Monday, September 23, 2013
Below are 38 frequently asked questions about the re-licensure process and the MACS Continuing Education/Re-licensure committee. If after you have reviewed the questions and answers below and you still have questions, please contact your relicensure representative or the MACS Contiuning Education committee administrator, Dan DeBruyn.
1. Do I need to have CEU hours in various categories?
Yes! Two or more of the following categories, as defined on the Category Reference Sheet, should be represented:
- Relevant coursework completed at accredited college;
- Educational workshops, conferences, institutes, seminars, or lectures in areas appropriate to license(s) held,
- Staff development activities, in-service meetings, and in-service courses;
- Site, district, state, national, or international curriculum development;
- Engagement in formal peer coaching or mentorship relationships that address one or more standards;
- Professional experience;
- Leadership experience;
- Opportunities to enhance knowledge and understanding of diverse educational settings; and
- Pre-approved travel or work experience.
2. If I have multiple licenses, specialty areas, or endorsements, do I need 30 hours in each area?
Yes. For example, if you have a Science license and a Social Studies license, you need 30 hours in Science and 30 hours in Social Studies.
Exceptions: If you have Math 6-8 and Math 9-12, or Language Arts 6-8 and Language Arts 9-12 (or similar examples in other license areas), or if you have Health and Physical Education, you only need to demonstrate 30 hours total in those license areas. Please contact the MACS office for further clarification of this exception.
3. What would count for CEUs toward the Minnesota standards (Accommodation, Modification, and Adaptation of Curriculum, Materials, and Instruction) requirement?
- Aligning Curriculum
- Data Analysis
- Increasing Student Achievement
- Strengthening Students' Writing and Reading Skills
- Best Practices
4. What would count for CEUs toward the Reading Preparation requirement?
Workshops, conferences, onsite staff development and/or university courses reflecting comprehensive, scientifically based research in reading instruction, and which may include one or more of the following:
- Instruction and practice in phonemic awareness
- Phonics and other word-recognition skills
- Guided oral reading for beginning readers
- Vocabulary instruction
- Instruction in fostering understanding and higher-order thinking for readers of all ages andproficiency levels
- Reading in the content areas
- Specific reading strategies to impact comprehension
- Current research and best practices in reading research and instruction
5. Are there certain individuals who do not have to complete the Reading Preparation requirement?
- School counselor,
- school psychologist,
- school nurse,
- school social worker,
- an audiovisual director and coordinator, or
- recreation personnel.
6. What would count for CEUs toward the Positive Behavioral Intervention Strategies requirement?
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- General Behavior Strategy Trainings
- Behaviors through Different Eyes
- Oppositional Defiant Students
7. What would count for CEUs toward the Mental Health requirement?
This area is very specific, referring to activities involving the “Key Warning Signs for Early-Onset Mental Illness in Children and adolescents.”
Where is it offered?
- Innovative Special Education Services of MN (ISES) provides training that fulfills the mental health requirement. For more details, contact ISES at (800) 281-9980.
- District 287 Prep Center offers a Save Your License Day on several Saturdays during the spring which includes this and all of the other requirements.
8. What should I do if I am unsure the committee will be able to determine whether or not an activity is relevant to my licensure area or a state requirement?
Use the Clock Hour Activity Explanation Sheet to provide explanations of any activities for which you feel the committee may need additional information or to clarify why a certain activity falls under a particular license area or state requirement. Although not all activities will require an explanation on the Clock Hour Explanation Sheet, we stress, "When in doubt, fill it out." Explaining a bit about the activity will help eliminate ambiguity and make it much easier for the committee to determine if it applies or not.
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9. Although 125 hours are required for relicensure, should I submit more?
We recommend that you submit more than the 125 required hours if you have enough hours to do so. In this way, if the committee does not approve some CEUs here and there, you will have additional hours to make up for it. This will help you avoid a situation in which you submit only 125 hours, have some hours rejected, and then you have to compile more hours and resubmit to the committee for the following meeting.
10. What is the minimum number of hours that can be granted for a CEU activity?
One hour. You may combine similar trainings (i.e., writing strategies) of less than one hour together as long as the charter school administrator signs off on it.
