Teacher Selection and Retention Standards


Provisional Certification
Baccalaureate and Post-Baccalaureate Programs


Northern Michigan University is committed to excellence in its teacher preparation programs. The quality of our program is attained in many ways:

  • low faculty-student ratios;

  • dedicated faculty;

  • rigorous entrance and retention requirements;

  • approval by state agencies, learned societies, and national teacher accreditation agencies; and

  • opportunities for learning about the teaching profession through direct contact with both students and teachers in K-12 classroom settings.

The quality of our programs also demands excellence from our student participants. Success in the teaching profession is evidenced by competency in basic skills and intellectual capacity; good oral language skills; commitment to the teaching profession; and sound moral character. The presumption is that students come to us with both personal and academic integrity. Conduct at any given time may call into question this premise.

We are also committed to the idea that teachers accept unique responsibility in fostering healthy teaching and learning environments in our schools. The following set of principles are derived from the conceptual framework adopted by our teacher education faculty.

  • Teaching ethically by addressing the full range of human diversity as it impacts the learning of individual students and the class as a whole. This diversity includes (but is not limited to) race, gender, sexual preference and learning abilities.

  • Acting in the best interest of the state and the public in terms of education. When we recommend teacher certification to the state, we are indicating the student has demonstrated the understanding that they will serve the publics' interests.

  • Behaving professionally. This professionalism is not only necessary at the point of the teaching certificate being issued, but must be readily evident at the beginning of the teacher education program as well.

  • Exhibiting professional integrity. The nature of teaching is that it requires the highest form of academic, ethical and moral integrity.

I. Professional and Academic Integrity

We demand that students exhibit academic integrity. Teachers are in a position to become the most influential adults in the lives of many students. Individuals who wish to become teachers must be aware that evidence of professionalism does not begin the day a college student graduates or is awarded a teaching certificate. Indicators of a professional lifestyle must be readily evident during the time an individual is preparing to enter the profession.

Academic integrity is one of those very important indicators. Examples of how academic integrity may be violated (e.g., submitting someone else's work as one's own without proper acknowledgement or credit to the author) are provided in the NMU Student Code. Sanctions that may be imposed by faculty for violations of academic integrity are described in the NMU Student Rights and Responsibilities document. These sanctions include assigning an F grade for a paper or exam as well as lowering a course grade to an F.

We expect students to show continuing progress toward possession of the personal characteristics and competencies which personify the professional educator. Behaviors and qualities which are valued by the teaching profession and which are expected of students by the faculty include class attendance and participation, promptness in completing assignments, leadership, commitment to learning, a willingness to build collegiality by working with peers in collaborative, reflective, and problem-solving settings, and a multicultural perspective.

We also expect that students meet minimum degrees of relevant forms of socialization. The Administrative Rules Governing the Certification of Michigan Teachers gives the State Board of Education authority to deny, revoke, or suspend a certificate to individuals convicted as an adult of an act of immoral conduct contributing to the delinquency of a child or a felony involving moral turpitude. In addition, we believe that the responsibilities and challenges of the teaching profession require that teachers be of sound moral character. As a result, admission and retention in the teacher education program require that students have minimum degrees of relevant forms of socialization. In general, such socialization will not be considered present if an individual has:

  • committed a felony or a criminal offense involving a minor or an act of moral turpitude;

  • demonstrated an inability to conform to behavioral standards of this university;

  • demonstrated behavior incompatible with requirements of the teaching profession during the laboratory field experience or other work in the program including any test or procedure required pursuant to Section VII of the Teacher Selection and Retention Standards.

Moral turpitude as a ground for denial of admission or academic dismissal from the program means an intentional act prohibited by statute which:

  • has the effect of contributing to the delinquency of a minor;

  • constitutes child abuse or neglect or which otherwise involves a minor;

  • constitutes or involves a form of sexual conduct described or defined by statute;

  • involves trafficking in drugs or controlled substances;

  • involves pornographic materials;

  • involves wrongful entry, larceny, embezzlement or receiving stolen property;

  • involves perjury, bribery, graft, forgery, counterfeiting or smuggling; or

  • involves fraud, deceit or intentional dishonesty for purposes of personal gain.

