The following steps describe the process for licensing to teach in the State of Minnesota. A Minnesota license is held in high regard nationwide, and serves as the basis for obtaining a license in other states. (See licensure for complete details on each aspect of the Carleton College teaching licensure program.)
1. Begin taking educational studies courses in your freshman or sophomore year
A specific sequence may be required in some cases. Introduction to Educational Studies (EDUC 110) is a good place to to start. Though not necessary for licensure, it provides a broad overview of education in America today and is useful in helping you decide whether you want to pursue teaching licensure. Most courses are offered once per year—consult the catalog to determine which term.
Courses required for completion of licensure include:
- Two of the following four:
- EDUC110 – Introduction to Educational Studies or
EDUC250 – Fixing Schools
- EDUC338 – Multicultural Education or
EDUC262 – Culturally sustaining Pedagogy
- EDUC110 – Introduction to Educational Studies or
- EDUC234 – Educational Psychology
- EDUC374 – Teaching Reading in the Content Area (fall or spring semester at St. Olaf)
- EDUC375 – Teaching Exceptional Learners (fall or spring semester at St. Olaf) (prerequisite: 234)
- EDUCnnn – Methods of Teaching in your major area (spring semester at St. Olaf, senior year)
- EDUC385 – Schooling and Community Independent Study (spring term senior year)
- EDUC389 – Student Teaching (13th term, or as arranged)
2. Pick up a “Red Packet” of information about the licensure program
This puts you on the list to receive our Call for Applications sent out each term. The red packet contains the Teacher Education Handbook as well as application materials, instructions, a checklist for your content area, and a program planning form. You may pick up the information packet at any time during your college career.
3. Declare your major
This may be the same as your area of licensure. That is, if you major in mathematics, you will most likely license in mathematics. On the other hand, Spanish licensure can be accomplished with a major in either Spanish or Latin American studies, or if you are a native speaker of Spanish. Social studies licensure requires a major in such social science areas as history, American studies, psychology, etc. See the Teaching Licensure Handbook for more specific information on each license.
4. Apply to the licensure program
Use the forms from the Red Packet or found on the licensure web pages. Ideally, this is done at the end of your sophomore year or sometime during your junior year. Once you are accepted, contact your assigned educational studies advisor to plan a program that will enable you to complete the following during your remaining terms at Carleton:
- Your major
- Any additional courses in your major (courses may be required that were not included in the Carleton major but are necessary to satisfy Professional Licensing and Standards Boarc content requirements)
- Educational studies course work and field experiences
5. Take the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations
This will require some advance planning because examinations must be complete before you can begin student teaching. MTLE, except for World Language tests, are computer-based tests (CBTs) and are administered at Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs) and Pearson-authorized CBT sites in Minnesota. All CBT test centers are conveniently located near educator preparation institutions. World Language tests are paper based and will be administered in facilities located near language preparation institutions.
All candidates for an initial license will be required to pass the MTLE basic skills test as well as pedagogy and content-area tests. Qualifying scores on the ACT or SAT tests may be used in place of the basic skills test.
Consult the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations Website for requirement information and for testing arrangements.
6. Select your student teaching location and cooperating teacher
This should be complete by the beginning of spring term while you are in your methods course. Your educational studies advisor will work with you to secure a school and cooperating teacher who best meets your needs and desires for student teaching.
For placement, you will need to develop a résumé or personal profile, articulate a teaching philosophy, and complete any site-specific forms required by your host school or school district. The placement will be confirmed with written documents between the cooperating school and the educational studies department. In addition, this placement becomes the field vicinity for aspects of the Schooling and Community Independent Study (EDUC 291) taken in the spring of your senior year.
7. Develop your professional portfolio.
The portfolio is a display of your teaching performance style and interests. It is a way of demonstrating in concrete terms your particular strengths and accomplishments as a teacher. It is also a way of demonstrating your knowledge, practice in, and attainment of the Standards of Effective Practice.
You may begin developing your portfolio as early as your methods class and expand upon it in Schooling and Community and the Student Teaching Seminar. You will probably want to use it as part of your application as you seek teaching positions following licensure.
8. Register for student teaching
Information and forms will be provided to you during a Schooling and Communities Independent Study in mid-May. You will need to arrange for insurance coverage and provide addresses and contact information for your student teaching in the fall. These forms are due in the educational studies by the end of May.
9. Student teach, and participate in the student teaching seminar
You will begin student teaching in your selected school in late August or early September of your “13th Term” (the fall following graduation). Your cooperating teacher will serve as mentor, confidante, colleague, counselor, advisor, and friend. Your college supervisor visits your classroom about every 10 teaching days with the purpose of providing feedback to foster your professional growth. He or she will observe at least one class per visit and will hold a post-observation conference. These visits should be viewed as opportunities to discuss successes, highlights, and any problems that may have arisen.
The weekly seminar with your college supervisors and the other Carleton student teachers functions as a support group and is an integral part of your student teaching experience. It gives you an opportunity to talk with other student teachers about everyone’s successes and frustrations, and it allows your college supervisors the opportunity to define common issues and suggest solutions to problems. Specific topics, such a classroom management, lesson planning and evaluation, and the preparation of teaching credentials are also discussed.
10. Apply for your teaching license
In a seminar toward the end of your student teaching experience, you will receive the materials you need to apply for your teaching license (license application, fingerprint card, instructions).
When the term is complete, when your grades are posted, when your cooperating teacher has returned the necessary forms, when you have submitted the completed application materials and payments, and when we have received examination reports that verify passing scores on all required tests, the educational studies office will submit a “recommendation for licensure” to the college registrar.
The registrar signs off on the application, includes an official transcript, and submits the application package to the state. You can expect to receive your license in 8-12 weeks.