How to Become an Early Childhood Teacher in Michigan

An ECE Michigan Degree & Career Guide

Requirements for ECE Teacher Certification in Michigan

The Michigan Government has taken steps to provide educational enrichment for young learners in the pre-kindergarten age group. The state educational policies recognize the importance of early childhood education and its long-term effect on the state’s children. Michigan had a little over 7,000 early education teachers in 2012. There is projected to be an increase of about 13.5% by 2020. As you can see, the state-wide demand is strong and growing.

Many states are just realizing the importance of early education for the educational futures of children, but Michigan established quality standards years ago, starting at pre-k, all the way through 12th grade. They were ahead of the curve in putting the education of young children on their list of top priorities. The Michigan Department of Education works with other groups in the state to ensure the quality of their preschool and early education programs remains top-notch.

Michigan Steps to Follow for Teachers

The State of Michigan requires completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program (usually completed with the required bachelor’s degree), a passing score on the state teaching examinations, a provisional teaching license, and completion of continuing education requirements. Some public, private, and public interest child development programs hire teachers that do not have Michigan state teaching licenses. The entry level degree for these positions is an associate degree in early childhood education.

Step 1. Earn Your Degree

Michigan law and its public schools require preschool teachers to complete a state-approved preparation program. The minimum standards for a teacher preparation program include a bachelor’s degree course of study that contains pedagogy coursework, which includes teaching techniques and processes, and a supervised student-teaching experience.

Step 2. Pass Your Exams

Michigan is another of those states that does not use the national teacher certifications exams; PRAXIS. Instead, they have their own certification examination that focuses on both general and special early childhood education. The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) is a 100 multiple-choice exam. Assessment sections include: Child development learning; Communications, language, and literacy development; Specific content learning; and Professional development.

Prior to passing the MTTC exam, graduates can apply for a TEA 2. This non-renewable temporary credential is an authorization to work as a teacher in Michigan without having passed any exams. The state can issue a TEA 2 upon application and so that a student can use the extra time to prepare for the MTTC.

Once an applicant passes the MTTC exam, they must submit to the normal, required background examination and criminal background check. When the applicant completes the application and review process and has a passing score on the MTTC, then they can receive an Initial Teaching License.

Step 3. Licensure

The initial teaching license is a provisional license that must be reviewed within six years. During the six-year term, initial license holders must complete continuing education and teaching experience.

The first time you renew your license, you must have completed either a master's degree, six semester hours of college courses, or 150 state continuing education clock hours. You can also have completed a combination of coursework and clock hours or 6 semester hours in an approved EPI.

The second time you renew your license, you will be required to have completed one of the same options from the first renewal, but you have to make sure you did so within the five years AFTER your first renewal.

The third time you renew your license you must obtain sponsorship from a school district or a private school of your choice (optimally, this will be from the school where you are employed), complete requirements for a Professional Education Certificate, or receive approval from the Department of Education in Michigan.

Step 4. Professional Education Certificate

This license that has a five year term and is the next step after the provisional/initial license. Applicants must meet the following continuing education and teaching experience requirements: have six semester credit hours of reading methods for elementary certified teachers, 3 semester credit hours of reading methods for secondary certified teachers, 3 semester credit hours in reading disabilities and differentiated instruction, 3 semester credit hours in reading diagnostics and remediation, and 3 years of teaching experience in early childhood education.

Applicants must also complete one of the below-listed requirements.

  • Six semester hours in an approved EPI

  • Six semester credits hours of academic credit in early childhood education at a regionally accredited college or university since the first provisional certificate renewal took place

  • 150 Clock Hours in early childhood education since the first provisional certificate renewal took place

  • 150 District provided Professional Development (PDDP) clock hours

  • Complete a master’s degree or higher.

Popular Career Choices

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher

Accredited Michigan Programs

  • University of Michigan - Flint

    The University of Michigan at Flint is a state-authorized teacher preparation institution. The School of Education and Human Services has a Center for Educator Preparation. The University of Michigan at Flint is a leader in teaching innovation in the early childhood education space. The University has partnered with the Flint Community to operate the Cummings Great Expectations Early Learning Center. This organization has resources aimed at early learners affected by the Flint water crisis which caused lead pollution damage to the residents, including young children of Flint.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science Elementary Education
    • Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education
    • Master and Doctorate Degrees in General Education

    Accreditation By:

    • Higher Learning Commission
    • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
    • National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE)
    • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
  • Oakland University

