Northern Michigan Elementary Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC)

A two-year Elementary Teacher Certification Program

Starting in 2023, Grand Valley State University is offering a new Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC) program for Elementary Education in Northern Michigan. This two-year program leads to eligibility for a standard initial elementary teacher certificate for the State of Michigan. The program consists of 39 credit hours that include coursework and fieldwork preparing teacher candidates to teach all subject areas in a self-contained PK-6th grade classroom. Courses for this program are offered with adult learning in mind by having online and hybrid courses, with occasional in-person meetings at GVSU's Traverse City Regional Center. At the completion of the program, teacher candidates will have earned a teaching certificate as well as graduate credit toward a master's degree.

Program Contact

Jade Bowman,

Graduate Education Program Specialist

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (616) 331-6122

Apply to GVSU's Northern Michigan GTC Program

Steps for GTC Elementary Admission

Program Admission Requirements

  1. Must be a current employee of a school district associated with Northwest Educational Services.
  2. Must be seeking PK-6th grade teacher certification (i.e. you are a non-certified individual).
  3. Must live in Northern Michigan with the ability to occasionally visit GVSU's Traverse City Regional Center for in-person meetings.
  4. Must have an awarded bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Must have a 3.0 GPA or higher for the final 60 semester credits (waived if the applicant holds a Master's degree).
  5. Apply to GVSU's Northern Michigan GTC Program. The GTC application packet is available from the College of Education and Community Innovation's Office of Certification and Accreditation and is due by February 28th.
    • Declaration of Cohort year.
    • A personal application meeting with the Graduate Education Program Specialist.
    • Signed statement regarding criminal activity and submission of official court documentation.
  6. A completed Master of Education (M.Ed.) graduate application must also be submitted to the GVSU Admissions Office.

Application due February 28, 2023

  • All applications must be submitted by February 28, 2023. Early applications are encouraged. 
  • All students must apply and be formally admitted into the Northern Michigan Elementary GTC Program.
  • Students will be notified of their application status by Friday, March 10, 2023.
  • All admitted applicants must attend a required virtual orientation on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

GTC Elementary Certification (PreK-6th grade)

Program Requirements

  1. Complete 39 credits of coursework over 2 years (taking 3-6 credits per semester according to your program plan).
  2. Complete Key Assessments within courses.
  3. Pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Sub-tests.

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 two years later.

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

There are 39 credits required, detailed as follows.

First Year

Spring 1 Semester- 6 Weeks (May 8, 2023 - June 21, 2023)

  • EDI 635 - Development and Needs of Students (3 credits, Online)

Spring and Summer 1 Semesters- 12 Weeks (May 8, 2023 - August 8, 2023)

  • EDR 621 - Foundations of Literacy (3 credits, Online)

Fall 1 Semester- 16 Weeks (August 28, 2023 - December 16, 2023)

  • EDR 628 - Literacy Instruction Across Disciplines (3 credits, Online)
  • EDI 630 - Teaching Mathematics: PK-6 (3 credits, Hybrid)

Winter 1 Semester- 16 Weeks (January 8, 2024 - April 27, 2024)

  • EDT 619 - Curricular Integration of Ed Technology (3 credits, Online)
  • EDS 652 - Foundations of Special Education (3 credits, Online)

Second Year

Spring 2 Semester- 6 Weeks (May 6, 2024 - June 19, 2024)

  • EDI 632 - Teaching Creative and Performing Arts (3 credits, Hybrid)

Summer 2 Semester- 6 Weeks (June 24, 2024 - August 6, 2024)

  • EDI 631 - Teaching Science: PK-6 (3 credits, Hybrid)
  • EDI 633 - Teaching Social Studies and Diversity (3 credits, Online)

Fall 2 Semester- 16 Weeks (August 26, 2024 - December 14, 2024)

  • EDI 638 - Facilitating School Environments (3 credits, Online)
  • EDI 685 1A - 1st Practicum/Graduate Field Experience (3 credits, On-Site)

Winter 2 Semester- 16 Weeks (January 6, 2025 - April 26, 2025)

  • EDI 685 2A - 2nd Practicum/Graduate Field Experience (6 credits, On-Site)

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 March 9, 2023