Felony Convictions and Field Experience

School of Education Policy on Felony Convictions and Teacher Certification Programs

The Michigan State Board of Education has authority under Part 10, Administrative Hearings, of the Administrative Rules Governing the Certification of Michigan Teachers, to deny, suspend, or revoke a teaching certificate (R 390.1201.).

Rule R 390.1201, Certificates: denial, suspension, or revocation; reinstatement state:

Rule 101.

(1) The state board may refuse to grant or renew, or may revoke or suspend for a fixed term, or may impose reasonable conditions on, a teaching certificate granted pursuant to these rules for the following reasons:

(a) Fraud, material misrepresentation, or concealment in the application for a certificate.

(b) Failure or ineligibility of the applicant or certificate holder to meet criteria for eligibility for the certificate.

(c) Conviction, as an adult, of an act of immoral conduct contributing to the delinquency of a child or of a felony involving moral turpitude.

Students should be aware that the State of Michigan Board of Education has issued a statement indicating that the State Board of Education has consistently revoked or suspended a teaching certificate for misdemeanor or felony convictions involving criminal sexual conduct, convictions of child abuse, or distribution of a controlled substance to a minor.

Students are required to provide information indicating whether they have been convicted as an adult of felonies or misdemeanors involving moral turpitude prior to (1) admission to teacher education programs, (2) field experience, (3) student teaching placement, and (4) term of graduation for teacher certification.

An application to a teacher education program who has been convicted as an adult of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude may be denied admission to teacher education or field placements or recommendation for certification. An applicant who has been convicted of such a felony or misdemeanor at any point in his/her academic program will be granted a hearing prior to a final decision regarding (1) admission to a teacher education, or (2) field placement, or (3) recommendation for certification. Such a hearing will be initiated by the School of Education Director for review and recommendation.

Policies - Misdemeanor and Felony Convictions Admission to Teacher Education Programs and Certificate Denial/Revocation

1. Fraudulent Application - Admission or certification may be denied for fraud, material misrepresentation, or concealment in the application for admission or certificate.

2. Immoral Conduct - Admission or certification may be denied for failure of the applicant to meet the criteria for admission or certification because of a conviction(s) as an adult of an act of immoral conduct contributing to the delinquency of a child or a felony involving moral turpitude.

3. Conviction Record Request - The School of Education may request information on an applicant's conviction record.

4. Notification of Status to Cooperating Schools - If the School of Education enrolls a convicted individual into any field or practicum course, it will advise the cooperating school district of the individual's conviction status.

5. Notification of Status to Applicant - A convicted applicant admitted to the program will be advised in writing by the School of Education that the State Board of Education has the authority to deny a recommendation for certification based upon conviction and that the individual may not be placeable in a field experience.

6. Individual Case Review - The School of Education reviews individual cases for the type of misdemeanor or felony conviction to determine probability of state revocation or suspension and field experience placement problems.

7. Notification of Status to State Department of Teacher Preparation and Certification - The School of Education will report directly to the State Department of Teacher Preparation and Certification any known certified teacher who has been convicted of a misdemeanor .

8. Report of Fraud - The School of Education will report any instances of fraud in the application for a certificate, including instances of fraud with altered transcripts from other institutions and improperly reported teaching experiences.

Examples of Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude:

A. Crimes involving a substantial misrepresentation of any material fact to the public, including bribery, fraud, aiding or abetting the filing of false claims, racketeering, or allowing an establishment to be used for illegal purposes.

B. Crimes involving homicide, murder, manslaughter, mayhem, negligent homicide, assault, battery, and felonious assault.

C. Crimes which involve a violent act or a threat of a violent act against a person or a crime constituting a sexual offense, which shall include any of the following:        

  1. Criminal sexual conduct in any degree.
  2. Commercial activity involving child abuse, neglect, or exploitation, kidnapping, adoption schemes, and prostitution.
  3. Child abuse or neglect.
  4. Cruelty toward, or torture of, any person.
  5. Attempts to commit any of the offenses specified in paragraphs (1) and (3) of this subdivision.
  6. Robbery, armed robbery, burglary, receiving stolen property, concealing stolen property.
  7. Extortion.
  8. Obtaining property by false pretenses.
  9. Larceny by trick.
  10. Larceny by conversion.
  11. Embezzlement.
  12. Arson.
  13. Offenses involving narcotics, alcohol or controlled substances that result in a felony conviction.
  14. Offenses involving adulterating drugs, controlled substances, preparations; poisoning; unlawful manufacturing, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver drugs.

Contact Info:

Teacher Certification Officer:
James Powell

E-mail:  powelj20@ferris.edu
Telephone: (231) 591-3648
Fax:   (231) 591-2043

Mailing Address:

Certification Office
Attn: James Powell
College of Education & Human Services
Ferris State University
1349 Cramer Circle, BIS 421E
Big Rapids, MI  49307