11. What is the maximum number of hours that can be granted for one day?
12. If I give a presentation on a topic within my licensure area, can I count it as CEUs?
If you are being paid to present or it falls under your regular job duties, then you cannot count the presentation as CEUs. However, if you are indeed paid to present, you may count the preparation time as CEUs. Candidates can claim up to 2 hours of preparation time for every hour of presentation time.
13. How many hours do I get for college credit?
Each semester credit is worth 24 hours. (So, a 3 semester credit class would be 72 hours.) Each quarter credit is worth 16 hours. (So a 3 quarter credit class would be 48 hours.)
14. Do any teaching duties count towards relicensure?
No - they are part of your job.
15. Do extra duties, such as developing teaching manuals, count towards professional development clock hours?
Not if it is part of your regular job duties or you are being paid for it. Volunteer hours devoted to such tasks would count towards clock hours.
16. Can I use my hours of service on the school board as CEUs?
Yes, however, our committee's policy is to allow a maximum of only 50 hours for this activity. As documentation verifying your service, a copy of the board minutes' attendance record or a written letter signed by the board chair are acceptable.
17. Is there a limit on how many volunteer hours I can submit as CEUs?
Yes - our committee has instituted a 30 hour limit. However, teachers can also claim an additional 30 hours of peer mentoring experience if they have been mentoring a student teacher, for instance.
18. If I want to claim CEUs from an educational travel experience (Category I), who pre-approves these hours to make sure they will count?
The MACS Relicensure Committee pre-approves these hours, and not your local administrator. Submit the Travel Pre-Approval Form to the MACS Relicensure Committee at least one month in advance of your trip to request pre-approval of the travel experience. As documentation of your travel experience when submitting your relicensure materials to the committee for full review, you may submit the Travel Pre-Approval Form signed by the committee and a signed letter from your school administrator verifying the completion of your trip.
19. What information needs to be documented on my CEUs?
Most CEUs should be in the form of a certificate indicating the title of workshop/conference, the date, and the presenter's name and signature. CEUs from other areas like coursework and volunteering will require other documentation. (Download a sample CEU certificate to see an example.)
20. What if I do not have certificates for my clock hours signed by presenters? Can my director sign off or provide a letter of explanation for me?
Yes, you may have your school director provide a signed letter of explanation for you, as long as the number of hours completed, the date of the activity, and an explanation of the activity are included.
21. Do I need to submit an original, official transcript of college coursework to the committee, or may I submit a copy?
Unofficial copies of transcripts are acceptable.
22. How do I document multiple classes from one college transcript on the Master Record Form?
In the event that you are claiming multiple classes from one transcript, you only need to submit one copy of the transcript, but you must list each class separately on the Master Record Form.
23. If my name does not match the name on my teaching license because I have been married, what should I do?
To avoid any issues in processing, contact MDE's Educator Licensing Division at 651-582-8691.
24. If my license does not expire for another year or two, can I still submit hours in a non-renewal year to start the process?
MACS encourages people to "get ahead of the game" and submit hours in non-renewal years. However, policy requires a minimum of 50 hours be submitted at a time, and you may only submit hours once per year for review in non-renewal years.
25. What should I do if I am seeking my initial teaching license?
You need to contact the MN Department of Education's Educator Licensing Division, as our committee does not handle initial licensure. You can find help and advice through MDE's website in the Educator Licensing section. In this section, you should find links to a page devoted to the topic of "How to obtain a teaching license in Minnesota." You will also find contact information for MDE personnel who can help you with this question.
26. If I meet all requirements and amass all of my hours early, can I get relicensed early?
If you amass all of your hours early, you may submit them to the MACS Relicensure Committee for review in a non-renewal year. If they are approved, we will send the approval electronically to the state. However, you cannot finish the process by completing the online application for license renewal with MDE until January 1 of the year of license expiration.
27. Does the committee consider both teacher and administrator renewals?
Yes. Administrators should first get their CEUs approved through the Minnesota Board of School Administrators (BOSA). From there, charter school administrators should submit their hours to our committee to be counted and entered with the state. After our committee has counted and entered your hours, administrators will finish this process by completing the online application with MDE.
