Teaching Here

What You Need to Know


Salaries range from $32,000 - $38,000.


Strongly recommended


University of Michigan (Optional two year program)


Three years

Becoming Certified to Teach

  • Overview
  • How is teaching certification structured in Detroit?
  • Is it possible to complete a master's degree at the end of the two years?
  • Is a master's degree required?
  • Which universities do you partner with?

Detroit corps members receive a five-year non-renewable interim certificate. In order to qualify for the interim certificate, all corps members are required to complete the following after being accepted to the corps:

  • Pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Subject Area Exam prior to Institute
  • Pass all three subtests of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Professional Readiness Exam (PRE) – in some cases this can be substituted with ACT scores
  • Provide three copies of their degree-conferred transcript from an accredited college or university
  • Submit proof of First Aid & Child/Adult CPR certification from list of approved vendors
  • Pay a $160 fee to the Michigan Department of Education for certification
  • Pay for a criminal background check via certified profile to the University of Michigan
  • Complete free, online Bloodborne Pathogens Training and submit proof to the University of Michigan

Corps Members that are not already certified must partake in a two year certification program through the University of Michigan. The program itself lasts for two years. Corps Members are granted a certificate after they successfully complete a third year of teaching with coaching from a University of Michigan field instructor. 

Do I need to attend an alternative certification program if I am already certified?
Individuals that have completed a four year college degree leading to teacher certification in the state of Michigan are not required to participate in the certification program. If you completed a four year college degree leading to licensure in a different state, and you are able to transfer your certification to the state of Michigan – then you are not required to participate in the alternative certification program.


Absolutely! Many of our corps members do complete their master’s program in two years. The master’s cohort typically begins classes in the winter semester of your first year of teaching, but can be joined after this point as well!

Teach For America – Detroit partners with the University of Michigan to provide Corps Members the opportunity to obtain a Master’s degree in Educational Studies with a focus in Urban Pedagogy. This University partnership will be open to current corps members in the K-12 setting. This program is ideal for those interested in bettering their craft as teachers and to prepare themselves for future work in the education sector.

The program will start in the Spring (January/February) semester and will take 2 years to complete a total of 30 credits.

No. The master’s degree is an option available but is not required.

  • Our K-12 teachers partner with the University of Michigan.
  • Our Early Childhood Education teachers have the opportunity to work towards a master’s degree with Walden University.

Placement School Locations

Subjects And Grade Levels

  • Early Childhood Elementary
  • Elementary
  • Secondary Science
  • Secondary Math
  • Secondary English
  • Secondary Social Studies
  • Spanish

Neighborhood Highlights

  • Southwest Detroit
  • Downtown Detroit
  • Eastern Market
  • Midtown
  • Palmer Park

Southwest Detroit is a thriving neighborhood that is home to a number of corps members. Known for its Hispanic population, the food and festivals in this area represent the rich culture of the students and families who live there. Corktown is close by and is another popular place for corps members to reside. Corktown is Detroit's oldest neighborhood and is well-known for its great Irish food, bar scene, and urban garden movement. This authentic and fun area is also home to Slows BBQ and Astro Coffee, two local businesses that have been buzzed about from coast to coast.

A photo of the Detroit city skyline at night.

Downtown Detroit is a wonderful mixture of skyscrapers and historical and architecturally beautiful residential and commercial buildings. Make sure to check out the Renaissance Center, Greektown, Campus Martius, Hart Plaza and the Riverfront. The Downtown area also plays host to the Detroit Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings.

A photo of a mural advertising the farmer's market.Eastern Market is the largest historic public market district in the United States, and it is located on the city’s central east side. On Saturdays, nearly 45,000 people come to shop for local flowers, plants, produce, and handmade goods.


A photo of a mural featuring steel workers.

Located along historic Woodward Avenue, just north of Downtown, Midtown is known as one of the cultural hubs of Detroit. It hosts many of Detroit’s most popular museums and galleries. The residential neighborhood itself is comprised of both historical houses and newly constructed apartment buildings and lofts. Midtown is also home to Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies.

A photo of a trees stand in the woods.

Palmer Park is a public park created in 1895. The park includes a historic log cabin, a large pond named Lake Frances, trails for hiking and biking, and the Palmer Park golf course. The park neighbors Palmer Woods – a beautiful neighborhood that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Corps Member & Alumni Spotlights

Detroit 2015
Math Teacher, Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies
Spencer White is a 2015 Corps Member here in Detroit and teaches Math at the Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies.
Detroit 2014
Teacher, University Prep Science and Math High School
Rima Fadlallah taught English at University Prep Science and Math High School in Detroit. In only one semester, Rima's students grew an average of two points on the ACT. Rima sets clear goals for students, provides them with continuous feedback, and constructs plans to meet these goals with her students. Rima is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She is a recipient of the 2016 Sue Lehmann Teaching and Learning Fellowship.

Get to Know Detroit Horse Power

Regional Expenses

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What's Left Over
Ongoing Certification Costs
You may be able to offset ongoing certification costs with an AmeriCorps education award. Learn more.
One Time Summer Start Up Costs
Estimated Start Up and Certification Costs