Forms authorizing the release to the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service of all records and information pertaining to any and all convictions for criminal offenses, ordinance violations or penalties for violation of university regulations are required at several stages in the program. This information may be on file either at the Dean of Students Office, at the Michigan State Police Central Records Division of NMU's, the Public Safety Department, or at any other criminal justice agency. Through this form, students consent to the use and communication of such information among the faculty and others included in the administration of the teacher education program, including appropriate elementary and secondary school personnel, in carrying out their official responsibilities.

Any misrepresentation by a student concerning a matter governed by the Teacher Selection and Retention Standards shall itself constitute a failure to comply with the Teacher Selection and Retention Standards. The Director of Teacher Education Student Services is responsible for review of these reports and for any follow up that is considered necessary. Cases which result in denial of admission or dismissal are handled in accordance with the procedures stated in the document entitled "Academic Dismissal from the Professional Teacher Education Program."

II. Admission & Retention - Pre-Methods Phase of Teacher Education

Full admission into the teacher preparation program is highly selective. Progress through the program, is monitored continually, including approval for Methods level classes, student teaching, and recommendation for certification. Each student is responsible for knowing and meeting all program requirements. Furthermore, students are expected to have successfully met all of the requirements of one level of their program before entering the next. Failure to meet retention standards or make satisfactory progress may result in temporary suspension or dismissal at any point in the program.

Admission to Northern Michigan University does not imply admission to a teacher education program of study. Admission to teacher education is determined by the Director of Teacher Education Student Services or the Certification Counselor in the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service.

Students are not eligible to enroll in any ED prefixed courses above 100 level until they have met the pre-methods phase requirements for admission to the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service. Students who do not meet all entrance requirements and the prescribed deadlines will not be authorized to enroll in education classes.

Pre-Methods Application

Retention in Pre-Methods



  • 2.7 or above cumulative GPA

  • 20 ACT composite or SAT equivalency

  • Make an initial contact and plan of study through Mrs. Katie Berger-Racine, Director of Teacher Education Services.

  • Maintain 2.7 or above GPA

  • Adhere to all principles and requirements as outlined in the Teacher Selection and Retention Standards.





  • 2.7 undergraduate GPA

  • Make an initial contact and plan of study with Mrs. Nancy Carter, Certification Officer.

  • Maintain 2.7 or above GPA

  • Adhere to all principles and requirements as outlined in the Teacher Selection and Retention Standards.



III. Admission & Retention - Methods Phase of Teacher Education

Full admission to the Methods level of the program enables students to take courses in their professional education sequence numbered from ED 306 through ED 406, MA 353, and secondary education methods courses as long as deficiencies do not exist and prerequisite courses have been satisfactorily completed.

The program is interested in determining whether or not the applicant possesses the characteristics that are necessary for effective teaching. Just as important, however, is the program's interest in identifying students who need or should be given opportunities for remediation, further academic preparation, special assistance, or special consideration of some kind. In pursuit of these objectives, interviews, application forms, portfolios, recommendations, correction of deficiencies through remedial courses, etc., may be required. The information gathered about the student is combined with the information outlined below in reaching decisions about continuance in the program. Applicants who have deficiencies may be advised about suitable courses of action.

In the event that more students qualify for admission to the methods phase of the program than University resources can accommodate, a selection system may be established. The criteria to be used in selecting students will include (but not be limited to), GPAs, faculty recommendations, representation from under-represented populations and subject area demand.

Methods Application

Retention in Methods

Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate

Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate

  • Complete and submit a Methods Application.

  • Declared major and minor.

  • 3.0 or above cumulative GPA

  • 3.0 or above combined average in required pre-methods courses (ED201, ED230, ED231, ED301) with no grade lower than a B- in any pre-methods course

  • Complete EN111, EN211, MA150, MA151 with a C or better as required in degree program

  • Acceptable Pass Scores on Standardized Test Measure in Mathematics, Reading, & English/Writing through any combination of the following:


American College Testing (ACT)

ACT Mathematics 22

ACT Reading 22

ACT English + Writing 24


Michigan Merit Exam (MME)

MME Mathematics 1116

MME Reading 1108

MME Writing 1129


Professional Readiness Exam (PRE)

PRE Mathematics 220

PRE Reading 220

PRE Writing 220


Supports for PRE preparation can be found here.