    The Oakland University is a state-authorized teacher preparation institution. The research institution has a range of education programs that include general education, early childhood education, English as a Second Language, and special education.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master and Doctorate in School Counseling and Guidance Services
    • Master and Doctorate in Early Childhood Education and teaching
    • Post-grad Certificate in Education/Teaching of Individuals with autism
    • Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and Teaching
    • Master’s, Dr., and Post-grad Certificate in Reading Teacher Education
    • Master’s in Special Education and Teaching

    Accreditation By:

    • Higher Learning Commission provides Institutional Accreditation
    • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
    • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
    • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education specialized accreditation of nursing
  • Central Michigan University

    The Central Michigan University has engaged the academic and Michigan community as a champion for early childhood education. The campus has the CMU Child Development and Learning Laboratory. This on-campus preschool program for three and four-year-old children is a laboratory for research and innovation.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master’s in School Counseling and Guidance Services
    • Bachelor’s and Master’s in Early Childhood Education and teaching
    • Bachelor’s in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances
    • Bachelor’s in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation
    • Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Teaching
    • Master’s in Reading Teacher Education
    • Master’s in Special Education and Teaching

    Accreditation By:

    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
    • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Eastern Michigan University

    The Eastern Michigan University College of Education offers an Early Childhood Education program for graduate and undergraduate students. EMU offers degrees at the baccalaureate level, master’s degree level, and doctoral degrees. EMU education grads teach in Head Start, Michigan’s early Childhood education programs, and in private and charter schools across the state. With the teacher certification track, EMU produces the next generation of public education leaders.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master’s in School Counseling and Guidance Services
    • Bachelor’s and Master’s in Early Childhood Education and teaching
    • Master’s in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances
    • Bachelor’s & Master’s in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments including Deafness
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation
    • Bachelor’s & Master’s in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Orthopedic and other Physical Health Impairments
    • Master’s in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments Including Blindness
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate in Elementary Education and Teaching
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate in Reading Teacher Education
    • Master’s & Post-grad Certificate in Special Education and Teaching

    Accreditation By:

    • Higher Learning Commission provides institutional accreditation.
    • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
    • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
    • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

Career Options and Salary Info for Teachers

As soon as you acquire your teaching certification and all other requirements as mentioned in the steps above, you can then start applying for teaching jobs in the state of Alabama. The Office of School Readiness (OSR) is part of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (DECE). It is in charge of administering the state-funded pre-kindergarten program of Alabama.

The OSR provides first-class Pre-K classes in a variety of settings.

Private Childcare or Daycare –
Private childcare standards vary by employer. The strong trend is towards requiring an associate degree and giving preference to candidates with a bachelor’s degrees.

Public Schools –
Private schools use early childhood educators to enhance childcare and create early childhood learning environments. Private schools can use their discretion to set qualifications. Most look for highly trained, educated, and experienced workers.

Head Start Programs –
Head Start programs are sponsored by the federal government, often in partnership with a state or local government or public body. Head start programs are a collaboration between the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The program focuses on low-income families and uses early childhood educators to prepare young learners for school.

Community-based programs –
Community-based programs in Michigan play an important role in providing childcare. Particularly for income challenged families, low cost and available child care can enable a good start for the child but also complement efforts by parents to re-train and get education or some type of vocational training.

Faith-based programs –
Faith-based programs can be a valuable source of early childhood education services. Many faith-based institutions sponsor or affiliate with colleges and universities that educate future teachers. Faith-based early childhood education occurs in childcare centers and includes special efforts to reach under-served communities.

Military programs –
Military programs provide early childhood education services along with childcare. Military childcare centers use a model that promotes early education from highly trained staff. Requirements vary, but these programs prefer candidates with experience and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a closely related field.

Early Childhood Education Teaching Salaries in Michigan

OccupationDegreeEntry LevelMid-CareerLate-Career
Preschool Teacher BA/AA$25,000$27,000$29,500
Elementary School TeacherBA/BS$39,000$41,000 $54,000
Professor of EducationPh.D.$60,000$68,000$94,000
School Principal MA/EdD.$75,000 $85,500 $95,000
Special Education TeacherBA/BS $39,000 $43,000 $56,000
School PsychologistMA/MS$56,000$60,000$74,000

Videos To Help You Find The Right Career Choices

  • Part 1 - High-Quality Kindergarten Today - Background

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XriN7Ks6j84

  • Occupational Video - Early Childhood Educator

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DJzMTQjsOA

  • Why Special Education?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3YwKIqlCsw

  • Special Education K-2 Teacher

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an3ngVFbJC0

  • Life as a Kindergarten Teacher

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBiL04gI4Yw

  • Early childhood special education, for future teachers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJRebt7-3b4

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