Pathways to Teaching

You become a teacher by learning how to manage a classroom, what the strongest pedagogies are, and practice it through student teaching. How you become a teacher depends on where you are in your education and experience. Check out the different pathways to become a teacher!

With the new Minnesota tiered licensure system and law, there are many ways to become a licensed teacher. Depending on your education and background, there is a pathway just for you!

We’re in the process of visualizing the different pathways to become a teacher, so come back soon to check them out! For now, visit the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board for resources and Education Minnesota for an explanation of the tiered licensure system.

Pros

No need to be enrolled in a teacher preparation program, or have a bachelor’s degree if you have an Associates and work experience. In technical fields and shortage areas, the one-year licenses can be renewed indefinitely.

Cons

These teachers are not in the teacher bargaining unit and are not earning credit toward probation. Teachers at Tier 1 do not have continuing contract rights. Teacher must apply for license with district. Tier 1 teachers are not automatically part of a district’s QComp plan. Limitations on number of renewals if not in a technical field or shortage area.

Getting There

Complete These

  1. 5 years work experience
  2. Associate's degree or professional certificate

OR

Complete These

  1. Bachelor's degree

Pros

No need to be in a teacher preparation program if you already have a Masters. If these teachers get to Tier 3, then two years of successful teaching at Tier 2 can count toward the Tier 3 requirement of three years of probation.

Cons

These teachers are in the teacher bargaining unit and are not probationary. Teachers at Tier 2 do not have continuing contract rights. Limitations on number of renewals.Teacher must apply for license with district.

Getting There

Complete These

  1. Enroll in Minnesota teacher training program
  2. Master's degree in subject area

OR

Any 2 of These

  • Complete teacher training program
  • 8 upper-level course credits in the subject area
  • Training in subject-specific teaching methods
  • Two years experience in subject area
  • Pass state tests in teaching and subject area

 

Pros

These teachers are in the bargaining unit. Teachers at Tier 3 have continuing contract rights after completion of the probationary period.

Cons

All out-of-state teachers must pass board-adopted content and pedagogy exams prior to receiving a Tier 3 license.

Getting There

Complete This

  1. Pass state tests in teaching & subject area

AND

One of These

  • Complete teacher training program
  • Pass portfolio evaluation
  • Tier 2 license, 3 years teaching & pass evaluation
  • Out-of-state teaching license, 2 years teaching

Notes

Must complete three years of probation. If a teacher at Tier 3 got to Tier 3 via Tier 2, two years of teaching at Tier 2 can count toward the three-year probationary requirement. An out-of-state teacher may apply for a Tier 2 license prior to passing exams if they are offered a position by a district.