APIA Leadership: Beyond the Boat

By: David

The notion of leadership is one that is highly valued among many individuals. In addition, race and diversity is a topic that is consistently prevalent in our society. When blending the two, the two elements complement one another quite well. Recently in life, there has been many events relating to  the two topics. Within this past month, I have had to plan for Asian Pacific American Association’s (APAA) Annual Culture Show, partake in various student of color panels, and discuss about cross-cultural communication. In addition, the recent events at the University of Missouri and Paris has definitely impacted me as an individual by urging me to reevaluate myself as an Asian Pacific American leader.  Today’s blog post zooms in on the two notions of leadership and culture, Asian Pacific Islander Leadership: Beyond the Boat.

Bamboo Ceiling

Before starting, I want to take some time to talk about the “bamboo ceiling” phenomenon. The term “bamboo ceiling” derives from Jane Hyun’s book Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians. To sum it up, the term refers to the barriers and limitations to Asian Pacific Americans to rise to leadership roles it. In regards to the historical context, before the modern days in Asia many people would built their homes out of straws, mud, and bamboo. Figuratively speaking, the “bamboo ceiling” is what limits Asian Pacific Americans in career success. Once the rooftop is sealed, an individual can only achieve so much, and therefore it often restricts one’s ability to reach their full potential.  

Beyond the Boat

As part of the title, I decided to include the phrase “Beyond the Boat.” Though there are numerous interpretations to this phrase, this is one concrete way of defining it:
“The concept of ‘Beyond the Boat’ was taken from the phrase, ‘Fresh off the Boat.’  The term ‘FOB’ often limits immigrants and Asian Americans, a way of making generalizations.  ‘Beyond the Boat’ was used to seek out the ways APIs were complex and rich in history, especially through activism, solidarity, and social change.” – Verna Wong

The term “fresh off the boat” is an older term for immigrants who are new to the United States who are freshly arriving off the boat (this was before air travel was a possibility). Altogether, we have the phrase, “fresh off the boat.” One thing to be aware of is that with race and culture there also comes many generalizations and stereotyping. The phrase “Beyond the Boat” is a way for individuals or a culture group to break these stereotypes and generalizations to overcome such judgements and expectations.

Relating back to the topic of leadership, the image of Asian Pacific Americans in leadership roles is one that is barely visible. According to LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics), “less than 3% of the leadership of the nation’s top for-profit and non-profit groups are Asian Pacific Americans.”  With such a low percentage of role models, it’s difficult as an Asian Pacific American student to see a future past the “bamboo ceiling.” As an Asian American in today’s society, there is a lot of  concern as to what leadership opportunities are available for myself and others in the future. To go “beyond the boat” requires me to constantly step outside my comfort zone and always having to put in the extra effort to be acknowledged. Furthermore, this phrase inspires me to break the stereotypes and generalizations revolving around Asian Pacific Americans and also to increase the 3% of APIAs in leadership roles.

Conclusion

To conclude, the duty of being a leader is never an easy task to do. From any standpoint, there will always be some form of systematic oppression despite circumstances. As a student leader for APAA, I find it most difficult promoting such events and activities relating to the Asian Pacific culture and showing the common interest for those who may not identify with the culture itself. Furthermore, I find it difficult to motivate my fellow peers to embrace the trait of being a leader to increase the 3% due to the lack of APIA role models in society. As many millennials begin to enter leadership roles after college, it will be interesting to see how the percentage of leaders with a different ethnic background evolve throughout the years.

Of Possible Interest: 

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I Have No Idea What I’m Doing, but I Know I’m Doing it Really, Really Well

By: Cassie

I will be the first to admit I don’t really have it all together. Don’t get me wrong there are occasional moments when I feel like I might pull it together, and yet another curveball is thrown at me. Life as a college student is stressful, and I’ve accepted that it’s okay to feel like your world is falling apart. We all have exams, papers, and hours of homework and reading to do (pro tip: yes, when a professor assigns readings you are actually supposed to do them). On top of all of that we balance social lives, jobs, internships, clubs, sports, and let’s not forget to add in time to eat and sleep. But fear not, because I am here to tell you that it is okay to not be okay all the time.

