GTC Elementary (PreK-6th Grade) Program

Introducing a new Elementary program

In summer 2022, Grand Valley State University revised the Graduate Teacher Certification Elementary Education program to meet new requirements from the Michigan Department of Education.

Candidates who meet admission requirements are accepted into the Graduate Teacher Certification Elementary Education program in February and are placed in an Elementary level cohort group. The cohort groups are a resource for friendship and support throughout the program. The sequence of teacher education courses leading to certification begins spring/summer term. Groups conclude their studies at the end of April the following year.

All traditional and hybrid courses are taught on the GVSU Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

We invite you to register for one of our upcoming program information sessions to learn more about the program and admission requirements:

Elementary GTC Information Session

Student Outcomes for Graduate Teacher Certification

Steps for GTC Elementary Admission

  1. Completion of the baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution at least one year prior to application with a 3.0 GPA or higher for the final 60 semester credits.
  2. A completed Master's of Education (M.Ed.) graduate application submitted to the GVSU Admissions Office by January 15.
  3. Elementary candidates must complete the following two courses prior to admission:
    • EDT 619 - Curricular Integration of Ed. Technology (3 credits)
    • HPE 267 - Health and Movement Education for Elementary Teachers (3 credits)
  4. A separate GTC application packet is also needed. This is available from the College of Education and Community Innovation's Office of Certification and Accreditation and due by November 1st for the following cohort year.
    • Declaration of Cohort year.
    • Evidence of 30 hours of paid or volunteer work with children within the age group you wish to teach (due by November 1 unless given permission for extension).
    • Professional Educators Resume.
    • A personal essay.
    • A personal Application interview with the Placement Specialist.
    • Signed statement regarding criminal activity and submission of official court documentation.

GTC Elementary Certification (PreK-6th grade)

An individual interested in teaching at the Elementary level can begin the program with any existing Bachelor's degree. This program utilizes a cohort model. Students begin the program in the Spring/Summer semester, and complete the program the following Winter semester.

NOTE: Candidates will be placed in academically, culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse settings.

There are 36 credits required, detailed as follows.

Spring/Summer Session, May - August

  • EDI 631 - Teaching Science: PK-6 (3 credits)
  • EDI 632 - Teaching Creative and Performing Arts (3 credits)
  • EDI 635 - Development and Needs of Students (3 credits)
  • EDI 633 - Teaching Social Studies and Diversity (3 credits)
  • EDR 621 - Foundations of Literacy (3 credits)

Fall Session, August - December

  • EDI 638 - Facilitating School Environments (3 credits)
  • EDI 685 1A - 1st Practicum/Graduate Field Experience (3 credits)
  • EDI 630 - Teaching Mathematics: PK-6 (3 credits)
  • EDR 628 - Literacy Instruction Across Disciplines (3 credits)

Winter Session, January - April

  • EDI 685 2A - 2nd Practicum/Graduate Field Experience (6 credits)
  • EDS 652 - Foundations of Special Education (3 credits)

Pathway to Master's Degree

Upon completion of the Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC) program, students may continue coursework toward the master's degree in Elementary or another approved master's degree program. Interested students should contact the Office of Certification and Accreditation at [email protected] or (616) 331-6650 to meet with an advisor.

Visit the online catalog for a list of the Masters of Education Degree in Instruction and Curriculum, Elementary Education Courses and degree requirements.


Page last modified September 22, 2022