Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher Certification, Highly Qualified, National Board Certification, Professional Development/Professional Learning and Induction/Mentoring


Teacher Certification

What do I have to do to renew my teaching certificate?

The renewal requirements depend on the type of certificate which the teacher holds.

Provisional Certificate Renewals

First Renewal

In-state Candidates—Must have completed at least 9 semester hours of an 18-hour planned program since the issuance of the Michigan teaching certificate or hold an approved master’s or higher degree from a Michigan accredited teacher preparation institution. Must apply for the renewal directly through the certification office at the institution where the credit was completed.

Out-of-state Candidates—Must have completed at least 9 semester hours of credit through one or more teacher preparation institutions outside of Michigan since the issuance of their Provisional certificate or hold an approved master’s or higher degree earned at any time from an out-of-state teacher preparation institution. You must apply through the Office of Professional Preparation Services at the Michigan Department of Education. Applications are available on the MDE website (www.michigan.gov/teachercert) or by contacting the office directly at 517-373-3310.

Second Renewal

In-state Candidates—Must have completed the 18-hour planned program at a Michigan accredited teacher preparation institution, or an approved master’s or higher degree at any time. Must apply directly through the certification office at the Michigan institution where the credit was completed.

Out-of-state Candidates—Must have completed at least 18 semester hours in an endorsement program or a specific master’s program at a regionally accredited and approved teacher preparation institution outside the state of Michigan since the issuance of the Provisional certificate, or hold an approved master’s or higher degree earned at any time from an out-of-state teacher preparation institution. You must apply through the Office of Professional Preparation Services at the Michigan Department of Education. Applications are available on the MDE website (www.michigan.gov/teachercert) or by contacting the office directly at 517-373-3310. (The endorsement program must be in a teachable subject area as recognized by the state of Michigan.)

Third Renewal

Only possible when the individual has met all academic requirements for the Professional Education certificate, but has not met the requirement of three years of teaching experience within the validity of the teaching certificate. The candidate must provide the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) with a letter from the college stating they have completed the requirements and a letter from the school district stating they want to employ the candidate. You must apply through the Office of Professional Preparation Services at the MDE. Applications are available on the MDE website or by contacting the office directly at 517-373-3310.

Professional Education Certificates

The renewal of a Professional Education certificate requires the completion of 6 semester hours of credit (these credits may be completed at a Michigan 2-year or 4-year institution) or 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) or a combination of the two. The required credit hours or SCECHs must be completed after the issuance of the Professional Education certificate and within five years of the date of application for the renewal.

The credit may be taken at any regionally accredited teacher preparation institution, or at any approved higher education institution in Michigan as listed in the Michigan Higher Education Directory, including community colleges and private institutions.

What type of credit can be used to renew a Professional Education Certificate?

Credit for professional development in education or a teachable subject area may be used. The credit does not have to be in a planned program and does not have to be graduate level. Credit can be earned at any approved Michigan higher education institution as listed in the Michigan Higher Education Directory. Credit earned from an out-of-state institution must be from an approved teacher preparation institution (4 year college/university).


Highly Qualified Teachers

What does a teacher need to do to be highly qualified?

To be highly qualified a teacher must (1) hold a bachelor’s degree, (2) have full Michigan Certification and be assigned to teach within the authorization of the certificate, and (3) demonstrate competence via Michigan’s Definition for Identifying Highly Qualified Teachers, in each of the core academic area(s) for which the teacher is authorized by the state and assigned to teach.

What about my highly qualified status, if my teaching assignment changes?

As of Fall 2006, a district may not assign a teacher to a core academic area, unless the teacher has demonstrated he/she is highly qualified in that core academic area.


National Board Certification

What is National Board Certification (NBC)?

National Board Certification is a voluntary credential offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. National Board Certification measures a teacher’s practice against high and rigorous standards of accomplished teaching.

The NBC process is an extensive series of performance-based assessments that includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, video tapes and thorough analysis of the candidate’s classroom teaching and student learning. Teachers also complete a series of written exercises that prove the depth of their subject matter knowledge, as well as their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.

National Board Certification is the highest symbol of professional teaching excellence.

Are there resources/support to aid candidates pursuing National Board Certification?

Yes. The following resources/contacts are available for candidates pursuing NBC:

  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards  – www.nbpts.org
  • Michigan Department of Education – 517-373-3310
  • The MEA sponsors a January workshop for candidates, a “Jumpstart” orientation for candidates in early February, and an ongoing, electronic candidate support group. For more information, call Tom Greene at 800-292-1934, extension 6245

Professional Development/Professional Learning

What constitutes quality professional development/professional learning?

A document from the Michigan Department of Education, “Professional Development Characteristics of Quality”, says “Quality professional development”:

  • Is for the purpose of enhancing teaching and learning.
  • Is consistent with building and district school improvement plans and, when available, NCA goals and district strategic plans.
  • Is part of an ongoing comprehensive professional development plan that addresses the long-term professional needs of the individual as well as the long-term change of practice in the building and district.
  • Is characterized by the knowledge of educational needs of students, the study of proven research and inclusive of the best use of new technologies.
  • Includes best principles of adult learning that includes design by the educators and non-teaching staff for whom the professional development is intended.
  • Occurs when educators and non-teaching staff collaborate and share knowledge with each other.
  • Requires ongoing reflection.
  • Is helpful to all school staff as they work to meet the needs of students who learn in different ways and come from diverse backgrounds.
  • Is no less than one hour in length.

 How much time constitutes a day of professional development/professional learning?

A day of professional development/learning, according to the Michigan Department of Education is determined by the district definition of a “contract day”. If a contract day is defined locally as 6 hours, then five days would be 30 hours. A “day” of professional development/learning might be acquired in hourly increments that equal a “day”.

What is the professional development/professional learning requirement for part-time staff?

Most quality professional learning is provided in such a way that attending less than 100% of it would diminish its purpose or effectiveness. However, it’s recognized that part-time staff may not be available to attend all the professional learning opportunities provided by their district. In these cases it may be necessary to pro-rate the number of professional learning hours to align with the assignment of the staff person. A district with an approach that provides professional learning by allowing staff to make choices about type, topic and timing of their professional learning makes it easier for part-time staff to acquire all the required hours and become active members of the learning community.


Induction/Mentoring

According to state law, who must be provided a mentor?

Section 380.1526 of the Michigan School Code says that “for the first three years of his or her employment in classroom teaching, a teacher shall be assigned a mentor or mentors”.

What should be the nature of the mentor/beginning teacher relationship?

The mentor/novice teacher relationship should be collegial in nature and all experiences should be directed toward the development and enhancement of the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for teaching and learning. This relationship should be a cooperative arrangement between peers in which new members of the teaching profession are provided ongoing assistance and support.

Evaluation for the purpose of supervision or deciding tenure is not appropriate to the mentor/novice teacher relationship. All mentor assignments should be made in such a way that evaluation for either of these purposes is completely avoided.