There are more traditional options at SienaHeightsUniversity for Post-Baccalaureate initial certification. Please contact Sally Rae, Program Director of the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program for information concerning these programs at (517) 264-7892 or
On October 2, 2002 the Michigan Department of Education approved SienaHeightsUniversity’s Undergraduate Teacher Education Program to offer an experimental program for the purpose of providing an alternative route to teacher certification for post-baccalaureate secondary level certification candidates. This program is considered experimental under Rule 53 of the Administrative Rules Governing the Certification of Michigan Teachers because it provides for temporary exemption from the requirement to obtain a teachable minor for post-baccalaureate secondary level certification candidates in identified areas of high need.
Individuals interested in this program must be aware that the exemption from a certifiable minor is only temporary – addition of a certifiable minor is required by the Michigan Department of Education and must be completed within 6 years of the issuance of the secondary provisional certificate. Failure to add a minor within this time frame will result in the expiration of the teaching certificate.
Rationale for the Program:
The Michigan State Board of Education
Report of the Ensuring Excellent Educators Task Force
(April 11, 2002) states
A review of school data makes teacher supply a matter of great urgency in Michigan. Our schools are experiencing growing school enrollment, reduced class size, and rising standards during a time of increasing teacher retirements and waning interest in teaching. This has resulted in critical teacher shortages in specific areas in both urban and rural districts…Like many other states, Michigan has found it necessary to look beyond traditional undergraduate preparation programs to meet its staffing needs. (p 13)
The task force goes on to encourage the “review and revising of relevant policies that support alternative routes to teacher certification while providing greater access to the teaching profession for non-traditional teacher candidates.” (p 15)
The population of non-traditional candidates wanting to become teachers has grown significantly. At SienaHeightsUniversity, many calls per month requesting information on post-baccalaureate teacher certification are received . The National Center for Education Information (March 5, 2002) reports that nearly 45 of 50 states now offer an alternative or experimental route to teacher certification for non-traditional certification candidates. They report that these programs have opened the teaching profession to people from other careers and the military, as well as to liberal arts graduates and early retirees.
In light of both this data, and the commitment of the Michigan Department of Education to innovative programs that assist non-traditional teacher candidates to transition faster into the teaching profession, the Siena Heights University Undergraduate Teacher Education Program has designed, and been approved to offer, the Post-Baccalaureate Intensive Certification Program.
This program is designed for teacher candidates who:
1. hold existing bachelors degrees and
2. are seeking secondary provisional teacher certification
This program is an undergraduate teacher preparation program. All coursework will be completed at the undergraduate level. It is not the intent of this program for any coursework to be applied to eventual masters degree programs, however, students may find that some colleges/universities will find the content of the coursework to be equivalent and thus transferable.
Prior to acceptance to this program, students are required to have successfully completed the coursework equivalent to a content area major in the field they wish to teach. All content area majors and minors, or their equivalencies, must correspond to those content areas approved by the Michigan Department of Education for SienaHeightsUniversity. Siena Heights University is currently authorized to offer the following majors for secondary certification: Art, Biology, Chemistry, English, History, Mathematics, Social Studies and Spanish.
What will the program actually look like?
A cohort group of no more than 15 students will be selected to begin the program during the summer of 2012. Acceptance to the cohort group will be highly competitive. Completing transcript evaluations, interviews, and meeting application requirements will not guarantee acceptance to the program. Program acceptance will be determined by the members of Siena’s Teacher Education Committee.
In essence, the program consists of 30 semester hours, a combination of hands-on field work and 5 university courses. A full- time commitment by students to the program is required. Financial aid possibilities are available through the Siena Heights University Financial Aid Office.
The program begins with an Introduction to the teaching profession course that will meet four times during the summer of 2012 (class will meet from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on dates decided on by the faculty and cohort: tentatively scheduled for 2 Saturdays in August and 2 in September). The fall semester will run from the end of August 2012 through the end of the fall semester. The winter semester will begin in January 2013 and run through the end of the spring semester. Successful completion of the coursework and fieldwork will result in students applying for secondary provisional certification in May 2013.
Prior to Formal Application:
Students wishing to apply to the Post-Baccalaureate Intensive Certification Program will need to meet with Sally Rae, Program Director of the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program, to discuss their major and determine whether additional coursework is necessary to complete program requirements in those majors.
While meeting with Sally, students will also need to discuss the details of Michigan’s teacher testing process. Passage of the Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification is required prior to application to the program. Students will need to pass both the basic skills test and the content area test within their majors. Students interested in the Intensive Certification Program are urged to register for the appropriate tests as soon as possible. Registration materials are always available in the Undergraduate Teacher Education office or on line:
These tests are only given five times a year (January, April, July, October and November) and are given at 11 testing locations around the state of Michigan.
Application Materials to the Program:
Application to the Post-Baccalaureate Intensive Certification Program requires:
• Completion of Siena Heights University Admission’s Application;
• Completion of an existing bachelors degree; official transcripts must be attached to the application packet; a meeting with faculty must take place prior to application to determine status of certifiable major; undergraduate grade point average and/or quality/quantity of work experience in the field will be considered as part of the acceptance process/criteria;
• Completion of all coursework within the certifiable major;
• Passage of all appropriate Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification;
• Two letters of recommendation from:
a. either a college/university faculty member from where candidate’s bachelors degree was earned or from someone in the career field/profession where candidate was previously employed and
b. an individual who has seen/supervised candidate’s work with teenagers/youth sometime within the past two years;
• A professional resume accompanied by a written statement of intention explaining why the candidate is interested in this program and how the program will assist in achieving the candidate’s personal and professional goals, and
• Passage of a criminal history check from the Central Records Division of the Michigan Department of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
There will be an acceptance notification before the end of July 2012. Once accepted into the program, students must maintain a Siena G.P.A. of 3.0 in order to enroll in the next semester’s coursework.
Copyright 2012 Siena Heights University
1247 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI 49221 | 517.264.7892
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last updated: 07/5/12