How to Ace the Certification Process

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Despite hosting a certification meeting for all interns 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). That meeting, scheduled by your coordinator, will walk you through the process of appropriately filing for your teacher certification. 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.

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

  1. Print legibly (please and thank you).
  2. Use only courses listed on the MDE approved list of First Aid CPR providers. Other providers will not be accepted, so don’t even waste your money.
  3. Sign First Aid CPR card or certificate before sending in a copy. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 from the Certification Officer & Assistant Dean from the College – Susan Dalebout. It is NOT the Destination Survey.
  6. If you are not signing off on a teaching major or minor, as you are taking the MTTC subject area test that official test results will be received by early June, please put a sticky note on your MSU application so that Carey knows to be watching for your score.
  7. Use correct social security number for your application. This could cause some issues if you try to guess the right sequence of numbers.
  8. Conviction disclosure form (second page of application) must be completed and turned in with application…even if you have nothing to disclose.
  9. Disclose ALL convictions except speeding tickets.
  10. If applying out-of-state, check that state’s Department of Education website (or 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? Carey Ommen is your best resource for this. To contact Carey call 517-353-5146 or email

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