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Michigan Art Teacher Certification and Job Requirements

The Michigan Department of Education notes that the arts not only enrich children’s lives, they also have a profound impact on academic achievement. Research shows students with an arts education outperform others by virtually every measure, and that learning through the arts can help “level the playing field” for disadvantaged children. The state has also made a commitment to arts education by adopting content standards for the visual arts.

The Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Professional Preparation Services (OPPS) is responsible for teacher certification and renewal in the state. To become an art teacher in Michigan, follow these steps:

Complete a Bachelors Degree and Approved Teacher Prep Program
Complete Testing
Apply for Your Certificate
Maintain and Upgrade Your Certificate
Pursue Graduate Work

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program

The first step to becoming an art teacher in Michigan is to complete a state-approved teacher prep program and bachelors degree. Currently, 34 colleges and universities are approved by the State Board of Education to prepare teachers and recommend them for a certificate to teach; 23 schools are approved specifically for arts education teachers. A list of these schools may be found here. By state law, during your bachelor’s degree you must complete an approved program of general or liberal education, including English, literature, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences.

If you want to become a visual arts teacher, you should major or minor in art. If you want to become a “highly qualified” teacher as per the No Child Left Behind Act, you must complete an arts major (or its equivalent of 30 semester credits), or meet the criteria established by High Objective Uniform State Standards of Evaluation (HOUSSE).

If you completed a program at a college or university outside of Michigan, it must be approved for the certification of teachers by the relevant state. Contact that state’s education department for more information, or see the Michigan Department of Education site.

 


 

Step 2. Complete Testing

Michigan has a unique state-only series of tests. To become an art teacher in the state, you must pass the Professional Readiness Examination (PRE) as well as a subject area test for art.

Professional Readiness Examination

The Professional Readiness Examination consists of three subtests: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Together, the Reading and Mathematics subtests comprise approximately 85 multiple-choice questions. The writing subtest consists of approximately 42 multiple-choice questions and two written constructed-response assignments. To meet requirements for the Professional Readiness Examination, you must pass each of the subtests.

Requirements are different depending on whether you want to earn elementary or secondary certification. If you want to teach elementary education, you must pass both the Elementary Education test and the Professional Readiness Examination as well as the subject area test. if you want to teach at the secondary level, you only need to pass the PRE and the subject area test.

Detailed information about registering and preparing for the tests is available on the MTTC website.

Subject tests

If you want to apply for an LQ license (see below) take the Visual Arts Education test. This is a paper-based test with 100 multiple-choice questions that lasts up to 4.5 hours. There is a $75 fee and it is offered four times a year; the details on testing times and more are available here. A passing score is 220. A study guide is available here.

A different test is required for Fine Arts teacher in an occupational capacity applying for a license with the OX code. The Fine Arts test is a paper-based test with 100 multiple-choice questions that lasts up to 4.5 hours. There is a $75 fee and it is offered four times a year; the details on testing times and more are available here. A passing score is 220. A study guide is available here.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Your Certificate

Michigan state law requires that all teachers hold a certificate. The state currently issues the following main types of certificates; as an art teacher, apply for a visual arts endorsement (LQ code) added on to a certificate to teach at a particular grade level. You can also apply to become a Fine Arts teacher in an occupational capacity by applying for a license with the OX code; for more information on occupational license, see the department’s website.

  • Provisional Certificate
  • Professional Education Certificate
  • Advanced Professional

The first certificate to apply for is a Provisional Certificate, an initial teaching license that is valid for up to six years. You can apply for this certificate after completing an approved teacher prep program and getting a passing score on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) exams, including the Professional Readiness Examination (PRE).

All Michigan educator certificates and renewals must be applied for through the Michigan Online Education System (MOECS).

Other types of certificates are available for those following alternate route programs; consult the department’s detailed information here.

 


 

Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your License

To renew a Provisional Certificate, complete the following steps. Each renewal is valid for up to three years.