PRE scores for any one subarea may be within one standard deviation of the 220 cut score if the two other areas are met by ACT and/or PRE or a combination of ACT and PRE. See PRE Passing Score Alternatives.

  • Maintain cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the following: overall, major, minor, professional education.

  • Maintain a 3.0 or above GPA in professional education sequence with no grade below B-.

  • No grade below a C in teachable major(s) and/or minor(s) coursework

  • No more than five (5) repeats.

  • Adhere to all principles and requirements as outlined in the Teacher Selection and Retention Standards.

  • Complete the Student Teaching Pre-Application.




IV. Eligibility for Student Teaching Placement, Student Teaching, and Recommendation for Certification

Candidates moving into the student teaching phase of the program must satisfy the faculty that he/she possesses the knowledge, skills and attributes which are necessary and desirable for successful teaching. Interviews and other procedures or assessments may be conducted or required in making this determination. The student may be required to correct deficiencies. Students who are found to seriously lack the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes for effective teaching may be dismissed from teacher education.

Students should plan to do their student teaching when they have completed all prerequisite course work. Students should notify the student teaching office of their intent to do student teaching two semesters in advance and must submit a complete student teaching application one semester in advance. Forms, policies and procedures and other information are available in the Laboratory Field Experiences Office.

Student teaching placements are made by the university. Students are not to contact school personnel to arrange student teaching placements.

NOTE: Occasionally NMU finds it difficult to secure a student teaching assignment. Although NMU may request an assignment, school districts are under no obligation to accept a student teacher. Reasons such as a poor academic record or a lack of a suitable supervising teacher are responses typically given by districts when not offering a student teaching placement. Students should be aware of this possibility as they progress toward a degree in teacher education.

Student Teaching

Retention in Student Teaching

Recommendation for Certification

Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate

Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate

Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate

  • Attendance at Student Teaching Pre-Application Meeting

  • Completed Student Teaching Application submitted by the end of the 3rd week of previous semester.

  • All coursework completed (Requests for exceptions reviewed by advisor and Director of Field Experiences).

  • Removal of all “I” or “X” grades.

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the following: overall, major, minor, professional education

  • 3.0 or above GPA in professional education sequence with no grade below B-.

  • No grade below a C in teachable major(s) and/or minor(s) coursework

  • No more than five (5) repeats.

  • Adherence to all principles and requirements as outlined in the Teacher Selection and Retention Standards.











  • Adherence to all principles and requirements as outlined in the Teacher Selection and Retention Standards.

  • Completion of “other required” components of student teaching per K12 school partner polices (i.e. required fingerprint and/or obtainment of substitute teaching permit)

  • Attendance at required ED450 seminar and satisfactory progression on seminar requirements.

  • Progression towards satisfactory ratings as outlined in the student teaching evaluation tools and process:

Video overview

Student Teaching Early Observation NMU

Student Teaching Mid-Term Observation NMU

Student Teaching Final Observation NMU​




  • Satisfactory grade in student teaching

  • Satisfactory grade in student teaching seminar

  • Compliance with all of the previously stated admission and retention requirements;

  • Completion of the baccalaureate degree in accordance with the above criteria and any additional criteria as established by other academic departments, where applicable;

  • Satisfactory completion of the student teaching assignment with a recommendation for certification by the supervising teacher and the university supervisor;

  • Satisfactory completion of all MTTC subject area competency tests as required by Public Act 451 as amended (major, minor(s), and elementary education where applicable).

  • Evidence of current and valid CPR/First Aid credential

  • Completion of all required Michigan Department of Education surveys and program surveys.



V. Limitations on Acceptance of Transfer Courses and Validity of Courses



Students are expected to take their professional education sequence courses at Northern Michigan University. Guidelines for specific courses are as follows:


A.  ED 201, Introduction to Education

  • Transfer credit will be accepted but given only a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade designation. An S grade will be assigned when the grade earned is B or greater, and a U grade will be assigned when the grade earned is below B.


B.  Methods level courses: A minimum of 20 credits of methods-level courses must be taken at NMU, including the following: