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Teaching Programs in Minnesota

Success in education is not limited to a student’s years in school—it impacts outcomes throughout an individual’s lifetime. In Minnesota educators are dedicated to promoting lifetime success. In fact, the Education Week Research Center ranked the state fifth in the nation in its Chance-for-Success index.

Minnesota legislators hope to take the state’s success to the next level with the recent passage of a bill that boosts spending in education by $543 million. That includes a budget of $388.8 million for the general education per-pupil funding formula each year of the upcoming biennium.

Find out how you can contribute to the success of education in Minnesota by exploring teaching programs in the state.

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How to Become a Teacher in Minnesota

The first step in becoming a teacher is to decide what grade level, subject area, or specialty field you want to teach. From there, you have several options for becoming a teacher in Minnesota.

Traditional Path

To teach in Minnesota you need to have a bachelor’s degree or higher and a teaching license. The most common way to qualify for getting your license is to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in education. These programs include a teacher preparation component, which is essential to getting your license.

There are many bachelor’s degree programs in Minnesota to choose from—including online programs. Make sure that the program you choose is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) and is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Alternative Teacher Certification

Alternative pathways to teacher certification are for those who want to become teachers but have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education. Minnesota offers two options:

  1. Post-Graduate Teacher Preparation Program: You can enroll in a teacher preparation program at the post-graduate level that will qualify you to apply for professional licensure. The PELSB maintains a list of state-approved programs.
  2. Licensure via Portfolio: If you have a bachelor’s and extensive professional experience in a particular field, you can qualify to earn licensure by submitting a portfolio of your work experience. For more information about the steps involved in this process, visit the website of the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board.

Teaching Licensure in Minnesota

In July 2018 Minnesota move to a four-tiered licensing structure to make the process of gaining licensure clearer. Tier 1 and tier 2 licenses are not full professional licenses—they are for those working toward such licensure. Tier 3 and 4 licenses are full professional licenses that can be renewed indefinitely.

Test requirements vary by tier but include some combination of the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE) content area tests, MTLE pedagogy tests, and basic skills tests.

You can find an easy-to-read summary of each tier level at EdAllies.

Paying for Your Education

Upon being accepted to a teaching program, you may start applying for financial aid. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education funds several grants for aspiring teachers.

Minnesota also has a loan repayment program, the Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program. Through this program teachers who work in shortage areas are eligible for loan repayment assistance. “Shortage areas” include both geographical regions and subject areas that are in high demand.

Career Outlook for Educators in Minnesota

As more state money is allocated to general education, job openings for teachers will increase. CareerOneStop predicts a 5% boost in education jobs across the board through 2026. Minnesota’s concern about teaching shortages in particular subject fields and geographical locations means that job opportunities may be much greater in those areas.

Minnesota Mean Teaching Salaries (2018)
Elementary: $64,950 per year
Secondary: $64,610 per year
Post-Secondary: $76,076 per year (averaged from all mean salaries)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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