In Minnesota, a teacher must hold a license to teach in a public school or a charter school. While there are multiple pathways to obtain a professional license in Minnesota, the majority to teachers pursue licensure by completing a teacher preparation program.
To offer a teacher preparation program to candidates seeking teacher licensure in Minnesota, a provider must obtain “unit approval.” The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) is responsible for approving and overseeing teacher preparation providers in Minnesota. This oversight involves monitoring teacher preparation providers of their ability to meet “unit standards.”
The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) is responsible for approving and overseeing teacher preparation providers and programs in Minnesota. Minnesota Rules, chapter 8705, establishes the requirements and approval processes.
A teacher preparation provider seeking to prepare candidates for teacher licensure in Minnesota must become approved as a “unit.” In order to become approved as a unit, the provider must demonstrate how the provider meets the standards set forth in rule part 8705.1010. These standards are often referred to as “Unit Standards.”
Unit Standards cover the foundational components a teacher preparation provider must implement to support teacher candidates as they prepare for teacher licensure in Minnesota and to ensure the provider has the infrastructure in place to maintain and continuously improve programs.
This chapter is intended to provide clarity around standards with the greatest amount of questions. We anticipate that this chapter will grow in future releases.
In addition to approving and overseeing unit approval, PELSB is responsible for approving all teacher licensure programs in Minnesota. A teacher preparation program (sometimes called “licensure program”) is licensure-specific training (e.g. elementary education, visual arts) provided to teacher candidates. A teacher preparation provider seeking to prepare candidates for teacher licensure in Minnesota must have each of its programs approved prior to enrolling candidates.
MN Statute 122A.092 , Subdivision 5, paragraph (c), added by Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter 11, article 3, section 2, is effective June 1, 2020.
Each preparation provider must submit this template along with an updated syllabus or syllabi for each board-approved elementary education, early childhood education, special education, and reading program to PELSB on or before June 1, 2020. Depending on a provider's number of approved programs and how providers structure learning opportunities and assessments within and between programs, the total number of submission items will vary by provider. For providers that create shared learning opportunities and assessments (ex. one reading methods course that all ABS, early childhood education, and elementary education candidates take and no approved reading program), they may submit one template and one syllabus. For providers that embed the same learning opportunities and assessments to meet that statutory requirements into different courses with different syllabi, they may submit one template with the different syllabi. Note the only syllabi that need to be submitted are ones that demonstrate where this requirement is being "met." These updated syllabi will need to be uploaded in EPPAS for the provider's next PERCA submission.
PELSB is required by federal law to report and verify data on all board-approved teacher preparation programs and providers. This data is publicly available and includes information on enrollment, program completion, and preparation standards, as well as pass rates.
Teacher preparation discretionary variances (refer to COVID-19 Manual for discretionary variances specific to the impacts of the COVID pandemic).
All discretionary variances granted under 2014 rule expired when 2021 rule took effect on July 1, 2022. Prior agreements between providers and the Board of Teaching and PELSB also expired at that time.
The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) creates and implements standards and rules that align with Minnesota Statute to impact the areas of initial licensure, licensure renewal, ethics and teacher preparation.
As you work with PELSB, please be aware of a few tips that will make working with PELSB more efficient:
This document compares the 2014 Unit Standards with the 2021 Unit Standards.