First Renewal

First renewal requires completion of one of the following:

  • 6 semester hours in a planned course of study at an approved EPI or 6 semester credit hours of academic credit appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement of your certificate at any regionally accredited college or university earned within the three years preceding the date of application; or
  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement of your certificate earned within the three years preceding the date of application; or
  • Combination of semester credit hours and SCECHs (25 SCECHs equate to 1 semester credit hour) equivalent to 150 hours earned within the three years preceding the date of application; or
  • Completion of an approved Master’s Degree or higher at any time.

Second Renewal

Second renewal requires completion of one of the following:

6 semester hours in a planned course of study at an approved EPI or 6 semester credit hours of academic credit appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate at any regionally accredited college or university earned since the issue date of the FIRST Provisional Certificate renewal AND within the three years preceding the date of application; or

  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate earned since the issue date of the FIRST Provisional Certificate renewal AND within the three years preceding the date of application; or
  • Combination of semester credit hours and SCECHs (25 SCECHs equate to 1 semester credit hour) equivalent to 150 hours earned since the issue date of the FIRST Provisional Certificate renewal AND within the three years preceding the date of application; or
  • Completion of an approved Master’s Degree or higher at any time.

A third renewal requires sponsorship by the local school district or private school, completion of all academic requirements for the Professional Education Certificate, and approval by the MDE. This renewal will not be issued to individuals who meet all the requirements for the Professional Education Certificate.

For details about what to do if your license expires, see the state Department of Education information here.

Professional Certificate

To apply for a professional certificate, valid for up to five years, complete the following requirements:

  • Three years of satisfactory teaching experience since the issue date of the initial certificate and within the validity and grade level of the Provisional Certificate;
  • Six semester credit hours of reading methods for elementary certified teachers and 3 semester credit hours of reading methods for secondary certified teachers; and
  • Three semester credit hours in the diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities and differentiated instruction, which includes a field experience. For approved reading courses, look under the Specialty Programs heading at the bottom of the page here.

You will need one or a combination of the following within the five-year period preceding the date of application and since the issue date of the most recent Provisional Certificate:

  • 6 semester hours in a planned program (see below) at an approved EPI or 6 semester credit hours of academic credit appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement of your certificate at any regionally accredited college or university; or
  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement of your certificate; or
  • 150 District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) clock hours in accordance with Michigan School Code Sections 380.1527. The DPPD form is available in the Michigan Online Educator Certification System; or
  • Completion of an approved Master’s Degree or higher at any time.

And one or the combination of the following, within the five-year period preceding the date of application and since the issue date of the most recent Provisional Certificate:

  • 6 semester hours in a planned program (see below) at an approved EPI or 6 semester credit hours of academic credit appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement (s) of the certificate at any regionally accredited college or university; or
  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement(s) of the certificate held; or
  • 150 District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) clock hours in accordance with Michigan School Code Sections 380.1527.
  • Completion of an approved Master’s Degree or higher at any time.

Note that a planned program is credit earned towards a Master’s Degree in education or a field of study related to education or in an approved endorsement program (minimum 20 semester credit hours to obtain endorsement) at a state-approved EPI.

Renewing a Professional Certificate:

Renewing a Professional Certificate requires one or a combination of the following completed within the five-year period preceding the date of application and since the issue date of the previous professional or occupational certificate or renewal:

  • Completion of 6 semester credit hours in a planned program at an approved EPI or 6 semester credit hours of academic credit appropriate to the grade level and content endorsement of your certificate at any regionally accredited college or university. *
  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs)
  • 150 District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) clock hours in accordance with Michigan School Code Section 380.1527.

Note: If DPPD is used in combination with semester credit hours and/or SCECHs you are required to have 150 hours to renew. You are also required to complete the DPPD form (one per school year) and have it signed by the Principal or Designee of the school district and each page of DPPD activity initialed by the Principal or Designee. Make sure to retain a copy of the signed DPPD form(s) for your records. OPPS will request this information for certificate renewal verification.

