What is teacher certification?
Teacher certification is the process by which accredited institutions, such as colleges and universities, provide opportunities for prospective teachers to meet state standards for beginning teachers. At the conclusion of a teacher certification program, the institution recommends the candidate to the state for certification. The state provides guidance for the institutions and is the final authority on whether a particular candidate has met the state’s standards.
I want to get my teaching certificate at Michigan State University but I might want to teach in a different state. How do I go about preparing for that?
Teachers from Michigan State University’s teacher preparation program are highly regarded and sought after by schools around the country. If you are interested in pursuing a teaching career in another state after you finish at MSU, the College of Education Student Affairs Office can assist you in completing an application for a certificate to that state along with your Michigan Provisional Teaching Certificate. Some additional requirements may exist; check the requirements of the state you are interested in by going to http://certificationmap.com/ or contacting the state’s Department of Education.
I have a bachelor's degree and now I want to teach. Now what?
Contact the College of Education Student Affairs Office to schedule an appointment with an advisor. Our advisors can help you design a post-baccalaureate teacher certification course plan within our program that builds from your previous undergraduate degree.
Can I be certified in both secondary and elementary education?
Some teaching majors offer K-12 certification options in the major area. Examples include Kinesiology, Art, Chinese, and Special Education. Generally, the number of state requirements to complete both the elementary education requriements and the secondary education requirements requires significant coursework beyond the bachelor degree. However, note that elementary education candidates are certified in grades K-5 in all subjects, and in grades 6-8 in their teaching major(s) and minor(s). Alternatively, secondary education candidates are certified in grades 6-12 in their subject matter major(s) and minor(s). Contact an advisor in the College of Education Student Affairs Office for advice in crafting an educational plan to meet your career goals in education.
Do I have to have a teaching major and a teaching minor?
All secondary education students must have a teaching major. Most secondary teaching majors (except Art, Kinesiology and Physical Science) must be accompanied by a teaching minor. Students can contact an advisor in the College of Education Student Affairs Office if they require more information about selecting a teaching major and minor.
I would like to teach middle school. Should I seek an elementary or secondary endorsement?
Both Elementary Education and Secondary Education candidates are certified to teach in grades 6-8 in their subject matter major(s) and minor(s). Contact an advisor in the College of Education Student Affairs Office for advice in selecting which route to certification is best for you.
When do we learn about methods of teaching my subjects?
In TE 407 (Teaching Subject Matter to Diverse Learners) and TE 408 (Crafting Teaching Practice) the sections are organized according to subject matter majors. During the internship year, TE 802 and 804 continue to address planning and teaching subject matters. In TE 408, you will also spend some time during the lab component of the course addressing teaching methods in your minor area.
When do we get experience in classrooms and really begin teaching?
During TE 407 and 408 you will spend time each week in a classroom setting. Field assignments are closely linked to the coursework. They generally include observations, interviewing students, planning, and implementing short lesson plans with the whole class. You are not expected to take extensive responsibility for the full classroom until the internship year, and even then only for limited periods of time at first. All of this is designed to prepare you gradually to take the lead in the classroom during the spring of your internship year.
When and where are my internship courses scheduled?
Your 800-level internship year course work (TE 801/3, 802/4) is scheduled on Fridays (TE 801/3 for music majors being the exception to this) and begins and ends according to the MSU calendar. All coursework takes place on the MSU campus, regardless of the geographic area of your internship placement.
When do I learn where my internship placement will be?
During the fall of the senior year, you will receive an Internship Placement Request Form to complete. The form will ask for detailed information about your preferences and interests. You will then be asked to submit an internship placement resume to be given to prospective schools during the placement process. We hope that each student will know their placement and be able to visit the teacher and classroom prior to the end of MSU's spring semester. It is impossible to guarantee this time frame, as we are dependent upon many factors in the school districts beyond our control.
When does internship begin and end? Do we follow the school or the MSU schedule?
First, know that a mandatory Opening Day Institute for interns and mentors is held the week before MSU classes begin. There are separate Opening Day Institutes for Lansing/Grand Rapids areas and for Southeast Michigan area. These dates are posted on the team's web site, and you should confer with your mentor teacher about this in advance so that you can both attend. You will be expected to begin your field placement officially on the first day that teachers in that district report for work. Generally, you will follow your placement school's calendar for holidays and winter and spring breaks, although you must follow the schedule for MSU class meetings each semester, regardless of your school's breaks. You will officially be finished with your internship on the last day of MSU's spring semester, providing no extenuating circumstances arise that would extend the end date for your internship.
What is the internship schedule like? Can I plan to work in the evenings?
The internship schedule is intensive. You are expected to keep your weekdays until 5:00 p.m. available for internship-related activities. You will need to meet with your Mentor Teacher after school, attend faculty meetings and after school events, and attend university classes. You will also need time to plan and prepare lessons, grade papers, etc. Many interns do need to work during the internship year but it is recommended that you work no more than ten hours per week and on the weekends only. If a heavier work schedule appears necessary for you, talk it over with your team coordinator.
How much does the internship year cost?
Information about the tuition and fees for the internship year can be found on the financial aid web site at http://www.finaid.msu.edu/
. You can use the Cost Calculator to compute your estimated tuition and fees. For Your Level, select teacher certification intern. For How many credits? (one semester), enter 12. The calculator will return the cost per semester, so you will need to double this to estimate the total tuition and fees for the internship year.
What kinds of financial support are available for the internship year?
Many of the College of Education scholarships are still available for the internship year. Go to the College of Education web site at http://www.educ.msu.edu/
for information about MSU-based scholarships. Applications are typically available for these scholarships in December. Because as an intern (except for music education student teachers) you are no longer an undergraduate, you will have independent student status for financial aid purposes. You will also no longer be subject to the undergraduate cap on financial aid. As a result, you will qualify for a financial aid package and should fill out a FAFSA form. For more information and to fill out the FAFSA, go to http://www.finaid.msu.edu/
. Note especially the link for the Teaching Internship at the left. If you have questions, contact Mary Kimball in the Financial Aid Office.
Can I make my own arrangements for an intern placement?
Absolutely NOT. The Secondary Team develops and maintains working relationships with particular schools in particular districts. Each district has its own policies and procedures, and often we must work through the central administration of a district which reviews and gives approval for placements in particular schools. Our goal is to place interns in clusters so that an MSU field instructor can work with a group of interns in a school and so that interns have a peer support group as they move through this intensive and challenging year. If there are special circumstances you would like to discuss about an intern placement, talk to one of the Secondary Team coordinators