/ Education Department

Degree Programs

Earn your degree and certification to teach at the elementary or secondary level.

To fulfill graduation and certification requirements, all teacher candidates planning on a professional teaching career must complete the Teacher Education Program course sequence and:

  • For secondary candidates: a major and a minor in an approved academic field
  • For elementary education: a combination of grade bands and an endorsement area(s)


Hopeful teacher candidates planning to teach in elementary and secondary schools must be formally admitted to the Hope College Teacher Education program to take upper-level education courses. Application for admission to the Hope College Teacher Education Program is made following the completion of required Level 1 introductory courses, clinical experiences and other documents.


Students who graduate from the teacher education program will be

  • Ethical educators
  • Skilled communicators
  • Engaged professionals
  • Curriculum developers
  • Effective instructors
  • Decision-makers
  • Reflective practitioners

View the admittance deadlines, admittance process and appeal process for the Hope College Education Program 


Starting in fall 2021, the elementary track will follow the new Michigan Department of Education grade bands. To view more information on these grade bands and endorsement areas, please see the Elementary Education page.

For those teacher candidates before fall 2021, you will receive a K–8 teaching certificate for elementary or K–8-level schools. There are five significant areas of study:

  • English Language Arts
  • Integrated Science
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Comprehensive

If you choose the Comprehensive major, you will specialize in one of four areas:

  • Early Childhood
  • Spanish
  • Special Education, Emotional Impairments
  • Special Education, Learning Disabilities

More information for teacher candidates before Fall 2021 

Our 6–12 program prepares you for a teaching certificate in middle and high schools. You can choose from among 25 majors across 20 subject areas. You will specialize further by choosing at least one minor. Please see the Secondary Education page to learn more about the secondary track and its majors and minors.

Hope College Education Department offers a K–12 major in the following areas: 

  • Spanish K–12 
  • Special Education endorsement in the area of K–12 Emotional Impairments 
  • Special Education endorsement in the area of  K–12 Learning Disabilities
  • Music
  • Physical Education 
  • Visual Arts
  • English as a Second Language

Once a teacher candidate has completed all program requirements and passed the state teacher certification test, they will qualify for a teaching certificate from the State of Michigan. Although teaching requirements vary among states, the Michigan certificate, through reciprocal certification agreements, is valid in many other states.

If you plan to teach outside of Michigan, talk to our director of certification, Sara Hoeve (hoeve@hope.edu or 616-395-7740), for specified information on reciprocity and out-of-state licensure, postgraduate teaching certification, additional endorsements or state testing requirements.

Learn more about certification requirements.