Upon successful completion of Calvin's Education Program, candidates are eligible for the Michigan Teaching Certificate.
The Career Development Office is available to assist current students and alumni with the search for employment.
Michigan Teaching Certificate
The Michigan Elementary Standard Certificate qualifies the holder to teach:
- Grades K-5, all subjects
- Grades 6-8, all subjects, self-contained classroom
- Grades 6-8, major(s) and minor(s) subject areas
- Grades PreK-K, early childhood
- Grades K-12, cognitive impairment, French or Spanish
The Michigan Secondary Standard Certificate qualifies the holder to teach:
- Grades 6-12 or K-12, major subject area
- Grades 6-12, minor subject area
The major and/or minor subject areas listed on your certificate are known as "Endorsements." Know your endorsement codes and which classes you are certified to teach.
In order to be valid, teaching certificates must be signed and notarized. Certificates may be notarized by Cindi Hoekstra in the Education Department, or at most banks and credit unions.
When the certificate expires, you may apply for a renewal.
Other States and Provinces
If you hope to teach a particular subject in a certain state or province, it is wise to investigate your options early on to determine which majors, minors, and grade levels you should pursue at Calvin. Although the Michigan certificate will transfer to other states, not all states offer certification in the exact same subjects and grade level combinations that Michigan offers. Contact Calvin's certification officer for advice about choosing a major/minor and program (elementary or secondary) to complete at Calvin.
The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement facilitates the movement of educators among the states that have signed the agreement. The agreement makes it possible for an educator who completed an approved program and/or who holds a certificate or license in one jurisdiction to earn a certificate or license in another state or jurisdiction. Receiving states may impose certain requirements that must be met in a reasonable period of time, for example:
- Additional tests, such as the PRAXIS Tests
- Copies of your MTTC score reports
- Additional courses (such as a course in the history of the particular state)
- Application fees
- Official transcripts
- A copy of the Michigan Teaching Certificate
- Criminal background check and/or fingerprinting
- Validation that the candidate has completed a college program—send verification forms to the Calvin College Certification Coordinator (fax forms to (616) 526-6505 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If emailing, only include the last four digits of your social security number)
If you obtain the Michigan certificate, most states and provinces will give you a temporary license allowing you to begin teaching immediately while any of the above additional requirements are completed.
If you decide not to be certified in Michigan, the state or province will evaluate your Calvin transcripts and may require you to complete additional college courses. You will not be able to begin teaching until those courses are completed, which could cost you significant time and money. For this reason, we recommend that everyone who completes Calvin's Education Program complete all requirements for the Michigan teaching certificate.
National Board Certification is an option for teachers with at least three full years of experience, usually in addition to certification in one or more states.
Some Christian schools require the ACSI certificate. Calvin alumni report that they were able to obtain this certificate by reading a few required books and submitting a paper on Christian educational philosophy. Be sure to check if they will accept any of your Calvin courses in place of these requirements, such as EDUC-398.
Eligibility for Teacher Certification
Education Program faculty members are dedicated to the success of each candidate. It is possible, however, for a candidate to complete the Education Program and graduate with a bachelor’s degree without being recommended for certification. The following circumstances may result in denial of teaching certification, at the discretion of the Dean of Education:
1. Unsuccessful performance during Education Program courses and/or the student teaching internship semester.
2. Fraud, material misrepresentation, or concealment in any materials or documents provided to Calvin College or the Education Program.
3. Candidates with any misdemeanor or felony convictions and/or charges pending cannot be guaranteed teacher certification. The college will report to the Michigan Department of Education all convictions and/or charges pending at the point an individual requests teacher certification. MDE reviews each case on an individual basis.