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Secondary Education Teacher Certification

Basic Information and Application Instructions

A Secondary Standard Teaching Certificate is the initial document that allows you to teach in the State of Michigan.  It is your "license" to teach at the secondary level.  Candidates must have successfully completed all academic and professional studies coursework requirements, student teaching, and the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) in their content area major and minor, two majors, or two minors.  In addition, students will need to complete First Aid and adult & child CPR training from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Medic First Aid, or American Safety and Health Institute.  Certification of training in these areas will be required and must be valid at the time of application.  Please refer to the  Michigan Department of Education website for a complete list of approved courses offered by these CPR and first aid providers.

Secondary certification includes:

  • Grades 6-12 in content area major(s) and minor(s)

Secondary/Special Education certification includes:

  • Grades 6-12 in content area major(s) and minor(s)
  • K-12 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), K-12 Cognitive Impairment (CI), or K-12 Learning Disabilities (LD)

SVSU offers K-12 certification in Visual Arts Education, Music Education, Health & Physical Education, Spanish, and French Education. K-12 certification is always listed under the category of secondary education and certification requires sixteen weeks of student teaching (eight weeks at the elementary level and eight weeks at the secondary level).

Application Instructions

Prior to submitting an application for the Standard Teaching Certificate through MOECS, all coursework requirements must be complete (this means that the bachelor’s degree for undergraduate students and final semester grades for post-baccalaureate teacher certification candidates must be posted to the SVSU transcript by the Registrar’s Office), and all required MTTC tests and the First Aid & CPR requirements must also be complete and on file in the College of Education Certification Office at the time of application.

MTTC test scores must be submitted to SVSU electronically by selecting institution code #24 when registering, OR an official hard copy of the test results must be sent directly to our office from National Evaluation Systems to: Sharon Carlin, Certification Secretary, College of Education, Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI  48710.

Please note: Adding your content area minor(s) to your secondary teaching certificate is optional but highly recommended.  All coursework requirements and the MTTC subject area test in your minor(s) must be successfully completed in order to be added to your certificate.  Your content area minor(s) can be added as an endorsement after your secondary Standard Teaching Certificate has been issued if your minor(s) is posted on your SVSU transcript and you have completed the MTTC subject area test. An application for an endorsement can be made through MOECS.

Verification of completion of First Aid and Adult & Child CPR Training from the American Red Cross (ARC), American Heart Association (AHA), the American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI), or Medic First Aid (MFA).  Evidence of training must be valid at the time of application.  A summary of the requirements is shown on the  Michigan Department of Education website.  An SVSU staff member in the Certification Office will make a copy of the First Aid/CPR cards issued by ARC, AHA, ASHI, or MFA.

Students who have taken additional coursework at another college or university since admission to the Teacher Education Program will be required to submit those transcripts with the application.  The transcripts must be in a sealed envelope from the college/university where the credit was completed.

When a certificate application is submitted via MOECS, the status will be "PENDING PAYMENT". Once paid, it will change to "WAITING FOR DOCUMENTS". When all documents are received, the status will change to "PENDING EVALUATION". Once the status is in "PENDING EVALUATION", please wait patiently. You will receive an e-mail with additional instructions if for some reason we need to place your application on "HOLD", otherwise, you will receive an e-mail when the application has been "APPROVED". Once approved, you can log back into MOECS and print your certificate. Complete information and answers to frequently asked questions can be found online.

Applicants with a Criminal Conviction

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, you must include court documents indicating the crime of which you were convicted, dates and sentences imposed with your application materials.  The Certification Office will forward your application with all supporting materials (including your court documents) to the Michigan Department of Education for consideration of a teaching certificate.

The SVSU College of Education cannot guarantee approval of any recommendation made to the State of Michigan for any type of certification.  Final approval of a recommendation made by SVSU is granted only by the Michigan Department of Education based on their policies and procedures current at the time the recommendation for certification is made. The Michigan Department of Education will contact you in writing once they have reviewed your application materials and made their decision.

Validity of a Standard Teaching Certificate

A secondary Standard Teaching Certificate is valid for a maximum of six years.  During this time, you should begin to work on the requirements to obtain a Professional Education Certificate.

SVSU Student Status

Upon completion of all requirements and recommendations for teacher certification, your academic record at SVSU will be deactivated.  If you plan to pursue a new plan of study, you will need to reapply for readmission to the University. 


Contact Us
(989) 964-4057(989) 964-4057


James E. Tarr, Ph.D.

Acting Assistant Dean & Professor

Colleen D'Arcy, Ph.D.


College of Education Dean's Office
Gilbertson Hall, North 275
University Center, MI 48710


8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.