Annual Vocational Authorization Pilot Study Letter From Brian J. Whiston

There have been concerns brought forward to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) that in certain areas of the state, there is difficulty finding certified Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers.

The MDE currently offers an emergency certification, the Annual Occupational Authorization, when a fully certificated individual is not available. However, in some cases, there may be critical shortages in certain regions or in certain high demand CTE programs.

In order to assist districts in this situation so their CTE programs can remain operating, the MDE will conduct a pilot study to waive certain Annual Occupational Authorization rules and standards to allow the hiring of an annually authorized individual that does not meet the current requirements. The MDE staff will review applications received for the pilot and consider the unique education and experience of each applicant. There will be an expectation that quality educational programs will be maintained. Districts will be expected to assist the MDE with data collection during the pilot study in order to better understand the issues and the ways that amending the requirements will answer the needs of the educational institution and the students. The MDE will be assessing the positive and potential negative impacts on quality CTE programs.

Districts must apply to participate in the study through their Intermediate School District. A copy of the application is available at:

Applications are due to MDE no later than September 15, 2015. If you have questions, please contact Patty CantĂș at or by calling 517-335-5224.

Click here to view the offical MDE Memorandum