Urban Teacher Residency Program: Secondary Education

Are you looking to transition from a paraprofessional, substitute teacher, or other career to become a Secondary teacher? WMU’s Urban Teacher Residency Program has partnered with Grand Valley State University to make this a possibility! The Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC) program is an intensive, one-year, full-time teacher training program designed for adults who:

  • hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • are willing to acquire a "teachable" major (and possibly a teachable minor) prior to joining the program
  • and meet the major/minor teacher program requirement.

The program combines teacher education course work with two consecutive semesters of field placement in Kalamazoo Public Schools or Benton Harbor Area Schools. At the completion of the program, students will have earned a teaching certificate as well as graduate credit toward a master's degree. The full master's degree can be completed following certification. Students have three - five classes to complete their master’s degree.  All prospective candidates are advised to attend an information session for more detailed explanations.  

apply to the secondary program


Coordinator for Clinical Experiences UTRP


  1. Completion of the baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution at least one year prior to application with a 3.0 GPA or higher for the final 60 semester credits.
  2. A 3.0 GPA in the teachable major/minor subject.
  3. A completed Master's of Education (M.Ed.) graduate application submitted to the GVSU Admissions Office by January 15.
  4. A separate GTC application packet is also needed: this is available from the College of Education and due by November 1.
  5. Evidence of 25 hours of paid or volunteer work with children within the age group you wish to teach (due by November 1 unless given permission for extension).
  6. Passing scores on the MTTC Subject Area tests (students teachable major & minor). It is recommended that students take and complete their MTTC tests before starting the program due to its demands.  However, it is NOT required that students pass the MTTC test prior to admission to the GTC program.)
  7. Resume (due by November 1).
  8. A personal essay (due by November 1).
  9. A personal interview with the program advisor (Due by November 1).
  10. Signed statement regarding criminal activity (Due by November 1).

PLEASE NOTE: Students seeking a major in Modern Languages must pass the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) prior to their student teaching semester.


An individual interested in teaching at the secondary level is required to have a teachable major/minor and would be certified to teach grades 6-12 in the subject major and/or minor. Coursework for Secondary Certification is now an Online Program with exception of fieldwork which will take place at Kalamazoo Public Schools or Benton Harbor Area Schools. This program is 27 credits hours.

NOTE: Those who wish to become certified as elementary or secondary level teachers are required to have a teachable major/minor completed before entering the GTC program. Secondary level candidates also need to have a nearly complete teachable minor.

Spring/Summer Session May - August

  • EDI 635 Development and Needs of Students (3 credits) online
  • EDS 652 Foundations of Special Education (3 credits) online

Fall Session August - December

  • EDI 636 Instruction in Middle and High Schools (3 credits) online
  • EDI 638 Facilitating School Environments (3 credits) online
  • EDI 685 Practicum/Graduate Field Placement, (20 hours per week, 3 credits) plus weekly online cohort meetings and one seminar
  • EDR 623 Development Literacy for Adolescents (3 credits) online

Winter Session January - April

  • EDI 685 Practicum/Graduate Field Placement (6 credits) Monday through Friday all day, plus weekly online cohort meetings and one seminar
  • EDT 627 Technology Integration for Secondary Teachers (3 credits) online (Course may require documentation of standards met)


Upon completion of the Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC) program, students may continue coursework toward the master's degree in Secondary or another approved master's degree program at Western Michigan University OR Grand Valley State University