Whether you are exploring your options or are already committed to a career in teaching, LCC is where success begins! We offer a wide range of courses and programs for future teachers and teacher paraprofessionals that include both a strong educational foundation and hands-on experience. We work closely with university teacher certification programs to make sure that the courses you take at LCC will be useful and will transfer without loss of credit.
Are you interested in becoming an elementary teacher?
For every job posting in elementary education in Michigan, there are generally several hundred applicants. The candidates who go to the front of the line:
- Have selected a high needs subject for their academic specialties such as mathematics, science, special education, English as a second language or early childhood education.
- Have many hours of classroom experience thru volunteering in a school setting and substitute teaching.
- Are flexible about what subjects and grades they will teach.
- Are prepared to teach in a rural or urban school.
Plan ahead for success. Meet with an education advisor early and often.
Teaching Preparation Resources
Teacher Preparation Advising
Career Planning, continuing transfer programs, Paraprofessional Degrees/Certificates
Early Childhood Education
Almost Ready to Transfer or Have a Bachelor's Degree
Contact Institution of Choice
Lansing-Based Certification Programs
Begin at LCC and complete your degree at these universities offering teacher certification in Lansing.
You'll take 45 to 100 credits at LCC (depending on the program), then enroll in one of these university programs to complete your bachelor's degree in the Lansing area. You'll pay LCC tuition for the LCC courses and university tuition for university credits. Financial aid is available for both. Many of the required courses are offered evenings, weekends or online.
Ferris State University (FSU) - Elementary Education
Available programs: All students choose both Language Arts and Mathematics minors or the Social Studies
major. Early Childhood (ZA endorsement) is available as an additional minor.
LCC credits: 80-100 (depending on minors selected)
FSU credits: 30-45
FSU Location: LCC University Center, main campus
Contact: Ann Selleck, Education Advisor, EHS Department, Office 2203, firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-483-1061
Michigan State University (MSU) - Elementary, Secondary, Special Education
Students are encouraged to meet with an MSU advisor to determine specific LCC coursework for their chosen program.
Available programs: A wide range of majors and minors are available.
LCC credits: 45-60
MSU credits: 80-90 (post-graduate work is required to meet certification requirements)
MSU Location: East Lansing
Contact: MSU College of Education Advising Center, (517) 353-9680
Read this if you already have a bachelor's degree and want to teach
If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, you may be able to apply some or all of your bachelor's degree credits toward certification.
Secondary Certification (Grades 7-12)
Secondary programs are the quickest route to teaching for most folks who have a teachable major, i.e., a subject that is typically taught at the middle or high school levels. Many universities have special programs called post-graduate, post-baccalaureate (post-bac) or alternative certification. They are one to two-year programs with coursework in teaching methods and practice teaching.
- English Literature
You should plan to speak with advisors from several programs, since offerings vary greatly. Links to some suggested programs are provided below.
- Central Michigan University
- Grand Valley State University (see site index on left for Certification, Post-Baccalaureate)
- Michigan State University
- Saginaw Valley State University
Middle School Certification (Grades 7-9)
Both elementary and secondary certification may qualify you to teach in the middle grades.
Elementary Certification (Grades K-8)
Since elementary education is an interdisciplinary program, there are many specific requirements that are not available in other types of programs, making it necessary to earn a second bachelor's degree. General education requirements completed in the first earned degree may be applied to a degree in elementary education. Some additional credits may also apply, depending on the major or minors selected for certification. This will shorten the time of study to 3-4 years. Central,Ferris, Michigan State and Spring Arbor universities have elementary certification programs that can be completed in Lansing.
Coursework that may apply to elementary certification includes:
- Introductory Arts
- World Civilizations
- US History
- Early Childhood Education
The following special fields must be combined with either elementary or secondary certification programs:
- Special education
- World Languages (French, Spanish, Japanese, etc.)
- Physical Education
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the federal requirements?
All Title I paraprofessionals (parapros) hired after January 8, 2002 must have completed one of the following options as a condition of employment:
Option 1: Two years of study at an accredited college, defined as at least 60 semester credits.
Option 2: An associates degree (60-65 credits).
Option 3: An authorized state test. Michigan has established two test options:
- Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) - Professional Readiness Exam PRE
- WorkKeys Assessments
Do all paraprofessionals need to meet these requirements?
For the time being, only those instructional assistants paid with Title I funds (for at-risk children) are affected. If you do not assist teachers with instruction, then this requirement probably doesn't apply to you. Title II (Special Education) assistants are expected to be held to the same standards at some time in the near future. If you are not sure whether this requirement applies to you, check with your building administrator or your union representative.
What are the tests like?
Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) - PRE: This is the first part of the required test for all future teachers. Most students take the basic skills portion (reading writing, mathematics) in their second year of college. Questions correspond to college work.
WorkKeys Assessments: This is a national testing program that has been tailored to meet Michigan's standards for teacher paraprofessionals. The components are: Applied Mathematics, Writing, and Reading for information.
Where can I learn more about the tests?
MTTC: Look for the MTTC Registration Bulletin at Lansing Community College's (LCC). The site will tell you the test dates (four times per year) and give you sample questions for each part of the PRE test. A registration form is also included.
