Minnesota Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in Minnesota
Becoming a teacher requires more than a passion for education. Teachers are entrusted with the care and support of children, making it important for states to establish consistent standards for educators. Understanding the requirements for Minnesota teachers ensures that you will receive the appropriate education and training to become a Minnesota-certified teacher.
Requirements for certified teachers in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Education requires all licensure candidates to complete a bachelor’s or higher degree program from an accredited institution. Although most people complete a degree program in education, graduates of other teaching preparation programs approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching may apply for a teaching certificate.
All applicants for a Minnesota teaching license must successfully pass the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE). The exams consist of a basic skills test in reading, writing, and mathematics , a general pedagogy test, and a content knowledge test specific to the subject and grade you wish to teach.
You must also pass a criminal background check and submit your fingerprints to receive a teaching certification in Minnesota.
Minnesota jobs for licensed teachers
According to the Minnesota Board of Teaching, there are seven types of teaching licenses that you can receive. Each differs in its educational or training requirements as well as its duration. Your teaching certification in Minnesota expires on June 30th of the expiration year.
- First-Time Full Professional Minnesota Education License: First-time teachers apply for an entrance license after passing their Minnesota Basic Skills Test and one pedagogy test. This license expires after two years.
- Full Professional Minnesota Education License: After completing your two-year entrance license, you will receive a professional teaching license that lasts five years. To renew your professional license, you must complete 125 continuing education hours within the five-year license period.
- Non-renewable License: A non-renewable license can only be obtained at the request of your school district administrator. This type of license lasts up to three years and authorizes you to teach in a subject for which you do not currently hold a license. To receive a non-renewable license, you must be in an approved course of study that you will complete within the three-year licensure period. After this time, you must apply for a professional license in the subject area.
- Temporary Limited License: A temporary limited license expires on June 30 of the school year for which it is issued. It is intended to provide a way for an educator to teach for a limited period of time when no other licensed professional could be found to fill the position.
- Limited Intern License: This license allows you to serve as an intern under a licensed professional teacher for no more than one school year.
- Five-year Short Call Substitute Teacher License: A short call substitute teacher may replace a regular classroom teacher on a day-to-day basis. However, someone with this license may not serve for more than 15 consecutive days for the same teacher.
- Two-year Short Call Substitute Teacher License: This license allows you to serve as a short call substitute teacher for a two year period. You must hold a bachelor’s degree to receive this license, but your degree may be in any field.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Minnesota for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Agricultural Education
- Communication Technology Careers
- Construction Careers
- English as a Second Language
- Medical Careers
- Middle Level Science (Grades 5 – 8)
- Parent and Family Education
- School Psychologist
- Special Education (multiple areas)
- Speech-Language Pathologists
- Teacher Coordinator: Work-Based Learning
- Technology Education
- World Languages and Cultures
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in Minnesota
Minnesota participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.
Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.