How to Ace the Certification Process

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Despite hosting a certification meeting for all interns each spring and providing as-clear-as-possible guidelines to follow, there are still some common mistakes interns make when turning in their teacher certification paperwork.


This blog post does not get you out of attending your certification meeting (usually held in the spring semester, around March/April). That Q&A session, scheduled by your coordinator, will cover the process of appropriately filing for your teacher certification and planning for your future in the field of teaching. Don’t plan on filling out any of your paperwork beforehand or you are bound to make mistakes that will slow down the process for you (no fun!). Always use resources on the College of Education web site for most up-to-date information on the certification process.

Use this list as a quick check list before you turn everything into 134 Erickson Hall.

15 Common Mistakes When Turning in Teacher Certification Paperwork (as seen by Carey Ommen, Certification Specialist):

  1. Print legibly (if we can’t read it, we can’t process it!).
  2. Use correct social security number for your application. This could cause some issues if you try to guess the right sequence of numbers.
  3. Provide your preferred non-MSU email address so you can be reached after completion of the internship. This is the email address that will be used to contact you if you are missing any documentation.
  4. On the MSU application, Standard CTE Certificate is only applicable if your teaching major is Ag. Science. Otherwise, leave that line blank.
  5. Conviction disclosure form (second page of application) must be completed and turned in with application…even if you have nothing to disclose.
    1. Make sure to fill out the top portion of page one (Name, Date, and PID).
    2. You must answer ALL the questions.
    3. You must complete the bottom section of the 2nd page even if you answered “no” to all the questions.
  6. Disclose ALL convictions except speeding tickets.
  7. For First Aid CPR, only use courses from approved providers listed on the MDE approved list. If the course is not listed under that provider, MDE will not allow it to count towards certificate.
  8. Sign First Aid CPR card or printed certificate before submitting with your application. If you don’t see a line for a signature, just sign anywhere on the page. PS – turn in a full 8.5×11 page. Anything smaller could get lost.
  9. Print MDE Exit Survey thank you page as you’ll need this for approval. This is why we tell you not to fill it out someplace where you don’t have access to a printer. Big bummer if you do because you can’t take the survey twice.
  10. If you don’t get an email regarding the MDE Exit Survey, check your MSU email directly (especially if you forward your email) or check your spam. If you can’t find the email, connect with Carey Ommen. Just a friendly reminder that this is one of many surveys you will likely have to take as you exit the program. This one comes directly from the Michigan Department of Education. It is NOT the Destination Survey. Make sure that you sign the MDE thank you page before submitting with your application for certification.
  11. World Language Endorsements require passing the MTTC subject area test AND the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview. MSU must have both official scores on file before you can be recommended for certification in a world language.
  12. If you are waiving an endorsement because you have not taken or passed your MTTC subject area test, please refer to the PowerPoint Presentation to ensure you complete the waiver correctly.
  13. If you are taking an MTTC subject area test and the official test result will be received by early June, please do not submit the waiver form. Please put a sticky note on your MSU application so that Carey knows to be watching for your score and can complete your recommendation for certification when the official score is received. If you submit a waiver form, your certification will be processed without the endorsement.  To add the endorsement at a later date, it will cost you $100.
  14. As a reminder, there are two applications you must complete. Both must be completed and submitted in order to recommend for certification.
    1. MSU paper application and supporting documentation.
    2. MOECS online application.
  15. If applying out-of-state, check that state’s Department of Education website (or com) for form(s) needed to transfer a teaching license. If there is indeed a form, turn that in too for faster processing. Note: Apply for your Michigan license first and then transfer it to another state. It’s worth the money.

Need help with certifcation? Carey Ommen is your best resource for this! To contact Carey call 517-353-5146 or email

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