Advanced Professional

To apply for an initial advanced teaching license, valid for up to five years, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Currently hold a Professional Education Certificate.
  • Have National Board Certification or have completed a leader training or preparation program approved by the superintendent of public instruction.
  • Received five consecutive effective or highly effective ratings on the annual teacher evaluation in the most recent 5-year period.

Program Standards for Advanced Professional:

  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Arts Specialist

Once you have completed a masters’ degree, you may apply to become a Visual Arts Specialist. You are then considered ‘Highly Qualified” under the No Child Left Behind Act.

All applications must be completed within the online system.

 


 

Step 5. Pursue Graduate Work

Graduate work is required to advance up Michigan’s levels of licensure and may provide salary increases. Post-baccalaureate programs in the state, many of which are directly relevant to arts education, include the following:

  • MA in Art Education
  • Masters of Arts in Visual Arts Education
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Art & Design
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • MA in Arts in Education
  • Masters of Education in Art
  • Masters of Education in Curriculum/Instruction
  • Masters of Education in English
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology
  • Master of Science in Educational Studies

 




 


Michigan Art Teacher Salaries

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers in Michigan (as of the 2012-2013 school year) is $35,901, more or less in line with the national average of $36,141.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide data on art teacher salaries as a separate unit, but tracks salaries for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers as larger categories. The department reports the following annual mean wages and employment numbers as of May 2013:

Occupation Title Employment Annual Mean Salary
Elementary School Teachers 35,720 $62,720
Middle School Teachers 16,500 $58,290
Secondary School Teachers 21,800 $62,050

However, teacher salaries can vary significantly by location. A sample of the median salaries and employment figures as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for some major cities appears below:

Occupation Title Employment Annual Mean Salary
Ann Arbor, MI
Elementary School Teachers 1,260 $57,640
Middle School Teachers 600 $55,630
Secondary School Teachers 950 $61,760
 
Battle Creek, MI
Elementary School Teachers 570 $57,540
Middle School Teachers 350 $56,410
Secondary School Teachers 420 $55,090
 
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
Elementary School Teachers 14,070 $63,280
Middle School Teachers 7,420 $57,630
Secondary School Teachers 9,450 $64,260
 
Flint, MI
Elementary School Teachers 1,300 $59,940
Middle School Teachers 560 $64,660
Secondary School Teachers 910 $55,920
 
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
Elementary School Teachers 3,540 $68,040
Middle School Teachers 1,580 $60,370
Secondary School Teachers 1,930 $60,220
 
Jackson, MI
Elementary School Teachers 650 $55,780
Middle School Teachers 230 $47,710
Secondary School Teachers 350 $54,000
 
Lansing-East Lansing, MI
Elementary School Teachers 2,060 $69,770
Middle School Teachers 630 $63,520
Secondary School Teachers 1,360 $61,630
 
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Metropolitan Division
Elementary School Teachers 9,620 $63,430
Middle School Teachers 4,660 $65,320
Secondary School Teachers 6,110 $64,010

There is no statewide salary schedule, and salaries vary by school district. Data released in 2013 showed that Utica, Westwood, and Warren Consolidated had some of the highest-paid average teacher salaries during the 2011-2012 school year. A breakdown of Michigan Public Schools ranked by financial data, including teacher salaries, appears here.

Information on postsecondary art, music, and drama teacher salaries in various areas of the state can be found in the following table provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area Name
Employment
Annual Median Salary
Ann Arbor MI
Estimate Not Released
87220
Battle Creek MI
110
Estimate Not Released
Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn MI Metropolitan Division
410
69310
Detroit-Warren-Livonia MI
570
67140
Kalamazoo-Portage MI
200
59970
Lansing-East Lansing MI
210
74090
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills MI Metropolitan Division
160
60780
Upper Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area
30
61640
Balance of Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area
140
50160

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