/ Education Department

Degree Programs

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

To fulfill the requirements for graduation and for certification, all students planning on a professional teaching career must complete the Teacher Education Program course sequence and a major and a minor in an approved academic field.

Teacher Education Program

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

Admittance Process

Teaching candidates cannot continue on to Level 2 or 3 courses until admitted to the Teacher Education Program. To apply for formal admission to the Teacher Education Program you must:

  1. Attend two orientations: one Teacher Education Orientation Meeting and one Orientation Meeting for Chalk & Wire when enrolled in ED 220/221: Educational Psychology.
  2. Submit your major declaration form and minor declaration form to the appropriate department. Be sure to indicate that it is for teacher certification.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in basic reading, writing and math skills by passing the SAT or ACT. Bring a copy of your best ACT or SAT scores to the education department for your file. If your scores on the SAT or ACT do not meet the minimum scores, then you will need to appeal. The committee will then notify you if you must retake the test. Minimum scores required are:
    • SAT Reading score of 480 or higher
    • SAT Writing score of 5 or higher
    • SAT Mathematics score of 530 or higher
    • ACT Reading score of 22 or higher 
    • ACT Combined English and Writing score of 22 or higher or 6 or higher
    • ACT Math score of 22 or higher
  4. Obtain three Faculty Recommendations from Hope College professors you’ve had. Only one must be from an education department professor; the other two should be from professors across campus.
  5. Complete all Level 1 coursework and field experiences for the Teacher Education Program.
  6. Successfully Complete Clinical Experience Evaluations for:
    • ED 221: Educational Psychology
    • ED 226: Exceptional Child
  7. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. (Calculate your GPA for major, minor and education courses.)
  8. Complete your ISTE portfolio on Chalk & Wire.
  9. Complete or commit to completing the IDS 200: Encounter with Cultures or AES 210: Introduction to Ethnic Studies requirement.
  10. Read and sign three documents (these are included in your on-line application and are listed here for reference):
    1. Statement of Commitment to Professionalism
    2. Confidentiality Agreement
    3. Criminal Background History Statement

To appeal

  • Please complete the appeal form and follow the rest of the directions.

Special Instructions for Special Education Majors
(L.D. and E.I.)

In addition to the above, if you intend to pursue a Special Education major you must also submit a brief written statement explaining why you want to major in L.D. or E.I. (Special Education double majors must complete a form for each major).


All items reequired for admittance must be turned in to the Education Department by:

  • First Friday in October for Fall Semester
  • First Friday in March for Spring Semester*
    *If you are taking EDUC 225: Exceptional Child during May Term, apply by the March deadline.

Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted. If you do not meet these requirements you may not take Level 2 or 3 courses in the Teacher Education Program.

Majors and Minors
Once admitted to the Teacher Education Program, you’ll choose to pursue either an Elementary or Secondary Education teaching certificate. While upper-level coursework and clinical experiences in Level 2 and 3 of the Teacher Education Program will teach you how to teach, it’s your major and minor subject areas that teach you the content for the students in your future classrooms.
Elementary Education Track

Our K–6 program prepares you to receive a teaching certificate for elementary or K–6-level schools. There are five major areas of study:

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

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

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

Learn more about the Elementary Education track.

Learn more about the Elementary Education track 

Secondary Education Track

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 — everything from Biology and Chemistry to History, Music, Dance, Spanish and Special Education. You’ll specialize further by choosing at least one minor.

Learn more about the Secondary Education track 

K–12 Education
In both the Elementary and Secondary Education tracks, we offer Spanish K–12 and two Special Education majors in the areas of K–12 Emotional Impairments and K–12 Learning Disabilities. You can also pursue a K–12 endorsement to teach Dance, Music, Kinesiology/Physical Education or Visual Arts, offered through the Secondary Education track. In addition, we offer a K–12 endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language to all elementary and secondary track students.
Teacher Certification

Once you’ve completed all program requirements, you’ll 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 Cheryl Schairer, our director of certification, for specific requirements.

Learn more about Michigan Certification Requirements