Professional Certificate

To obtain a professional education certificate, a person shall apply to the superintendent of public instruction and shall verify completion of the requirements as defined under this rule, within the 5-year period preceding the date of application and after the date of issuance of the provisional or interim occupational certificate or renewal.

Effective Sept. 1, 2013: To apply for a renewal of the professional certificate or full occupational certificate, you will be working with the Office of Professional Preparation Services at the Michigan Department of Education.

Please direct questions related to Professional Certificate to the Office of Professional Preparation Services at the Michigan Department of Education at (517) 373-3310. To apply for a Professional Certificate, visit Michigan Online Educator Certification System.


Requires at least one of the following professional learning credits:

  • Six credit hours1 at an approved teacher preparation institution or approved college or university.
  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours¹ (SCECHs), in approved professional development, appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate.

NOTE: If you will be using SCECHs to renew your certificate or license in the Michigan Online Educator Certification System, you will need to locate your personal identification code number and place it into your record on the Secure Central Registry. This will allow your SCECH credits to appear in MOECS.  Also, please click here, to see the new process for using SCECHs. Please know that SCECHs were formally known as SB-CEU's. Questions regarding SCECHs should be directed to Claudia Nicol, at the Michigan Department of Education. You can contact Claudia at, or at 517-241-4928.

  • 150 Annual District Provided Professional Development¹ (DPPD), completed through professional development programs, appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate.

NOTE: If you will be using DPPD, please review the following Michigan Department of education documents: District Provided Professional Development Questions and Answers and Logging Your District Provided Professional Development in the Michigan Online Educator Certification System. Questions regarding DPPD's should be directed to Donna Hamilton, at the Michigan Department of Education. You can contact Donna at or at 517-241-4546.

NOTE: the master's degree waiver was approved by Superintendent of Schools in 2013 and could expire in June of 2017.

And requires reading course requirement(s):

LS 5160 Professional Symposium in Reading—satisfactory completion of three semester credit hours in an approved course of study in the diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities and differentiated instruction, which includes a field experience. This course will satisfy this requirement and may be counted toward the credit requirement for the professional or renewal certificate.

  • Reading laws in Michigan that make this course mandatory.
  • Registering for LS 5160—if you are trying to get into the mandatory diagnostic reading class LS 5160 and it is full, you should put yourself on the waitlist when you attempt to register. Another section may be added as the waitlist size increases. If you are under a timeline, you may have to look for it at another approved 4-year institution in Michigan.
  • Taking LS 6240 instead of LS 5160—only those in WMU's literacy studies master's program may take LS 6240 instead of LS 5160.

 And requires three years of teaching experience:

Candidates must have taught successfully for the equivalent of three years following the issuance of their provisional certificate and within the validity of their grade-level and subject area(s). The success of the teaching experience is determined by the Michigan Department of Education and the local school districts in which the candidate taught.

Experience can be accumulated through part-time work, including substitute teaching, under the following prorating formula: one half or more of a teaching day (2.5 or more clock hours) is the equivalent to one day, and 150 accumulated days is the equivalent of one year. However, but not more than 1 year of employment can be earned during a calendar year and only one day of employment can be earned during a calendar day. There is no requirement that such experience be under contract, in consecutive years or be completed in Michigan.

The teaching experience does not have to be completed before expiration of the provisional certificate as it remains cumulative toward the professional certificate. It is not lost when the initial provisional certificate expires but rather like credit, it remains “in the bank” until you have the requirements necessary to go from provisional to professional certificate.

Acceptable teaching experience

  • All public, private or parochial school teaching at grade levels and in subjects endorsed on certificate.
  • Community school director if master's or appropriate coursework in this area.
  • Community education or adult education teaching if teaching high school completion courses and in some cases general or basic education courses. Most of these cases are determined on their individual merits.
  • Federal title programs but only if the position is definitely a teaching position.
  • Guidance and counseling, but only if certified.
  • Most administrative positions in schools such as superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, curriculum directors or coordinators.
  • Nursery and pre-school teaching only if the school is licensed by the state Department of Social Services or part of a public institution's program.
  • Peace Corps, only if it is a teaching position for areas in which one is certified to teach.

Unacceptable teaching experience

  • Any experience not listed above.
  • Any position designated as a teacher aide by the school system regardless of the duties performed.
  • Community college, junior college or college teaching.
  • Paraprofessional experience.
  • Private tutoring.
  • School social worker unless the employer requires a teaching certificate for the position.

 Visual aids

¹ Rule 390.1132, Michigan Department of Education.

² This rule change became effective June 23, 2014.