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Educator Placement and Flexibilities

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Center for Educational Performance Information (CEPI) are aware of concerns with results within the Teacher Credential Verification Report. Please note, MDE and CEPI are continually working to improve the report to better align with legislated auditing needs. The current results should be utilized by district data teams to review Registry of Educational Personnel (REP), Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL), and district staffing data for appropriate reporting and placements.

Appropriate Placement of Educators

  • Teachers are typically required to hold the endorsement for the subject(s) and grade levels in which they are assigned to teach. 

    All Subject Endorsements

    Some Michigan certificates specify an "all subjects" endorsement at specific grade levels. Teachers with these valid certificates may be placed in any subject area for that grade level.

    Self-Contained Endorsements

    When one teacher is assigned to teach the same group of students for a majority of the instructional day, the assignment is considered self-contained. These assignments are typically found in elementary school settings. In some Michigan schools these assignments may also be found in middle school settings.

    Self-Contained Classroom Guide

    Single Subject

    Subject-specific endorsements are intended for assignments in departmentalized settings, where students are receiving instruction by an individual prepared and endorsed in that content. These assignments are often found in high school settings, but can be found at all grade levels.

    Quick Reference: Courses That Can Be Taught

    Revised Grade Bands

    While certified teachers may always teach in the grade range and content area listed on their certificates, teachers with the new grade band endorsements may also teach outside of the grade range without a substitute permit in specific placements.

    Revised Certificate Structure Placement

    Career and Technical Education (CTE)

    Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are assigned to teachers holding a Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code on a valid Michigan teaching certificate. For questions about CIP code placement, CTE programs, or Perkins funding, contact the appropriate CTE program consultant. Holders of these CIP codes may also be placed in corresponding non-Perkins funded 6-12 classes.

    CTE Teacher Certification, Authorization, and Licensure Requirements

    Early Childhood

    Early childhood staffing requirements are typically defined by the funding source. The most common questions received by our office are related to the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), Michigan's state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children.

    GSRP Program Administration and Staffing

    Special Education

    Federal requirements, in conjunction with Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE), specify requirements for the placement of special education personnel. Special education programs may be provided additional placement flexibilities.

    Substitute Teacher Placement for Special Education MDE Memo

    School Social Worker Approval Requirements and Available Waiver Memo

    Special Education Placement
  • In addition to teachers, other professional staff and paraprofessionals have credential and placement requirements.

    Paraprofessionals and Instructional Aides

    While the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) does not issue certificates or licenses for paraprofessionals, the roles, duties and program funding may determine requirements for placing these noncertified education partners. 

    Utilization of Noncertified Personnel

    School Administrator

    Michigan law requires individuals employed as a superintendent, as a principal, or as an assistant principal, or individuals who administer instructional programs, to hold a valid Michigan school administrator credential.

    School Administrator Credentials and Placement

    School Counselor

    To serve in the role of a school counselor an individual must hold either a valid School Counselor License, a valid Michigan teaching certificate with the School Counselor (NT) endorsement, a Temporary School Counselor License, or a Preliminary School Counselor License. The Full-Year Basic Substitute permit may also be used for a school counselor position when a certified school counselor is not available for assignment and the individual is willing to enroll in a school counselor preparation program.

    School Counselor Assignments

    School Psychologist

    A valid Michigan School Psychologist Certificate or a Preliminary School Psychologist Certificate allows an individual to be employed in a Michigan school district as a school psychologist.

    School Psychologist Certification

    School Social Worker

    To provide services to students with disabilities whose Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) require social work services as a school social worker in a Michigan school, the educator must hold a Temporary Approval, Continuing Temporary Approval, or Full Approval from the Michigan Department of Education. School social worker approvals are applied for by employers (e.g., school district users or staffing agencies) through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). Each approval is transferable from one employer to the next.

    School Social Worker Approval Requirements and Available Waiver Memo

    Policy, Criteria, and Procedures for School Social Worker Approval
  • Michigan law requires schools to hire and employ properly certified and endorsed educators (MCL 380.1246, 380.1231 and 380.1233). In order to systematically address needed exceptions to law, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has established Administrative Rules in accordance with MCL to authorize permits, authorizations and approvals.


    The MDE issues permits to meet different school staffing needs when a properly certified and endorsed teacher or administrator is not available.

    Special Education Approvals

    A Special Education Personnel Approval may be granted to the districts in accordance with the procedures, policies, and criteria established by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education (MDE, OSE).

    Career and Technical Education (CTE) Authorizations

    The issuance of Annual Career Authorizations (formerly known as Annual CTE Authorizations) can be utilized for employing either of the following non-certified individuals:

    • Individuals from business and industry to instruct in a state-approved Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
    • Individuals from business and industry to instruct in a 6-12 non-CTE industrial technology program (e.g. career pathway courses).
  • The passage of PA 184 of 2022 simplified retirement rules for public school retirees. MDE no longer maintains a list of critical shortage for retirement purposes.

    Loan Forgiveness and Deferment

    The U.S. Department of Education (USED) requires MDE to provide a yearly list (due in December) of discipline areas for which there is a statewide shortage of teachers for open positions, which new teachers or teachers with student loans can use to obtain loan forgiveness or deferment.

    The MDE does not manage loans or have additional information regarding forgiveness or deferment. 

    Questions regarding loan forgiveness or deferment should be directed to U.S. Federal Student Aid.

    Critical Shortage: Loan Forgiveness and Deferment Guidance

    Employment of Retirees

    Michigan Compiled Law 38.1361 is utilized by the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) to determine earnings limitations and financial reporting requirements for retired school employees.

    Public Act (PA) 184 of 2022 was signed into law on July 25, 2022. The law simplifies working after retirement rules for public school retirees. For more information, visit the Office of Retirement Services' Working After You Retire webpage. 

    Questions specific to retiree employment should be directed to ORS at 1-800-381-5000. MDE cannot provide technical assistance for retirement, retirement reporting/data or earnings limitations.

    Working After You Retire