic advising engages students in the process of exploring and defining their academic and career goals and in creating effective strategies to achieve these goals. Through collaborative relationships with academic advisors, students are encouraged and supported as they develop the skills necessary to take responsibility for their own development and success.
Plan Your Course Sequence on MyPath
GVSU provides all students with myPath, a tool designed to assist you in preparing for and tracking your academic progress toward graduation. It encompasses both a degree analysis audit and an educational planner. This tool is not intended to take the place of an advisor. We strongly recommend meeting with your advisor periodically to review your academic plan.
Take Your Teacher Certification Test
The College of Education prepares you to take the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) exam through the Michigan Department of Education.
NOTE: You do not need to take or pass your certification test before applying for teacher assisting, but you can choose to take the certification exam before teacher assisting and student teaching.
Apply for Teacher Assisting
During your junior year at GVSU, you will apply for your semester of Teacher Assisting. During this semester, you will work alongside a current teacher in an area school.
Apply for Student Teaching
During your Teacher Assisting semester, you will apply for Student Teaching. As a student teacher, you will work independently as a full-time teacher in a classroom with a current teacher serving as your mentor.
Complete CPR & First Aid Training
Before you apply for teacher certification in Michigan, you must complete a CPR & First Aid course from an approved provider. We recommended you complete CPR & First Aid training either during or before your final Student Teaching semester. Each certification for CPR and First Aid training is valid for 2 years.
Apply for State Certification
Once you have completed all the requirements needed for teacher certification, you will need to apply through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). All teachers seeking certification of any kind must register with MOECS in order to receive their certificate.
Apply for Graduation
Students should submit their application to graduate the semester before their degree requirements will be completed.