Become a Teacher
It’s never too late to begin a career in teaching! Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Master of Arts in Instruction program is especially designed for adults who have their bachelor’s degree and are seeking a Minnesota teaching license for the first time.
Students will select from one of the following licensure areas, depending on their interests and career goals:
- Elementary Education (K–6)
- Elementary Education (K–6) With a Middle School (5–8) Endorsement
- Secondary Education (5–12)
Speciality Subject Areas (K–12)
Specialty Subject Areas
Students pursuing an M.A. in Instruction degree at Saint Mary's can choose from the following endorsements, certificates, licensures, or content specialties.
- Elementary Education
- Communication Arts and Literature
- Social Studies
- Science (Life Science, Physical Science, Physics, Chemistry)
- World Languages and Cultures: K–12 (French, Spanish)
Licensure preparation includes a variety of requirements in addition to coursework including content requirements and field experience/student teaching.
In addition to the coursework you complete in the program, you may also need to take required courses that pertain to the licensure or content area you are pursuing. Sometimes known as prerequisites, you may take these courses prior to, or while you are enrolled in, the Saint Mary’s program. Content requirements will be determined through a process of transcript analysis completed after you have submitted all application materials. Our staff will provide you with one-on-one advising and detail an efficient and accurate path to licensure.
Student Teaching and Field Experience
It is also critical for you to be able to put theory into practice. Your time in the program includes field experience and student teaching, which ensure that you have practiced your skills under the guidance of a cooperating teacher and university supervisor.
- Create learning experiences that make the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines taught meaningful for students.
- Provide learning opportunities that support a student’s intellectual, social, and personal development.
- Create instructional opportunities that are adapted to students with diverse backgrounds and exceptionalities.
- Encourage student development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills through the use of a variety of instructional strategies.
- Create learning environments that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
- Foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom through the use of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques.
- Plan and manage instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.
- To evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the student through the use of formal and informal assessment strategies.
- Reflect on and evaluate the effects of personal choices and actions on others, including students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community, and actively seek out opportunities for professional growth.
- Communicate and interact with parents or guardians, families, school colleagues, and the community to support student learning and well-being.
- Evaluate, synthesize, and disseminate research related to educational practice.
Evaluate critical teaching and learning issues and practices based on diverse educational philosophies and approaches.
From Start to Finish
You can earn your M.A. in Instruction degree in as little as one year at the Winona Campus or two to three years at the Twin Cities Campus.
Winona Program (One Year)
Complete licensure preparation requirements and your master’s degree in one year (prerequisites may extend timeframe). Live on or near campus and take full-time courses with the opportunity to complete some student teaching abroad. Small class sizes and a cohort model are perfect for those looking for a supportive community of learners and an accelerated route to teaching licensure.
Twin Cities and Rochester Programs (Two to Three Years)
Continue working while completing licensure preparation coursework in the evenings and on some Saturdays. The timeline for program completion varies depending on licensure/subject area and prerequisites. A flexible model allows you to take courses as they fit your schedule so that you can continue working full time up until the semester you student teach. Courses are taught by expert practitioner faculty.
Courses begin in the spring and fall semesters but you can get started with prerequisites any time.
To apply, you'll need to submit an application, $25 application fee, résumé, brief personal statement outlining your professional and educational goals, official transcripts, and letters of reference. For more information, visit the graduate admission page.
This program is offered at our Twin Cities, Rochester, and Winona locations.
For students interested in only the coursework required for teacher licensure:
Instruction, K-8, Graduate Certificate Degree Requirements
Instruction, 5-12, Graduate Certificate Degree Requirements
Licensure in Elementary Education (K-6) with an Early Adolescence (5-8) Specialty:
- The American Experience
- Mathematical Concepts I: Systems
- Mathematical Concepts II: Geometry
- Botany & Zoology II
- Earth and the Solar System
- Foundations of Physics
- American National Government
Licensure in Early Adolescence (5-8) and Young Adult (7-12):
Coursework in the content specialty area as required.
The program on the Twin Cities campus is delivered on evenings and weekends. The program on the Winona campus is delivered full-time during the day. Students are expected to spend significant time in K-12 schools in conjunction with their coursework.
Field Experience and Student Teaching
Experience applying theoretical concepts in real life settings is crucial to a teacher's development as a professional. Saint Mary's categorizes these experiences in two blocks: Field experiences and student teaching. This overarching framework provides for greater exposure to the developmental spectrum of students in the student's licensure category (K-8, 5-12, or K-12).
Student teaching is a semester-long, full-time experience in a K-12 school under the guidance of a supervisor from Saint Mary's University and a cooperating teacher licensed by the State of Minnesota. Students must attain a 3.0 GPA in their coursework in order to student teach.
Students are required to develop and maintain a professional portfolio that demonstrates mastery of the Saint Mary’s University Standards of Effective Practice. In each course students will receive guidance in building portfolio evidence for mastery of course-relevant Standards of Effective Practice. Students who do not meet mastery of course-specific standards must submit evidence of mastery to the Graduate Student Performance Assessment Committee (SPAC) before beginning student teaching. Mastery of standards associated with student teaching must be submitted to the SPAC before licensure recommendation will be made. Failure to meet standards may result in an intervention plan or removal from the program.
State Required Testing
In order to be recommended for licensure in the State of Minnesota, you must pass the Minnesota Teacher Licensing Examination.
Learn about the necessary steps to complete the application process and how acceptance works.
Meet with Saint Mary’s faculty and staff and get your questions answered at an upcoming information session.
Learn more about the convenient doctoral and master’s programs that Saint Mary’s offers to help advance you in your career.
Connect With Us
Michelle Dougherty, M.A.
SGPP Admission - Enrollment Counselor Graduate School of Education
LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH112
Campus Box: # 28