Special Education Teaching Requirements in Minnesota

Working with those who have exceptional needs in the education field, regardless of age, requires a couple extra steps when getting licensed in Minnesota. Find out what to study, what exams to take, and how to properly obtain your Minnesota license!

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In the state of Minnesota, special education licenses are considered a supplemental addition to existence education credentials. Students who wish to teach in this field can focus their efforts on post-undergraduate studies.

Requirements for Special Education Teaching in Minnesota

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Minnesota (2017)* $63,330 (Kindergarten and Elementary) $65,290 (Middle), $63,370 (Secondary)
Required Degree Post-baccalaureate license
Degree Field Special Education
Testing Requirements MTLE Essential Academic Skills (EAS), Pedagogy Test for age range, Special Education Core Skills Content-Area Test

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Special Education Teaching in Minnesota

Teachers wishing to work in the field of special education must begin their career with a bachelor's degree. A Bachelor of Science in Special Education offers the perfect starting point for future educators of exceptional students. Some of the courses taught in this program include introduction to child psychology for social sciences, interventions for behavioral problems in school settings, and assessment and due process in special education. The bachelor's program must include a teacher education preparation aspect, which sees students gaining valuable teaching experience during their final year of studies.

After earning the bachelor's degree, special education teachers can choose a license and focus their careers in specific areas. An Academic Behavior Strategist license, for example, allows teachers to work with students who have autism-related developmental disabilities and/or behavioral disorders. Classwork in this area can include classroom management and behavioral problem-solving, and collaborative practices for the special educator. Licenses are available in Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), and early childhood special education.

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Testing Requirements for Special Education Teaching in Minnesota

All educators in Minnesota are required to pass the MTLE Essential Academic Skills (EAS) Test. The exam covers three subtest areas: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. All sections come in multiple-choice format, with the Writing section containing one additional longer assignment. To be considered for licensure, those taking the test must pass all three subsections with a score of 520. Any number of the three subtests can be taken during one appointment.

Three levels of Pedagogy Tests exist for Minnesota: Early Childhood (birth to third grade), Elementary (kindergarten to sixth grade), and Secondary (fifth through twelfth grade). Each of the pedagogy exams contains two subtests that last one hour apiece and require a passing score of 240. The MTLE also contains the Special Education Core Skills Content-Area exam, which covers birth to age 21. Structured just like the pedagogy exams, the Content-Area Test is available year round by appointment.

License Requirements for Special Education Teachers in Minnesota

Upon completing a bachelor's program with the proper teacher education credentials, new teachers of special education in Minnesota will apply for a Tier 3 License with the state. This indefinitely renewable license is good for a three-year period; the initial license will be considered probationary, after which time teachers gain continuing contract rights. The superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension performs a background check on all potential teachers, which will include fingerprints. If any problems/negative history is found, the state reserves the right to immediately revoke a license.

Additional Resources for Minnesota Special Education Teaching

As you prepare to take the MTLE exams, get a review of what you have learned with Study.com's online library. The self-paced practice guides can help you get an idea of what to expect from some of the exams, such as the ones listed below:

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