Sometimes, doing things the hard way is the best way to do them. That’s not saying it doesn’t stink when you make a mistake, because it really does, but sometimes learning lessons the hard way might be the most effective way to get them across. As an example, say you stayed in bed all day and watched a whole season of your favorite show on Netflix instead of studying for your midterm. You probably didn’t do so well on the exam and you now know that in order to succeed you have to be willing to put in the work. It’s okay that those mistakes happen now because then you’ll know you can’t do that when you get out into the real world. Believe it or not, when we get out into the real world our lives will get even more chaotic. The more lessons we learn now, the more we will be prepared for our future.

The future is scary and you might not know what your future will hold. The thing you have to remember is that you don’t always have to know exactly what you’re doing. Now is the time to try new things, get involved, and find out what you really like to do. It is better to find out you don’t like something now, rather than later. If you have any questions about careers, absolutely come see our counselors at Career and Internship Services. They can help you take the first steps to find where you want to go, or get you going towards your goals. They can also help you talk through any issues you might have or that may come up in the process. Taking the first step is the best thing you can do to figure out what you want to do. I know that talking about the future is scary and that it might just scare you away if you are already dealing with all of the other stuff in your life, but I can’t emphasize enough about having a plan for yourself. You don’t have to follow the plan exactly, but having some sort of structure will help you navigate whatever comes your way.

We might not always know what we want, what we need, or how to get where we’re going. That doesn’t mean you are a mess. There are so many people who are willing to help you and so many lessons you can learn in the process. Yeah, growing up is scary, but if you want to get the most out of your college experience I think that it is important that I emphasize how okay it is to not be okay. You can be a mess and still have it together. Even if you don’t have it all together just remember that even if you don’t know what you’re doing, make sure that you are doing it really, really well.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Exploring Careers in Psychology

By: Logan

Being a psychology major, I am often asked what I aspire to do with my life after graduation. I have put many hours of thought into this, and every day I come up with new ideas or career paths I might be interested in. One of the aspects of psychology I enjoy is the fact you can go in many different directions with it. You can use psychology in a very wide range of careers ranging from mental health and counseling to even applying it in a business setting. In this blog post I will be discussing some of the possible career paths I am interested in, and hopefully my story can help others decide on their career path as well.

A very common career path for psychology majors involves something with counseling. This could include many different types of counseling. Some examples include Mental Health Counseling, Family or Marriage Counseling, or even Career Counseling. My interest in counseling developed when I became close with the many Career Counselors who work in Career & Internship Services here at UMD. I met with them and they always made me feel so comfortable and they were always so helpful. I realized I wanted to help people as well, so I have definitely looked into different counseling programs.

Exploring Psych

Another area that I looked at was School Psychology. I think I would enjoy school psychology because I find Developmental Psychology and Educational Psychology very interesting. I enjoy learning about how someone’s experiences as a child can affect their adult life. School psychologists work with individual students and groups of students to deal with behavioral problems, academic difficulties, disabilities, and other issues. They also work with teachers and parents to develop techniques to deal with home and classroom behavior. Other tasks include training students, parents, and teachers about how to manage crisis situations and substance abuse problems. I think I would be good at this profession because I like to work with children and adults, and I think it would be a very rewarding career.

I also have looked into a career as a rehabilitation psychologist. Rehabilitation psychology is a very broad area of psychology, and it covers a wide range of different psychological problems. Many rehabilitation psychologists specialize in certain areas of this field, and they only work with certain types of patients. Job duties for a rehabilitation psychologist include conducting interviews with patients, or the patient’s loved ones. It could also include staging interventions, assessing and diagnosing patients, counseling, and simply guiding the patient to their goals. I think I would enjoy being a rehabilitation psychologist because of many of the same reasons that I stated above. I enjoy working with people and helping them with their problems. I also find the topic of addiction very interesting. I would want to talk to the patient and figure out what the underlying reason for the addiction is. I think this would be a very rewarding occupation as well, because you are helping someone through what could possibly be the most difficult part of their life. I think my communication and empathy skills would benefit me in that career.

