Michigan Teacher Programs and Careers
There are 842 open school districts in the state of Michigan, which spent $14 billion in 2018 to support education. That support helped more than 80% of the state’s youth graduate from high school. Nearly 86,000 of these graduates continued their education, going on to pursue college studies. Unfortunately for the state’s young minds, Michigan is experiencing a crippling teacher shortage, according to a recent report from The Detroit News. In the Upper Peninsula alone, 29 of 36 districts are facing shortages, with some districts receiving zero applications for positions that have been open and advertised for years.
If you’re passionate about education and motivated to channel that passion into a career as a teacher, there are few places where your talents and ambitions are more needed than in Michigan. If you have the training, education, and preparation to be a successful teacher, you can leverage these assets into a rewarding career in the Great Lakes State.
This page will break down the training, education, and preparation required to become a teacher in Michigan. It will also cover the certification process, salaries and costs, and programs and incentives you can use to offset those costs on your quest to educate young minds in a state that’s in dire need of good teachers.
How to Become a Teacher in Michigan
There are several different paths to becoming a teacher in Michigan, depending on things like your background and what kind of teacher you want to be.
Traditional Teaching Route
You don’t need a master’s degree in education to teach in Michigan. You must, however, complete an undergraduate program. You don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in education specifically, but it helps. That’s because Michigan requires all prospective teachers to complete a teacher preparation program for their area of concentration, such as math, elementary, or English education. If you enter your undergraduate studies with the intention of becoming a teacher, that component will be included in your bachelor’s program.
You’ll also need to complete required reading courses—three semester credit hours for secondary teachers and six for elementary. If you follow the traditional pathway at the undergraduate level, the required reading will be part of your coursework. If you pursue the traditional route post-baccalaureate, it will be included in your teacher preparation program. In addition, you’ll have to complete a first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation course, through which you can earn required certification from the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, or a comparable approved organization. Finally, you’ll have to take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC).
There are also two other traditional pathways:
It’s important to note that you must pass the MTTC no matter which traditional path you choose.
Alternative Teaching in Michigan
You can also pursue alternative teacher certification. This pathway lets you work full time as a teacher under what’s called an interim certificate while you’re working toward full Michigan teacher certification.
The interim certificate is good for five years. It can’t be renewed under any circumstances and you can’t add any endorsements to it. In order to keep the interim certificate in good standing, you must remain enrolled in the alternative route preparation program. To progress from an interim certificate to a standard teaching certificate, you’ll have to complete the alternative route program, get a recommendation from the program provider, and successfully work as a teacher for three years.
The requirements for the alternative teaching pathway aren’t any less stringent than for the traditional route—you still have to meet all requirements specified under Michigan state law. In fact, the standards are actually a bit higher for the alternative route.
You must have a conferred bachelor’s degree and you must have completed your undergraduate program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. You must also pass the MTTC test, but in this case, you’re required to take and pass the exam—along with all program requirements specific to your provider—before you’re approved for the alternative pathway.
Keep in mind that the alternative route is not an option for special education and early childhood endorsements and that this path also requires you to complete a CPR course.
Michigan Teaching Certifications and Licensing
In order to become a certified teacher, you’ll have to:
<liComplete all required clinical practicum experiences: The state of Michigan is currently debating whether to update current teacher preparation standards. If accepted, the new standards would require you to complete a minimum of 600 combined clinical hours in the form of a student-teacher/mentor apprenticeship and an internship.
Finally, you’ll have to renew your certificate throughout your career. A standard teacher certificate is good for five years, and with each renewal, a new five-year period begins. To keep your certificate in good standing, you’ll have to either:
The final two options may be used for renewal only once. Approved professional learning options are outlined by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).
Education Degree Costs in Michigan
Here’s a look at how much you can expect to pay to attend college in the state of Michigan. Keep in mind that costs vary based on criteria such as program of choice, number of credit hours, and the particular school.
How Much do Education Programs in Michigan Cost?
Michigan is home to more than 20 public colleges and universities, 15 of which are in the Michigan Association of State Universities . Among them, the average cost of tuition and mandatory fees is $10,274 or $18,845 for out-of-state residents. That’s about $349 or $676 per credit hour. The average cost of books and supplies is $3,003, and average living costs are $10,147 if you live on campus and $9,181 if you don’t. Private colleges and universities almost always cost significantly more.
Tuition Assistance, Scholarships, and Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers in Michigan
Aside from standard student financial aid packages, scholarships, and grants, you can take advantage of financial incentives specific to Michigan and to the field of education.
<li>MI Student Aid: Learn about specialty grants and scholarships available in Michigan.
Career Outlook for Educators in Michigan
2018 Median Teaching Salaries in Michigan
Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015
*Average of all individual post-secondary teaching salaries provided by BLS.
Knowledge and networking are critical for you to succeed on your journey to becoming a certified teacher. Check out these helpful resources as you progress.
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