Teacher certification changes now in effect

Changes in teacher certification affecting master’s degrees, professional learning hours, and DPPD certification went into effect June 2014. The changes affect renewing a Provisional certificate or progressing to a Professional certificate. They include:

“Master’s Degree Earned at Any Time”

Previous rules contained language that allowed the use of an approved master’s degree, earned at any time, to be used for the purpose of “renewal of a Provisional certificate or progression to the Professional Education certificate.” 

The current rule revision, effective September 1, 2013, placed time limitations on earned master’s degrees which eliminated the master’s degree or higher as an option to renew or progress a teacher’s certification. This approved waiver allows teachers to use an approved master’s degree --“earned at any time”-- to renew a Provisional certificate or progress to the Professional Education certificate, regardless of when it was earned, to meet their professional learning requirement.

So, you can use your Master’s Degree to renew your Provisional Certificate AND you can use that same Master’s Degree to progress to your Professional Certificate.  However, you can’t use that same Master’s again to renew your Professional.  Your Master’s Degree must be in education or a field of study related to education at a Michigan approved Educator Preparation Institution (EPI).  Contact your college or university if you need to confirm if it is an approved EPI.

Professional Learning Hours (180) vs. DPPD (150)

The Teacher Certification Code from May 18, 2012 set forth two different professional learning amounts depending on which professional learning option was being utilized.  This approved waiver allows applicants to renew their Michigan Provisional certificate or progress to the Professional Education certificate by obtaining 150 professional learning hours regardless of the option used.  Note: District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) cannot be used for Provisional certificate renewal.

So, the new “magic” number is 150 hours—not 180.  This has also changed the “conversion of hours”: 1 semester credit = 25 SCECHs and 1 semester credit = 25 DPPD hours.

DPPD Clarification

Recent clarification of MCL 380.1527 and the Teacher Certification Code also enabled the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to remove the limitation restricting the use of District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) to a maximum of 30 hours per school year. 

We will no longer have a cap of 30 hours per school year for DPPD.  Teachers will need a total of 150 hours over the 5-year period as prescribed for progression to the Professional Education certificate or Professional Education certificate renewal.

So, MDE will now accept more than 30 hours of DPPD per year to progress to your Professional Certificate or to renew your Professional Certificate.  However, you must make sure that the PD you earn qualifies for DPPD.

Take a look at the flow chart with rule changes at-a-glance to make sure your certification is up-to-date. If you have any questions, contact MEA’s Professional Development/Human Rights Department at 800-292-1934.