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 of 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 purpose of unit approval is to ensure that a preparation provider has the infrastructure to successfully prepare candidates for teacher licensure.
In Minnesota, the following organizations may seek approval to become a “unit”:
- Minnesota institutions of higher education,
- School districts,
- Charter schools, or
- Nonprofit corporations organized under chapter 317A.