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Alternative Pathway to Admission


Candidates who want to qualify for licensure as either a K-12 principal or a Director of Special Education, but lack the prerequisite teaching license and teaching experience specified in Minnesota Rule 3512.0200 are given a special, alternative pathway by which they can qualify for admission to an administrative preparation program. The pathway is specified in Minnesota Rule 3512.0700. At Saint Mary’s University, candidates who desire this alternative pathway must have earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

The Alternative Pathway is a process by which candidates may qualify for admittance to the educational administration program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and is an independent study clinical experience. University faculty and site administrators mentor students enrolled in this pathway. Students demonstrate achievement of the requirements by presenting their electronic portfolio of experiences, assignments, knowledge and skills achieved during the internship and guided teaching experience.


There are three major components of the pathway contained within four 1-credit graduate level courses:

Component 1: 1050 hours

Candidates are required to log time served studying and learning about pre-kindergarten, elementary, junior high/middle school, and high school levels, gaining knowledge and skills in 12 areas described in the student learning objectives.

Component 2: Guided Teaching Component

Candidates will log a minimum of 8 weeks (240 hours) of guided teaching. This is expected to be a graduated direct teaching experience under a mentoring administrator, but may not be limited to a single course, class, subject or group.

Component 3: Electronic Portfolio

In order to demonstrate basic knowledge and skills as required by the Minnesota Rule (MR) 3512.0700, the culmination of the pathway is the presentation of an electronic portfolio. The portfolio should demonstrate the appropriate teaching knowledge, skills, and experiences of the 12 student learning objectives and will be presented to a panel consisting of university and K-12 school advisors and staff.


For more information, please contact:

Michelle Dougherty | | (612) 728-5122