Creating educators

Campus Life

New accelerated teaching program brings opportunity to existing graduates 


Education is an important aspect throughout all stages of life, but many people do not realize they have a passion for educating until they feel it is too late. Schoolcraft’s new Alternate Route to Interim Teacher Certification (ARC) Program provides the perfect platform for individuals to cultivate this passion.

PHOTO BY JAKE MULKA | PHOTO EDITOR Professor Jan Farmer works with ARC student Debbie Shute to transform her existing business degree into a teaching certificate.
Professor Jan Farmer works with ARC student Debbie Shute to transform her existing business degree into a teaching certificate.

Introduced earlier this year, Schoolcraft’s ARC program is one of only four in Michigan, and is the only one available through a community college. Unlike regular teaching programs though, ARC students can actually complete this program in just one semester.

What makes this program unique is that instead of spending four years working towards a degree in teaching, students utilize their previously earned college degrees to supplement their program of study, thus accelerating the certification process. This allows students to save time and money. Enrolled students will need to take just four night classes at Schoolcraft over the course of one or two semesters before they can be recommended to the state for their interim teacher’s certification.

“For those who feel they have missed their opportunity to teach when they were younger, this is a golden opportunity,” said Schoolcraft Associate Dean of Education Dennis Genig.

After completion of the classes, students must then perform three years of successful classroom teaching to earn a Michigan Provisional Teaching Certificate. Schoolcraft will be present throughout the whole process to provide mentors and supervisors for students’ success. Schoolcraft is also working towards partnerships with Detroit and Ypsilanti public schools to form bridges for students to enjoy an easier and faster hiring process.

“The real strength of our program is Schoolcraft’s commitment to high quality field experience and ongoing mentorship,” stated ARC course professor Jan Farmer.

This program is not open to everyone, however. It is more selective than the typical college acceptance rates. In order to qualify, students must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, have completed that degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, have passed the required standardized Michigan Test for Teacher Certification exam, be CPR and first aid certified and have a clean criminal record. Once accepted, students are well on their way to teaching.

“It made teaching possible for me,” recent Schoolcraft ARC graduate Helen Loundsbury said of the program. “When I wanted to start teaching, I was told I would have to start over as a freshman, so when I was told about ARC, I enrolled immediately.”

For anyone wondering how to get into teaching without going back to school for a whole new degree, this is the perfect program. Unlike traditional teaching degrees, the ARC program certifies students to teach in many fields that relate to their degree, not only one specific field.

“For example, someone who graduated with an accounting degree could be certified to teach in math and business, or a nurse could be certified in sciences. It’s not necessarily only what you graduated in,” said Genig.

The ARC program will be accepting applications for the Winter semester until Nov. 1, so speak with a counselor if you’re interested in applying.

The ARC Program is an exciting asset to Schoolcraft that will provide many new opportunities. By giving those who have the desire to pursue education the ability to do so, not only will the students benefit, but the community will as well.