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Applying for Certification

The Educator Certification Office offers guidance for education program completers applying for their initial Michigan Standard teaching certificate and teachers progressing to Professional Certification - see information below. If you have additional questions, please reach out to our office at certification@oakland.edu.

Michigan Certification and Endorsements
Applicants for teacher or administrative certification and additional endorsements (including Teacher Leader designation) should be aware that a conviction for a felony or misdemeanor may constitute grounds for denial by the State of Michigan. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) certifies applicants to teach in the State of Michigan. Neither successful completion of an approved Oakland University education-related program, nor Oakland University’s recommendation to the MDE guarantees that the the Michigan Department of Education will certify or endorse applicants.

The Michigan Department of Education, and authorized departments and agencies representing other states, may deny certification to an applicant, or suspend or terminate the certification of a certified educator, based upon their criminal record. The criminal record is generally verified through a fingerprint search response conducted by the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A criminal record includes arrests, arraignments, and convictions for any crime, misdemeanor or felony. Visit the MDE website to view the enumerated or listed offenses that may prohibit certification in Michigan.

Questions regarding the MDE’s professional practices, criminal convictions or school safety laws should be directed to the Michigan Department of Education. Applicants seeking certification in another state should contact that state’s department of education or the appropriate agency or representative.

A criminal record may also prohibit an applicant/student from being placed as an intern or in a field placement in a school or school district. Failure to complete all requirements of an Oakland University education-related program, including without limitation the successful completion of an internship assignment or a field placement per state and program requirements, will prohibit the applicant/student from graduating with a degree certified by Oakland University’s School of Education and Human Services, and perhaps from another Oakland University college or school.

Successful completers of an Oakland University initial teacher certification program and all certification requirements will complete two forms as part of the process to apply for your Michigan Standard teaching certificate:

  1. Recommendation for Initial Certification - Program completers submit this request online. If you have difficulties accessing this form, log into your Oakland email or SAIL before clicking the link.
  2. Michigan Standard Teaching Certificate application - This application for state licensure is submitted directly to the Michigan Department of Education through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). Follow the instructions in Applying for a Standard Teaching Certificate to complete this process.

Students may submit the forms online after all final course/internship grades have posted in SAIL. Certification audits will begin once both forms have been submitted and undergraduate degrees have been awarded.

The Certification Office will contact students via Oakland email if there are questions during the audit, so check your email often! Once the certification audit is complete and you have been recommended for certification, MOECS will send an email prompting you to pay the application fee online. After MOECS processes the payment, you can print your new teaching certificate from within MOECS. New educators will want to have the certificate notarized as soon as possible.

You can check school district web sites or the local county school employment networks for job postings:

Your initial teaching certificate is valid for 5 years and will expire on June 30 of the 5th year. To continue teaching, you will need to complete professional learning requirements to renew your Standard Certificate - see the Renewal section on this page.

Please note, the requirements for renewing your certificate are subject to change by the Michigan Department of Education, so please check this page or the MDE website often.

Progressing to the Professional Teaching Certificate

The Professional Teaching Certificate is a five-year teaching certificate with unlimited renewals. Each renewal adds five years to the certificate’s validity.

Teachers have the option to progress to Professional Teaching Certificate - if you are currently teaching, please make this decision in consultation with your district. You can find the current requirements to progress to Professional Certification on the Michigan Department of Education Certification Guidance page under Progressing to Professional Teaching Certificate.

Reading Methods Requirement

Oakland University initial teacher preparation program completers satisfy the State of Michigan Reading methods requirement with:

  • RDG 331/3231, 333/3233, and 414/4214 or RDG 502/5202 and 503/5203 in OU’s Elementary Education teacher certification programs, or
  • RDG 3200, 3250, and 4200 in OU's PK-3/3-6 teacher certification program, or
  • RDG 338/4238 or 538/5558 in OU’s Secondary Education teacher certification programs
Reading Diagnosis/Remediation Requirement

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requires anyone applying for a Professional Teaching Certificate to complete an approved course or series of courses in the diagnosis and remediation of Reading disabilities and differentiated instruction. The approved course(s) must be a minimum of 3 semester credit hours and include a field experience: MDE’s current list of approved reading diagnostics courses.

You have already satisfied this Reading Diagnosis/Remediation requirement if:

  1. You earned a 2.8 grade minimum in RDG 331/3231, RDG 333/3233 and 414/4214 in fall 2007 or after as a student in Oakland University’s Elementary Education teacher certification program,
  2. You successfully completed RDG 500/5520, 632/6962 and 633/6963 as a student in OU’s MAT in Reading and Language Arts,
  3. You completed an approved Reading (BT) or Reading Specialist (BR) program since 2002 at a Michigan Educator Preparation Institution,
  4. You successfully completed one of the following Oakland University Reading Recovery courses - RDG 539/5439, RDG 559/5449 or RDG 569/5459,
  5. You successfully passed a course from MDE’s current list of approved reading diagnostics courses at a Michigan Educator Preparation Institution, or
  6. You successfully completed RDG 510 or RDG 5210 at OU.

If you have not completed the required diagnosis and remediation coursework listed above, you are advised to take RDG 5210: Inquiry-Based Literacy Instruction. RDG 5210 is typically offered as a three or four credit course at Oakland - both courses satisfy the state requirements. You can find course offerings by semester in the Class Schedule Search.

You must have a final grade in the required coursework before applying for the Professional Teaching Certificate, as MOECS typically will require an official transcript as part of the application process.

Current graduate students at OU may register for RDG 5210 using SAIL. If you are not a current graduate student at OU and want to take RDG 5210, follow these steps to apply to OU:

    1. Go to the non-degree seeking graduate student application.
    2. Read through the instructions and click on “Online application for admission”.
    3. Log in or set up an Admissions account Login ID and PIN.
    4. Click on "Start New Application".
    5. Under application type, select “Non-Degree (Prof Dev-ASAP) Application”.
    6. Click on "Open Application".
    7. Under Academic Plans, select “Professional Development”. Then select your Anticipated Entry Term and select "Education" for Program Area of Interest.
    8. The system will let you know if you must provide official or unofficial transcripts.
    9. Complete all sections and submit your application.

You can find information regarding your application and admission status by logging into the online application system. Once admitted, you will receive instructions on how to activate your ID and register for classes using SAIL. Helpful facts and FAQs can be found at the Graduate School webpage.

Once you have completed the requirements for Professional Teaching Certificate, log into MOECS and apply for your new certificate.

Educator Certification

Pawley Hall, Room 363
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(248) 370-3242

Educator Certification

Pawley Hall, Room 363
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3242