Human Development and Child Studies

Pawley Hall
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3077
Fax: (248) 370-4242

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Human Development and Child Studies


Which early childhood education programs do you offer, and at which levels?

Undergraduate students working on a bachelor’s degree in elementary education have the option to also include coursework for the ZS (early childhood general and special education) teaching endorsement.

Graduate students have the following options:

  • ZA-ZS upgrade option
  • ZS endorsement
  • M.Ed. in early childhood education without ZS endorsement
  • M.Ed. in early childhood education with ZS endorsement
  • Ph.D. in early childhood education

Which special education programs do you offer, and at which levels?

Our special education programs are offered only at the graduate level. Options include:

  • Certificate in applied behavior analysis (ABA)
  • Certificate (endorsement) in autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • Certificate in autism for multiple disciplines
  • Certificate (endorsement) in emotional impairment (EI)
  • Certificate (endorsement) in specific learning disabilities (SLD)
  • M.Ed. in special education with ABA concentration
  • M.Ed. in special education with ASD concentration
  • M.Ed. in special education with EI concentration
  • M.Ed. in special education with SLD concentration

What is a teaching endorsement?

An endorsement is a statement appearing on a teaching certificate - and awarded by the Michigan Department of Education - that identifies the specific subjects and/or grade levels in which the licensee is authorized to teach. 

What is the difference between an endorsement and a certificate program?

For professional certification purposes, there is essentially no difference. Most of the graduate certificates in special education are equivalent to endorsement programs, and after completion of all requirements, lead to an endorsement in the specified area. The only certificates that do not lead to an endorsement are the certificates in ABA and in autism for multiple disciplines.

Can I earn a state-approved endorsement if I have a bachelor's degree in a field other than education?

The main credential needed to earn a teaching endorsement is a teaching certificate. The teaching certificate can be earned at either the undergraduate (bachelor’s) or graduate (master’s) level. To learn about your options for obtaining teacher certification at Oakland University, contact our SEHS Advising Office.

Can credits earned in endorsement or certificate programs be applied toward the master's degree?

Certificate or endorsement courses can only apply to the degree if the student transfers from  the certificate or endorsement program to the degree prior to completion of the endorsement or certificate program, and if all courses are completed within a 6-year time frame. 

How much time do I have to complete my credential?

Your endorsement, certificate or degree must be completed within a six-year time frame, although most students complete their program in far less time.

When are courses offered?

Most undergraduate courses are offered during the day. Graduate courses are usually offered in the evenings and/or online.

Is a field experience (practicum) required in my program?

All programs that result in a teaching endorsement require a field experience in the related subject area - ASD, EC (ZS), EI or SLD. The field experience must be completed in-person in an approved classroom. Eligible ASD, EI or SLD candidates may complete the experience in their own professional setting. Faculty within the department of Human Development and Child Studies will work with you in identifying an approved classroom and practicum supervisor.

How and when do I set up my field experience?

The field experience is the final course for all programs leading to an endorsement. The semester prior to your anticipated practicum, you must apply to have your site approved. For additional information including field experience application deadlines, visit Field Experience.

Are any of these programs/courses offered online?                                                            

Yes, many are offered online. Visit Online Programs for details.

Are there any additional requirements for endorsements?

Yes. You must apply for the endorsement upon completion of all requirements, including successful completion of the related Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). Contact SEHS Advising for further information.