Secondary Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC) Program

Program Overview

The Secondary Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC) program is an accelerated, traditional, full-time preparation program for those interested in a specific content-area and earning their initial teaching certificate. Candidates must first successfully complete teachable major requirements prior to beginning a Secondary GTC Cohort. With cohorts beginning each May, candidates engage in a combination of coursework and fieldwork for three semesters (spring/summer, fall, and winter). During the fall and winter semesters, individuals will participate in fieldwork to gain experience leading a classroom under the supervision and guidance of an experienced mentor teacher. Upon completion of the Secondary GTC program, individuals will apply for their initial teaching certificate through the Michigan Department of Education at the secondary level. Additionally, participants in the GTC program will provide candidates with graduate credit toward a master's degree.

Student Outcomes for Graduate Teacher Certification

Eligibility Requirements

In order to participate in the Secondary GTC program, individuals:

  • must be seeking their initial secondary teaching certificate.
  • must have an awarded bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.
  • must be at least a year out from earning their bachelor's degree.
  • must have a 3.0 GPA or higher for the final 60 undergraduate credits (waived if applicant holds a master's degree).
  • must already have or be willing to complete the teachable major requirements beforehand.
  • must complete teachable major requirements at a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • must have 30 hours of paid or unpaid experience working with the appropriate age group.


Teachable Major Requirement

New Secondary Education Program

Due to candidates having varying interest in the content area they plan to teach, Secondary GTC candidates must first complete their content-preparation coursework as a "prerequisite".

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has been working to revise Michigan's teacher certification structure to improve teacher preparation and the educator workforce. Beginning Fall 2024, Grand Valley State University will be offering the New Secondary Education program to meet the state standards and certification requirements. Given these changes, candidates interested in the Secondary GTC program will select from the following "teachable majors" and complete the required Planned Program of coursework prior to joining a Secondary GTC cohort in May. Planned Programs for teachable majors are being finalized, so please work closely with the Professional Advisors in the CLAS Academic Advising Center to ensure you have the most appropriate plan.

PK-12 Certification

Health and Physical Education

Music Education

Visual Arts Education

World Language

5-9 and 7-12 Certification




Social Studies

Tentative Course Schedule for Secondary GTC Cohort

The 3-semester GTC Cohort will be offered in an online format. Please note this is not referring to teachable major courses, as their educational format will vary.

Spring/Summer Semester (May-June)

Fall Semester (August - December)

Winter Semester (January - April)

EDI 635: Development and Needs of Students
EDS 652: Foundations of Special Education

Total Credits: 6

EDI 685: Practicum/Graduate Field Placement
EDI 636: Instruction in Middle and High Schools
EDI 638: Facilitating School Environments
EDR 630: Literacy Instruction Across Disciplines (7-12)

Total Credits: 12

EDI 685: Practicum/Graduate Field Placement
EDT 627: Technology Integration for Secondary Teachers

Total Credits: 9

Admission Process

Step One: Watch Informational Recording

If you have not done so already, please watch the Informational Recording for the Secondary GTC Program. This recording provides valuable insight about the program itself, eligibility requirements, and the specific process for how to apply. We are not offering Informational Sessions for the Secondary GTC Program at this time.

The PowerPoint presentation used in the Informational Recording is made accessible for candidates using Google Drive. You can access the copy of the presentation using this link.

Informational Recording - Secondary GTC

Step Two: Complete Planned Program Requirements

As outlined in the Informational Recording, candidates will need to apply to Grand Valley as a "degree seeking" undergraduate student to have their transcript evaluation completed by a Professional Advisor in the CLAS Academic Advising Center. Please be sure to follow the steps outlined in the Informational Recording to have your transcripts evaluated and a Planned Program created.

Step Three: Secondary GTC Program Application

Individuals will complete the program-specific application to confirm their participation in the upcoming May cohort. Within this application, candidates will:

  • provide their GVSU email address and G#
  • indicate their anticipated May Cohort year
  • disclose if they have a felony or misdemeanor
  • provide consent to share educational records
  • upload the Verification of Experience Form
  • upload updated Planned Program(s) - request from their Professional Advisor

Application window: August 1st through November 1st
Application deadline: November 1st

*Late applicants should contact our Graduate Education Program Specialist (see contact information in the Questions/Concerns section)

Step Four: Graduate School Application

Finally, candidates will apply to GVSU's Graduate School. Candidates will apply for the Spring/Summer semester of the year they plan to begin the Secondary GTC cohort. Within the Graduate School application, all candidates will:

  • upload a Personal Statement/Essay - see prompt
  • upload an Educator Resume - see example
  • send all official transcripts to GVSU (if teachable major coursework has been taken an institution other than GVSU since first applying)

Please use the Graduate School Application Guide - Secondary GTC for a step by step guide on how to apply and have official transcripts sent to GVSU.

Application deadline: January 15th (prior to May start)

Questions or Concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the program or admission process after watching the Informational Recording, please contact our Graduate Education Program Specialist.

Jade Bowman
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (616)331-6122

Pathway to Master's Degree

Upon completion of the Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC) program, students may continue coursework toward the master's degree in Secondary 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, Secondary Education Courses and degree requirements.

Page last modified April 4, 2024