Concordia University Ann Arbor is excited to be one of the approved Michigan educator preparation providers that support the development of new teachers through partnerships with school districts throughout the state. 

One of the ways that Concordia works with area schools is through the Future Proud Michigan Educator Grow Your Own grant program.  School districts were eligible to apply for grant funding that would help cover the costs of certification for employees in their district who are interested in becoming certified teachers.  Concordia would like to specifically congratulate three of our partnership districts who were recently awarded grant funding: Clawson Public Schools, Copper Island Academy, and Summit Academy North.

Dr. Sara Clemm von Hohenberg, Director of the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with Elementary and Secondary Teacher Certification, program stated “We are excited for the Grow Your Own grant funding to make a true difference in teacher certification in the state of Michigan. Through this funding, school districts are able to support employees already committed to the mission and vision of their school community to become certified teachers and we are able to strengthen our collaboration with schools by providing exceptional teaching training.”

Concordia University Ann Arbor offers both in-person and online teacher certification programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Concordia is one of the first universities in the state to offer an online Bachelors program for Elementary teacher certification and the innovative online MSCI with Teacher Certification degree allows prospective students to take their existing Bachelors degree, in any field, and add a Masters degree plus teacher certification at both the Elementary and Secondary levels.

About the grant

The following information is quoted directly from the Michigan Department of Education Press Release announcing the recipients of the 2023 Future Proud Michigan Educator GYO staff grants on May 25, 2023.

GYO staff grants will provide opportunities for districts to increase the number of teachers in areas of shortage by supporting school employees seeking initial certification or additional endorsements. With funding appropriated by the state legislature and Governor Gretchen Whitmer, these grants will fund a significant expansion of GYO programs across the state and help ensure that every student will have access to high-quality instruction. 

Awardees for GYO staff grants applied for funds in partnership with one or more state-approved educator preparation providers. With plans to support teacher candidates through their programs and beyond, the awardees will be able to reimburse costs associated with educator preparation. A reported 1,375 future educators will be able to access funds as a part of this effort. 

“Grow Your Own programs provide a pathway for school support staff to benefit from their successful experiences working with children, to become teachers, and to fill crucial staffing needs,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “We are excited that schools and districts across the state are working in very substantial measure in collaboration with our teacher preparation programs to increase access to this proud and important profession in support of children.” 

The demand for GYO programs is significant. MDE received 160 applications for supporting future educators pursuing certification through alternative route programs, which totaled $8.5 million in requested funds for the $500,000 appropriated for this purpose. Grants for this initiative range from $3,200-$64,000. Further, MDE received 129 applications for supporting future educators in degree-granting programs, which totaled $225 million in requested funds for the $175 million appropriated for this purpose. Grants for this initiative range from $17,000 for a single district to $19 million for a multi-district consortium.

Want in?

Interested in becoming a teacher or want to know more about how your district can collaborate with Concordia? Contact Dr. Sara Clemm von Hohenberg at or learn more about CUAA’s education programs by clicking the link below.