Become a teacher with an Alternative Certification Program in Michigan

In 2010, Michigan passed legislation that expanded the state's list of eligible providers. However, alternative certification paths are still limited and those that exist lead directly to the inner-city. In a 2009 report to the National Center for Alternative Certification, state officials said 100 percent of alternatively certified teachers were working in inner-city schools.

Michigan's route to alternative certification is based on the interim teaching certificate. This certificate allows individuals to teach in Michigan schools while fulfilling credential requirements through a state-approved alternative certification program.

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In order to qualify, candidates must have a bachelor's degree or above with a 3.0 GPA and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills exam as well as a subject area competency exam. Candidates also must enroll in an approved alternative certification program since the program provider must recommend the candidate for the interim certificate.

While teaching with an interim certificate, individuals must pass a background check, submit to extensive evaluation and coaching, and complete three years of satisfactory teaching.

One of the programs now permitted by Michigan's recent legislation is Teach for America - Detroit. According to the program's website, 200 Teach for America teachers are working in 32 traditional and charter public schools in Detroit. Program participants must commit to teaching for two years in a low-income community. The program kicks off with an intensive, five-week summer institute. Participants must pass the Michigan tests for certification and enroll in an alternative certification program hosted in Detroit through the University of Michigan.

Schools in Michigan:

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