Friday, May 1, 2015
Below are 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, you still have questions, please contact your school level re-licensure representative or the MACS Continuing 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) 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 and proficiency 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?
Yes. The reading preparation requirement is not required for:
- School counselors;
- school psychologists;
- school nurses;
- school social workers;
- audiovisual directors and coordinators; and
- 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.”
Applicants who met this initial mental health required in a prior renewal “must show clock hours instruction or other professional development activities which address further preparation in understanding the key warning signs of early-onset mental illnesses in children and adolescents which may include depressed mood, excessive fears and anxieties, changes in behavior and performance, failure to develop peer relationships, impaired concentration and thinking, suicidal gestures, the potential connection to substance use, and knowledge of steps to be taken if such warning signs are observed.” – Minnesota Administrative Rule 8710.7200 Subpart 2 Clock Hours; Requirements for Renewal of Professional Licenses Where is it offered?
While this may be offered in many venues, two possible options for teachers include:
- Innovative Special Education Services of MN (ISES) provides training that fulfills the mental health requirement. For more details, contact ISES at (800) 281-9980; and
- 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.
9. Although 125 hours are required for re-licensure, 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 not approved, and need 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 you have signed documentation.
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 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 (i.e. a 3 semester credit class would be 72 hours). Each quarter credit is worth 16 hours (i.e. a 3 quarter credit class would be 48 hours).
14. Do any teaching duties count towards re-licensure?
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 Re-licensure Committee pre-approves these hours, and not your local administrator. Submit the Travel Pre-Approval Form to the MACS Re-licensure 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 re-licensure 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, the presenter's name and signature, and your name. 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 Re-licensure 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, MACS will send the 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 re-licensure 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 delay your license renewal through MDE.
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 Re-licensure 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 Re-licensure Committee that have already been approved by another committee.
31. Do I need to pay to have my re-licensure materials reviewed by the MACS Re-licensure Committee?
Yes. Please refer to the License Renewal portion of the MACS webpage (here) for amounts.
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 $50. Teachers who have retired from a MACS member school are eligible to have materials reviewed by the MACS Re-licensure Committee for $50 for one year after their retirement.
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 Re-licensure 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 license(s) 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 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 Re-licensure 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 re-licensure process with the MACS Re-licensure Committee.
36. Why can't the committee review my file right away?
Our committee has a set schedule of meetings throughout the spring to meet your re-licensure needs. Committee members are not MACS staff - they are full time educators at charter schools, who volunteer to assist their fellow charter school educators in the renewal process.
37. 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 Re-licensure 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.
If your file is not approved, you will receive instructions about what needs to be done to complete the file so that it can be reviewed by the Committee at their next meeting.
38. Can I receive CEUs for an audited course?
Yes. The MACS Re-licensure Committee policy is to allow up to half of the CEUs normally provided for “official” coursework (e.g. semester credits would be worth up to 12 hours per credit and quarter credits would be worth up to 8 hours per credit.) There must be clear documentation that you attended and completed the course (as an audit). This is typically noted on a transcript.
39. How current do my CEUs need to be in order to be used towards my current license renewal?
Minnesota Administrative Rule 8710.7200, Subpart 8 regarding the period for earning clock hours indicates that, “An applicant requesting renewal of a license to teach must earn a minimum of 125 clock hours during each five-year period preceding application for licensure renewal. An applicant may not bank clock hours for purposes of re-licensure, but clock hours earned after an application for renewal has been submitted may be applied to the next renewal period.”
40. Are there any new state requirements for teachers on the horizon?
The 2014 Legislature enacted a change to teacher licensure renewal requirements to include evidence of growth in best teaching practices for meeting the needs of English learners (MN§122A.18, Subd. 4(b)).
The changes will apply to all teaching licenses renewed on or after August 1, 2015.
At the present time, the electronic reporting system managed by Educator Licensing at MDE does not include the option to report continuing education that addresses instruction of English language learners. Per the language of the statute, continuing education committees must ensure that the reflective statements provided by all teachers for the purposes of licensure renewal include evidence of growth in this area. It is anticipated that the electronic reporting system for licensure renewal will be updated to reflect this change at a later date and appreciate the consideration of local committees until such time as the change is implemented.
122A.18, Subd. 4(b) Expiration and renewal.
Re-licensure applicants who have been employed as a teacher during the renewal period of their expiring license, as a condition of re-licensure, must present to their local continuing education and re-licensure committee or other local re-licensure committee evidence of work that demonstrates professional reflection and growth in best teaching practices, including among other things, practices in meeting the varied needs of English learners, from young children to adults under section 124D.59, subdivisions 2 and 2a. The applicant must include a reflective statement of professional accomplishment and the applicant's own assessment of professional growth showing evidence of:
(1) support for student learning;
(2) use of best practices techniques and their applications to student learning;
(3) collaborative work with colleagues that includes examples of collegiality such as attested-to committee work, collaborative staff development programs, and professional learning community work; or
(4) continual professional development that may include (i) job-embedded or other ongoing formal professional learning or (ii) for teachers employed for only part of the renewal period of their expiring license, other similar