Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Michigan

Early Childhood Education in Michigan

Michigan, known as the “Great Lake State,” is also recognized for its generous spending on public education. The state expects to spend about $13 billion on education in 2013, but still falls in the below-average range for performance on national tests. Michigan earned a “C+” overall in Education Week’s 2013 national rankings, and also ranks 32nd in the nation for early childhood education, but is in 23rd place for child health in 2013.

Michigan officials are pushing to expand early childhood education opportunities within the state in hopes for a long-term impact on children. While the state does not receive the strongest national rankings, there are still many opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in early childhood education in Michigan.

Earning Teaching Certification/Licensure

The Michigan Department of Education includes extensive information about the ways to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring teachers and current teachers.

Michigan offers a variety of educator certificates to those pursuing a career in the field. The different routes to certification are as follows:

  • Provisional Certificate: This is an initial teaching certificate that is valid for up to six years and is available to individuals who have completed an in-state or out-of-state teacher certification program.
  • Two-Year Extended Provisional Certificate: This is available to individuals who are not eligible for a Provisional renewal, but who have met certain other requirements.
  • Professional Education Certificate: This is an initial advanced teaching certificate that is valid for up to five years. It is for in-state or out-of-state applicants who have at least three years of successful teaching experience, and who have met the course study requirements, earned a master’s degree or met National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
  • Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization: This is valid for up to one year and is available to out-of-state applicants only.
  • Interim Teaching Certificate: This certificate is valid for up to five years to individuals who hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, are participating in a state-approved alternative route-to-teaching program, and have passed a basic skills test in the teaching subject area.

View the Facts on Educator Certification document for further details. To apply, create an online account through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). Contact the Teacher Certification Client Services, should you have any further questions about the certification/licensure process.


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Early Childhood Education Degree Programs in Michigan

There are about 40 early childhood education colleges in Michigan. Some of the colleges in the state are highlighted below.

is a Catholic liberal-arts university that offers a bachelor’s degree in child development (birth through age five), early childhood education (pre-K through three) and elementary education (K through eight). Dual-certification options are also available.

is a large university with a unique Swiss-style campus that offers a bachelor’s degree in elementary teacher and early childhood education, which allows individuals to teach in preschool classrooms (pre-K), elementary classrooms (K through five) and self-contained classrooms (K through eight). The school also offers elementary teacher preparation programs that allow teachers to teach in all subject areas (K through five), self-contained classrooms (K through eight), or a specific subject area of choice (six through eight). The school offers post-baccalaureate certificates in a variety of other areas, as well.

is a very small public university that offers a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education (birth through age eight) and elementary education (K through five).

Michigan’s ECE Job Opportunities

Individuals can take several different avenues to pursue a career in this dynamic field.

Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. MI Reap is a free online service that connects applicants with schools districts, while also providing applicants with pertinent information about the job-search process.

Other employers to become familiar with are private schools, Head Start and Montessori schools. Be sure to research the child care centers in your local area, as many of these centers are in constant need of highly qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community as well.

Professional Groups for Educators

There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Michigan that share similar visions.

The Michigan Education Association (MEA) represents over 157,000 educators across the state. It supports its members’ goals, interests and needs while advocating to improve both the profession and local public schools. It provides union benefits and is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, with three million members in over 14,000 communities across the country.

The Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MIAEYC) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides professional development and networking opportunities for educators. It is an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members.

The Michigan Association of Teacher Educators (MATE) strives to improve development opportunities and teacher education programs. Members receive a newsletter as well as previews of special conferences.

Early childhood educators near Wayne County should visit the Great Start Collaborative of Wayne County for helpful information and resources on teaching young children, exploring career opportunities and more.


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The Teacher Blog Scene in Michigan

The MLive Michigan Education blog covers hot topics, issues and events occurring in Michigan schools, as does the Michigan Department of News and Events page. Michigan teachers also share insightful information through their personal blogs.

A Differentiated Kindergarten is blog written by a kindergarten teacher who loves sharing classroom ideas for differentiating instruction for diverse learners.

Funky in First Grade is a blog written by an experienced teacher and speech pathologist who shares a variety of ideas for teaching the early childhood learner.

Kinder-Craze is a blog written by a Catholic school kindergarten teacher who shares classroom activities that promote a high-quality learning experience.

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