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We are reviewing cohort 2 Teacher Candidate applications. Applicants and districts can expect to receive decisions by May 17.

Certification Areas

Choosing which certification area when deciding to begin Talent Together is a big decision. This page contains information on each certification area that we offer. For the most up-to-date information on teacher certifications in Michigan, we encourage you to explore the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) website, starting with the new certification structure.

Special Education

Special education is one of the most critical teacher shortages in our state. If you are someone who enjoys setting goals, tracking growth, and working with neurodiverse students or those who have been identified as having disabilities, then a certification in special education may be for you. Special education teachers always teach students in their least restrictive environment, meaning that a special education teacher in Michigan may teach in the student’s general classroom setting, in a resource room program for specialized instruction, or in a special program for a specific disability. 

Resources

Endorsement Offered by Talent Together 

Key Terms

*From the Michigan Alliance for Families

Special Education, Autism – (SV)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Students with autism spectrum disorder have a lifelong developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Students may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. Abilities can vary significantly. Some students with ASD may have advanced conversational skills while others may be nonverbal. Some students with ASD may require a higher level of support at school and in their daily lives while others require little to no support. Students with ASD may experience emotions intensely, prefer consistency and sameness, be very passionate and enthusiastic about specific topics, and display repetitive behaviors. Since ASD includes a diverse group of conditions related to the development of the brain, individuals with ASD will demonstrate different degrees of ability with social interaction and communication.  Rule 340.1715

Special Education, Cognitive Impairment – (SA)

Cognitive Impairment (CI) Students with cognitive impairment have varying learning and independence levels that manifest in communication, self-help, and communication skills. Programs for students with cognitive impairment will range from teaching academic and vocational skills, teaching daily living and pre-vocational skills, to teaching basic self-help skills. Students with cognitive impairments may take the state’s alternate assessment to best measure their academic progress.. Rule 340.1705

Special Education, Emotional Impairment – (SE)

Emotional Impairment (EI) Students with emotional impairment may demonstrate emotional or behavioral responses in school that are different from typical age, ethnic, or cultural norms. The difference in emotional or behavior response is consistent over time and displayed in at least two different settings. In addition, the difference in emotional or behavioral response is not temporary due to a stressful event. Emotional or behavioral responses may include hyperactivity, aggression, withdrawal, immaturity, and learning differences resulting from anxiety, depression, distorted thinking, family functioning, a brain disorder, stress, and/or genetics.  Rule 340.1706

Special Education, Learning Disabilities – (SM)

Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Students with a specific learning disability process spoken and/or written language differently. Despite having an average to above average level of intelligence, students with SLD may demonstrate challenges with acquiring basic skills in math, reading, writing, speaking, and listening since language is involved in all areas of learning.  It’s estimated that 15 percent of the population is affected by learning disabilities. Students with SLD learn differently than most of their peers which makes learning in a conventional school setting challenging. Rule 340.1713

Birth to K

(ZN)

Educators receiving this endorsement are qualified to teach students across the birth-kindergarten continuum including students in Great Start Readiness Programs (GSRP), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Head Start, and kindergarten classrooms. 

Table of Contents

Secondary Math + Science

Do you enjoy teaching students about problem solving or critical thinking? Secondary math or science may be a good fit for you. Michigan’s standards in these areas emphasize exploration and real world application. Science and Math are both high-need areas in Michigan. 

Resources:

 

Endorsement Offered by Talent Together 

Possible Courses Taught from MDE

Middle Grades or High School Math – EQ

Secondary Math – EX

Secondary Science – Integrated Science – DI

Middle Grades and High School Science – 5-9/7-12 – DQ

Elementary

If you love working with younger kids, you may want to pursue an elementary certification. Elementary teachers are usually in a self-contained classroom, meaning they teach all subjects to a single group of students. If you choose to pursue an elementary certification, please be prepared to teach a variety of grade-levels, depending on the needs in your district. Due to the teacher shortage, it is possible that an administrator would place you in a grade-level slightly outside of your certification. 

 

Endorsement Offered by Talent Together Description from MDE
Lower Elementary (PK-3) – ZO
  • Will engage in an integrated course of study that is heavily focused on literacy and mathematics instruction and that also includes coursework in teaching science and social studies. 
  • The standards for the PreK-3 program include integration and instruction to meet the needs of the whole child leading to a well-rounded education. 
  • May teach in a self-contained classroom or departmentalized setting. 
Upper Elementary (3-6) – ZP
  • Will engage in an integrated course of study that is focused equally on literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • Foundational and content area coursework are driven by standards that include developmentally appropriate instructional practices for students in grades 3-6 with an emphasis on learner-centered supports.
  • May teach in a self-contained classroom or departmentalized setting.

General Elementary – ZG*

  • *MDE is discontinuing the ZG certification. Anyone pursuing this certification will need to pass their MTTC exam by December, 2026.
  • Endorsements are valid for teaching all subjects in grades K-5

Early Childhood

Early childhood educators lay the foundation for young minds to grow and thrive. Teachers are an important part of a child’s social and intellectual development both in the short term and long term.

From teaching kids about shapes and colors to creating curriculum to charting students’ progress, an early childhood educator’s day is full of variety, challenge and special moments. While their days are spent primarily with children, early childhood educators also work closely with parents and specialists.

And as the number of preschool-aged children increases, the demand for early childhood education teachers will grow making now a great time to join the field. While education requirements vary by state, most teachers earn a college degree.

Embarking on a career as an Early Childhood Educator is a journey filled with the joys of fostering young minds and the responsibility of shaping our future generations. In this noble pursuit, certifications serve as a beacon of professionalism, equipping educators with the latest pedagogical strategies and a deep understanding of child development.

Resources:

Endorsement Offered by Talent Together 

Description

Birth to Kindergarten – ZN

  • Integrated course of study that is focused on whole child development, special education, relationships, and content area knowledge and pedagogy.
  • Coursework is driven by program standards that include developmentally appropriate instructional practices for children in Birth-Kindergarten settings with an emphasis on social emotional learning.
  • This educator will be prepared to teach children across the birth-kindergarten continuum including, but not limited to:
    • Home visiting
    • Great Start Readiness Programs (GSRP)
    • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
    • Head Start
    • Kindergarten classrooms

Lower Elementary (PK-3) – ZO

  • Will engage in an integrated course of study that is heavily focused on literacy and mathematics instruction and that also includes coursework in teaching science and social studies. 
  • The standards for the PreK-3 program include integration and instruction to meet the needs of the whole child leading to a well-rounded education. 
  • May teach in a self-contained classroom or departmentalized setting. 

English as a Second Language (ESL)

English as a second language (ESL) teachers work with students to help them learn to speak, read, understand, and write in English. According to the MDE, ESL teachers may teach an ESL course or use sheltered instruction where teachers teach a specific content area (e.g., social studies or math) while also developing English skills. 

According to the MDE, the NS endorsement is not authorization to teach in a bilingual classroom unless the individual holds the corresponding world language endorsement (FA-FS) or has passed the appropriate OPI or similar language proficiency exam at the Advanced High level aligned to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

 

Endorsement Offered by Talent Together 

Possible Courses Taught

English as a Second Language – NS

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learner (ELL)  courses.
  • Sheltered instruction** in all subjects according to certificate grade level and Michigan Merit Curriculum credit in areas of specialty endorsement (e.g., courses for social studies credit would be taught by a teacher endorsed in both social studies and ESL)

 

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