Minnesota House of Representatives
Public Information Services

Menu

Public Information Services Menu

Career and Technical Education licensure changes proposed

By Nick Longworth
Stephen Jones, superintendent of Little Falls schools and co-chair of the Career and Technical Educator Licensing Advisory Task Force, responds to a question during the Feb. 2 meeting of the House Education Innovation and Policy Committee. With him are Paula Palmer, the Education Department’s director of career and college success, and Troy Haugen, task force co-chair and CTE coordinator for the Lakes County Service Cooperative. Photo by Paul Battaglia

Attending a four-year college is often promoted as the traditional route for post-secondary education. But there’s a growing student demographic pursuing other options, which legislators are also trying to draw teachers toward.

The House Education Innovation Policy Committee reviewed a report Thursday from the Career and Technical Educator Licensing Advisory Task Force regarding career and technical education teacher licenses. These programs focus on career skills, such engineering, agriculture and auto mechanics. No action was taken.

“This is music to my ears. I have been talking about this for about 30 years” Rep. JoAnn Ward (DFL-Woodbury) said. “People recognize the shortages and needs that we have.”

The report found the CTE teacher licensure process is often redundant and unclear for incoming teachers. The current baccalaureate degree required for teachers is often cumbersome to acquire and is arguably not the best indicator of qualifications. Coupled with a nationwide teacher shortage, the current system creates hardships for districts trying to attract qualified candidates to a growing range of programs.

“Quite honestly, we wish we could offer more,” said Stephen Jones, the task force co-chair and superintendent of Little Falls Community Schools. “College prep should be a key part [of education], but for some it’s career prep; that’s our challenge.”

The report suggests changes to the requirement for CTE teacher licenses, offering an alternative tiered-qualification system rather than the rigid baccalaureate degree. Minnesota would allow two-year college institutions to provide CTE-related content in teacher preparation programs.

A work group should be created, according to the report, to ensure forward progress, including the creation of incentives for eligible institutions to provide alternative teacher preparation outside of traditional credit-based ones, and providing sustainable funding for agencies responsible for licensing.

“Unfortunately during tough [financial] times CTE programs are the first that get cut,” Jones said. “We have to get past that.”

Although the problems are obvious on the outside, one sweeping solution doesn’t appear in sight.

“How can we shorten the timeframe to make an impact?” asked Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing). She suggests further creating a pathway to combine people who have a desire to teach, but also industry experience.

“We want to look at ways to sustain and invigorate the quality of instruction to students, and find new ways to increase the talent pool to offer courses,” said Paula Palmer, director of career and college success for the Department of Education. “There is no simple, quick fix to this.”

“It’s really the start of a conversation,” Jones said. “It’s imperative that we begin these conversations at a deeper level.” 

Search Session Daily

Recent Dailies

Judge OKs legislative funding for 90 days

A Ramsey County judge has given the go-ahead for the House and Senate to remain operational until...

Dayton, legislative leaders have their day in court over funding issue

Lawyers for Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders met in a Ramsey County court Mond...

Legislative leaders will sue governor over line-item veto

Leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature are moving forward with their lawsuit against DF...

Governor still hopeful negotiations can solve legislative funding fight

Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday he remains hopeful his dispute with Republican legislative leaders o...

House, Senate head toward lawsuit over governor's legislative funding veto

See you in court. That was the message Friday from Republican House and Senate leadership in ...

Dayton signs budget bills into law, but showdown with lawmakers continues

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday he would sign into law nine budget bills that make up the ...

Weary lawmakers pass final budget bills, wrap 2017 special session

(UPDATED AT 3:27 p.m. with Gov. Dayton reaction) Day three of the 2017 special session saw la...

Lawmakers pass bonding bill to close out special session

With all other omnibus budget bills agreed to, the House wrapped up the special session early Fri...

Lawmakers send governor bill to fund state government

Lawmakers late Thursday night OK’d the appropriations needed to fund state government agencies, v...

Despite veto threats, House passes mixed-bag uniform labor bill

Pleading for brevity as the Legislature entered its third day of a deadline-neglecting special se...

House repasses tax bill amended with extended Super Bowl bar hours

The omnibus tax bill, including a few extra hours for Super Bowl revelry, is headed to the govern...

Public Information Services  ·   175 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN 55155   ·   Public.Information@house.mn