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Alternative Teacher Certification Programs in Minnesota

Aspiring teachers seeking an alternative route into Minnesota’s classrooms will find themselves in limbo at this time. Licensure via Portfolio, a process that assessed the knowledge, skills and competencies of applicants who had not completed an approved teacher education program, was the primary alternative pathway to full professional licensure. However, beginning November 15, 2011, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) suspended this program while it restructures the requirements and guidelines for the application process.


Those who submitted eligibility applications prior to November 15 should have received determinations by December 1 and may submit portfolios through February 2012.

MDE expects to release new guidelines and requirements in March, 2012. Interested candidates should visit the MDE website, www.education.state.mn.us, for updates.

Although no information is available about what the new guidelines might entail, Minnesota does have a history of being open to alternative certification. According to a report by the National Center for Alternative Education, Minnesota issued 84 teaching certificates in 2008-2009 to individuals entering the profession through an alternate route. It issued 66 certificates to such candidates in 2007-2008.

Top Online Schools for Teachers In Minnesota

Minnesota has long been a bastion of quality education, and this
is borne out by federal statistics that show close to 30,000 established
professionals in the field as of 2017 data (BLS). Those seeking to
get teaching credentials have various resources to tap into.

University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota has a school of education that makes
it a point to provide potential teachers various pathways including
online degrees. This also applies to masters level students as well.

Walden University Online
Walden University’s online education program allows you to choose
from a robust variety of degrees to pursue. Another factor for you
to consider is a service the school offers that helps select the teaching
pathway that would work best for you.

Grand Canyon University Online
Grand Canyon University possesses an online degree program that
bodes well for aspiring teaching professionals. One other feature from
the education department is the chance for students to engage in
quality fieldwork in the community.

Hamline University
The online education programs at Hamline University do include masters
level degrees in several areas. A notable component of these programs
is the opportunity for specialized certifications for teaching those with autism, for

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