28. If I have both an administrator license and a teaching license, can I count my pre-approved administrator CEUs toward my teaching license as well?
Yes, you may count the hours that have been pre-approved by the MN Board of School Administrators toward both your administrator license and your teaching license. You do not need 125 separate hours for your administrator and teaching licenses, but you will still need to meet all the requirements in the state-required areas for your teaching license.
29. When should I fill out the online application for license renewal on the Minnesota Department of Education's website?
If the committee approves your clock hour activities, we will send our approval of your hours electronically to the state. Only then will you be able to complete your application online directly through the state's website and pay the state's relicensure fee. MDE will usually process your application in about 48 hours. Any attempt to fill out the online application prior to your approval by our committee could significantly delay your license renewal.
30. If I have had some clock hours already approved by another committee, how do I show this?
The previous committee is responsible for submitting notice to MDE of any hours they approved for you. When submitting remaining hours to the MACS Relicensure Committee, please include a note in your submission letting us know how many hours you already have approved by another committee. You do not need to submit hours to the MACS Relicensure Committee that have already been approved by another committee.
31. Do I need to pay to have my relicensure materials reviewed by the MACS Relicensure Committee?
Yes; please look at fee information in the Eligbility portion of the License Renewal website
32. What if I am not currently employed by a charter school?
If you contract your services with a MACS member school or if you are no longer teaching and your last place of employment was a MACS member school, going through our committee will cost $75.. Teachers who have retired from a MACS member school are eligible to have materials reviewed by the MACS Relicensure Committee for $50for one year after their retirement. MDE also charges a processing fee, separate from the MACS fee structure.
33. What happens and what should I do if my license has expired?
Your license will lapse and you will be teaching without a valid license. You should make arrangements to get your license renewed as quickly as possible by a local continuing education committee, as your status has serious consequences for your school employer, and under MN law you must hold a valid license to teach in a MN public school. Send your information to the MACS Relicensure Committee as soon as possible. It will be reviewed at our next regularly scheduled meeting.
You can get an extension for the balance of the school year from the Board of Teaching if you provide evidence that you have been offered a position in Minnesota contingent upon holding a valid license. At the end of the extended licensure period, you must meet renewal requirements for the continuing license.
34. What if I only want to renew some of my current licenses?
If you are choosing to renew only some of your professional licenses, you must notify the Board of Teaching of your intent to surrender your licenses before December 31 of the calendar year your license expires (for example, if your license expires on June 30, 2014, you must send notification by December 31, 2013). If you fail to do so, you will have to renew all licenses and fulfill the license renewal steps for each licensure area.
35. Are there any new state requirements for teachers on the horizon?
Beginning with licenses expiring as of June 30, 2012, teachers need to meet a 5th requirement pertaining to technology. The MACS Relicensure Committee requires at least 1 hour in this area.
As of July 1, 2012, there is renewal requirement for teachers pertaining to 'professional reflection and growth.' See the license renewal section of the MACS website for the appropriate documentation of this requirement accepted by our committee.
36. Are there alternative licensure options for school psychologists and speech therapists?
School psychologists and speech therapists can earn certification from the National Certification of School Psychologists (NCSP) and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), respectively, and send proof of certification for the 5-year licensure period to the MACS Relicensure Committee in lieu of the 125 required CEUs. However, school psychologists need to demonstrate clock hour activities in positive behavior, mental health, and grad standards, while speech therapists need to demonstrate clock hour activities in positive behavior, grad standards, mental health, reading, and technology. They still need to submit these required materials as part of the regular certification process with the MACS Relicensure Committee.
37. Why can't the committee review my file right away?
Our committee has a set schedule of meetings throughout the spring to meet your relicensure needs. Committee members are not MACS staff - they are full time educators at charter schools, too, who volunteer to assist their fellow charter school educators in the renewal process.
38. When will I find out what happened with my file?
An email notification of the status of your submission will be sent to you within five business days after the committee's review.
If the MACS Relicensure Committee approves your materials, the next step will be to complete your online application for license renewal through the MN Department of Education (MDE). The MACS office will provide approved applicants with instructions for completing the online application with MDE.