WorkKeys Assessments are administered by appointment at the LCC Testing Services Center as well as at most Michigan Works offices around the state. For information about taking the tests at LCC, call 517-267-5500. Visit the WorkKeys Assessments page to sample some of the questions.
What can I do to prepare for the tests?
There are no courses offered at LCC specifically designed to help you take the MTTC PRE or WorkKeys assessments; however, there are a number of ways you can check your skill levels or practice answering questions similar to those on the tests.
- Take the LCC basic skills placement tests in Reading, Writing and Math. There is no charge for these tests. Most students who score a Reading Level of 5, Writing and Math levels of 4, should be able to pass the test with very little preparation. If you do not achieve these levels, LCC has a wide range of courses to help you reach your goal.
- Check the MTTC Registration Bulletin for sample questions from the PRE Tests.
- Check the WorkKeys website at www.act.org for sample test items. These are the WorkKeys tests and levels that Michigan parapros
Reading for Information Level 4
Applied Mathematics Level 4
Writing Level 3
- Check out the online and workbook practice materials for WorkKeys.
Why do I have to take classes if I can just take a test?
Many parapros will only need to take the PRE or Work Keys test to fulfill federal requirements. However, some college work may be necessary in order to be successful on the test. In addition, taking a few key courses in Education will not only give you confidence for passing the test, but it will also make you more marketable and confident in the classroom.
I already have a degree. Do I need to earn the Teacher Paraprofessional Certificate anyway?
No. You have met the federal requirements as they are currently written. However, as more information becomes available, you might be asked by the State or your District to show credits or training in education. The LCC Certificate of Completion for Teacher Paraprofessionals (curriculum 0829) is not required, but it includes educational specialty courses which will give you the professional knowledge and skills that you need to demonstrate a high level of competence as an instructional assistant. The courses are also great transfer courses if you should decide to continue up the career ladder to becoming a certified teacher. See an LCC advisor to determine which classes will give you the most options.
If I earn the Certificate of Completion, have I met the Title I requirements?
No. This "certificate" is only 19 credits and can be earned in two semesters. (See Question 1, Option 1 above). It is a valuable experience for those who have met the requirements through study or testing, but have never had any courses in the field of Education. See an advisor if you are not sure which courses you should take.
I earned some credits at LCC a long time ago. How do I find out how many classes I need to take?
Take a copy of your transcripts to an LCC advisor in the StarZone or email Ann Selleck. If your credits were earned at LCC, the advisor can get a copy of the transcript for you. Be aware that credits you earned under the term system will not have the same value under the semester system. So unless you have earned a degree, you may have to take additional classes to achieve the minimum of 60 semester credits.
I haven't taken classes since high school and I'm not sure I can succeed at college. How can I keep my job?
It would be important to begin right now to develop strong academic skills in order to pass the state-approved test or enroll in one of LCC's teacher parapro programs. We offer a wide range of classes and services to help new and returning students build study skills and develop a foundation for success in math, writing and reading. In addition, first generation college students have many academic and cultural resources available to them through the ACCESS program at LCC.
How can I take classes while I'm working full time?
Check out the LCC Schedule of Courses. We offer most teacher preparation classes in late afternoon or evening and many are now offered through the internet. Some summer classes have a special start date in order to accommodate students who work during the K-12 school year. Be sure to register early to get the classes you need at the time that suits you best.
What do I need to do to apply?
- First-time LCC Students must apply to LCC either on line or in person at the StarZone.
- Establish your skill levels in reading, writing and math by taking the LCC placement tests at the Testing Services Center in the StarZone or by transferring courses from another college. (Most classes list a skill level prerequisite in the course description.)
- See an advisor if you are not sure which courses you should take.
- Register online or in person at the StarZone. Register early!
How can I afford it?
LCC can help you find a grant, a loan, or a scholarship to help you cover the cost of going back to school. Get started as soon as possible by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They are available at studentaid.gov or from staff in the StarZone. There is also financial help for childcare, books and transportation through the LCC Adult Resource Center. Participants are eligible for parking and bus vouchers on a per semester basis.
What if I want to teach?
Great idea! There is a growing demand everywhere for teachers, especially in Special Education and Secondary Math, Science and Technical/Occupational Education. To become a certified teacher you must complete a Bachelor's Degree in teacher education from an accredited college or university and then pass the tests for Teacher Certification in Michigan. With careful planning you can take half of the requirements for teacher certification at LCC. Talk to an advisor about transferring your LCC coursework to a certification program at any four-year institution. Be sure to ask about LCC's special transfer agreements with Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ferris State University, and Spring Arbor universities (for elementary and secondary education) and Western Michigan University (for secondary technical/occupational education).
Choose your major wisely. Most secondary majors are in demand, but there is a great deal of competition for elementary positions in Michigan. Special education, mathematics, science and bilingual education are the most competitive choices for academic majors.
Shop around. Not all schools offer the same type of program.
Talk to an advisor. Find out what options are available for post-bac students that might not be listed on the website, such as scholarships and accelerated programs.
Future Teachers Club
Join the Future Teachers Club for fun monthly meetings, professional development opportunities, and community service opportunities. Contact LCCFTC@gmail.com.
LCC Advisors can help you analyze your earned credits and select the transfer program that is best for you. For more information contact:
- Ann Selleck, Office of Teacher Preparation
Office: A&S 2203
Phone: (517) 483-1061