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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  • The Welcome Back Proud Michigan Educator (PME) campaign encourages formerly certified educators to seek employment and partner with local education agencies (LEAs), both traditional public school districts, and public school academies (PSAs) to reduce or eliminate barriers to recertification and facilitate re-entry into the profession. 

  • For Michigan educators to recertify their certificate or license, 150 hours of professional learning is typically required.

  • LEAs, both traditional public school districts, and PSAs must request a waiver for each educator a district is interested in hiring. The waiver request application tool will adjust the request to meet the unique needs of each educator, based on years of service and years since certification expiration. 

  • Yes. Educators can use the educator interest survey. LEAs, both traditional public school districts and PSAs, can use waiver request application tool.

  • Teaching experience within early childhood and K-12 settings (Michigan or out of state, public or non-public) can be counted at the discretion of the LEAs, both traditional public school districts, and PSAs. Less than full-time teaching experience may be used. Accumulation of days must be calculated as outlined below.

    • A year is a minimum of 150 days and may be within an academic year or accumulated over a period of years.
    • A day is six or more clock hours during which the teacher provides instruction to or has contact with students.
    • Two partial days of not less than three hours each may be combined to equal one day. 

    For the purposes of a Welcome Back PME waiver only, experience as a school counselor meets the requirements of "teaching experience" if it meets the criteria listed above.

Information for Educators

  • The good news is that ANY Michigan public school district can participate. To support educators in connecting with districts, we have compiled a list of districts who are participating. Note that a district can still participate even if they are not listed.

    Review participating districts

  • The three most plausible reasons are:

    1. You hold an educator credential that is something other than a teaching certificate, such as school psychologist or school administrator. Notifications to educators went out in phases, starting with teachers.
    2. Your email address is not up to date in the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). Please check your email address in MOECS and update as needed.
    3. You are not eligible. Please check your eligibility using this tool. If you think you should have received the email and did not, please contact MDE-EducatorHelp@Michigan.gov
  • To support educators in your situation and ease the process of recertification, we have curated a list of free and low-cost online professional learning.

    Additionally, please ensure your email address is up to date in the Michigan Online Educator Certification System to receive important information about other supports for our Proud Michigan Educators.

  • To support educators in your situation and ease the process of recertification, we have curated a list of free and low-cost online professional learning.

    Additionally, please ensure your email address is up to date in the Michigan Online Educator Certification System to receive important information about other supports for our Proud Michigan Educators.

  • Yes.

    Teaching experience within early childhood and K-12 settings (Michigan or out of state, public or non-public) can be counted at the discretion of the LEAs, both traditional public school districts, and PSAs. Less than full-time teaching experience may be used. Accumulation of days must be calculated as outlined below.

    • A year is a minimum of 150 days and may be within an academic year or accumulated over a period of years.
    • A day is six or more clock hours during which the teacher provides instruction to or has contact with students.
    • Two partial days of not less than three hours each may be combined to equal one day. 
  • As indicated in the email, educators need 150 hours of professional learning to renew a Michigan teaching certificate. The diagnostic reading course is only necessary if you would like to advance from a Standard (formerly called the Provisional Teaching Certificate) to a Professional Teaching Certificate.

  • You should begin applying for teaching jobs as soon as possible. When you apply, please attach the email you received about the campaign and indicate that you wish to be sponsored for recertification. Additionally, add your contact information to our eligibility and interest tool so LEAs, both traditional public school districts, and PSAs can contact you directly. 

  • The campaign allows you to become re-certified in the areas in which you already hold endorsements. LEAs, both traditional public school districts, and PSAs can obtain a permit or special education approval to support your interest in teaching outside your current endorsement area(s).

    Learn more about adding endorsements

  • Good news, we have an even easier way for you to renew your Michigan certificate! A valid out-of-state teaching certificate may be used one time to renew either the Standard (formerly known as the Provisional) or Professional Teaching Certificate. Please apply for recertification through Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) and answer “yes” when asked if you hold a valid teaching certificate in another state. 

  • Maybe. Educators who retired under the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System (MPSERS) should visit the online Working After Retirement Pension Impact Estimator offered by the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) to determine what effect, if any, working after retirement has on your pension. For any remaining questions, you can contact ORS at 800-381-5111. 

Information for Districts

  • No. Michigan law limits the availability of waivers for this campaign to Michigan public school districts and public-school academies.

  • No. Educators are NOT allowed to teach with an expired or out of state credential. To participate in the campaign, districts may apply for a waiver of either professional learning requirements or permit requirements. Only after a certificate or permit is issued, may the individual be placed in a classroom. Submitting the waiver does not make the individual eligible for placement. 

  • Yes. Educators will be required to fulfill the legal professional practices requirements, including fingerprinting and background checks, as a precursor to recertification and employment. 

  • The permit waiver option is only for endorsement areas on the individual’s certificate. LEAs, both traditional public school districts, and PSAs may not waive professional learning hours for recertification, to hire an educator for an assignment that will then require a permit. For example, for an educator holding a secondary math endorsement, a district should not waive professional learning hours for a permitted placement in Spanish. This doesn’t mean that they can’t use a permit for the educator, but they can’t waive any professional learning if they have them teaching out of field.

    Learn more about Permits

  • No. The 50 hours of professional learning required for school counselors cannot be waived because it is in law. Educators with a school counselor credential (including teaching certificates with a school counselor (NT) endorsement) must fulfill the professional learning requirements before any additional hours can be waived.

  • Yes. Teaching experience within early childhood and K-12 settings (Michigan or out of state, public or non-public) can be counted at the discretion of the LEAs, both traditional public school districts, and PSAs. Less than full-time teaching experience may be used. Accumulation of days must be calculated as outlined below.

    • A year is a minimum of 150 days and may be within an academic year or accumulated over a period of years.
    • A day is six or more clock hours during which the teacher provides instruction to or has contact with students.
    • Two partial days of not less than three hours each may be combined to equal one day. 
  • Yes, however, educators should contact the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) about how their benefits may be impacted. ORS offers an online Working After Retirement Pension Impact Estimator to determine what effect, if any, working after retirement has on their pension. District administrators can contact ORS at 800-381-5111 with any questions.

  • Districts can request an appointment with a certification specialist, or email a question, by contacting MDE-EducatorHelp@Michigan.gov.