The final career path that I have been researching is a Marriage and Family Therapist. Marriage and family therapists help troubled couples and families identify and understand the psychological issues behind their problems so they can improve their relationships and repair any damage done to the relationship. These therapists use their knowledge of the psychology of relationships and the family dynamic to help families and couples take a step back and recognize why the issues occurred in the first place. They then help the families and couples work through these issues together. I think I would enjoy this job because I have experience in that area and I think that my own experiences would help me relate to people and connect with them.

When you are contemplating career paths it is always a good idea to look at all of your options. The best thing to do is educate yourself on the duties and responsibilities of a particular job and imagine yourself doing those things. Can you see yourself doing something like that for the rest of your life? It is also very helpful to conduct informational interviews and job shadows. Try to explore many different career paths and do not be too narrow minded when you are searching through different jobs, because you never know what you might enjoy!

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo source: Unsplash|Dustin Lee

8 (More) Jobs You Can do with Anthropology

By: Meg

I wrote a while ago about what you can do with Anthropology. Working in the field is great, and there’s so much more you can do with it!

Anthropology Jobs

Non Profits and Government
Working between the government and the people is a great place for Anthropologists. The background in cultural diversity that you get learning Anthropology, even at an undergrad level, makes it a lot easier to figure out the right path. The holistic perspective that we learn comes in handy: whether it’s community planning, advocacy, or in the House of Representatives, your job is to understand the issue from all sides.

Health Education
All around the world, we’re concerned with being healthy. So we have “experts” in “health” who teach us how to do everything we already know that we should do better. Health Education is a really useful tool to make sure that everybody knows the facts about their health. Here in the U.S. we have organizations like Planned Parenthood that hand out condoms and have discussions about it. In some cases, that means taking cultural and religious considerations. Around the world we have a need for people to discuss nutrition, HIV, and whatever else you can think of.

Academia
Of course, you can go into the Education system. Often those doing research in the Anthropology are also working as instructors at the college level. It’s a good jumping off point for writing and researching. In addition, if teaching is your calling, you can learn about anything with an Anthropological perspective.

Fine Arts
There are quite a very successful people working in fine arts that have degrees in Anthropology. Learning about other cultures can help with acting, and art (in any form) is a fantastic way to show your appreciation for a culture. Giada de Laurentiis, Glenn Close, and Ashley Judd were all Anthropology majors.

Writing
Linguistics is a subfield in Anthropology, meaning you’re going to find a lot of Anthropology majors who really care about language. Authors, editors, publishers, poets, comedians. You can do whatever you want with language, and have the background to help you understand others.

Business
The corporate world takes Anthropology seriously. They hire Anthropologists as consultants to help them devise business plans and products. You can also create your own business. A little bit of experience in the business world and you’re set.

Human Resources
Just like HR is full of Psych majors, there are plenty of Anth majors there as well. They perform a lot of the same functions: ensuring optimal environment and business practices. You can also work internationally if you have some experience with the culture you’re practicing in. A lot of Anthropology departments have regionally focused classes and the language to match, so go ahead and play with your electives to get the focus you want.

Medical
With a focus in Biological Anthropology and some pre-med requirements, you can go to Medical school with your degree. It’s important for our doctors to understand the culture of their patients, and Anthropology can help to open your mind to that. There are quite a few classes on physiology and evolution to help you get a complete (holistic) understanding of our species. You can also be a medical examiner or go into Forensics (which I talked about in my last post).

With these in mind, take an Anthropology course in something that interests you. Who knows, it might be the perspective you were looking for.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Updated: June 2020

The Top 3 Things to Take Away From “10 Career Tips for 20-Somethings”

By: Meg

I recently read an opinion post written for Forbes by Mary Ray as a part of YEC Women (Young Entrepreneur Council), a program for mentoring young female business professionals. Her post was written with women in mind, but it does apply to everyone working their way up their career path. It’s not about how to make money, or the decisions you should make. This article is about the things you can do to make life easier for yourself, to be successful as a working person, not just at work. You should definitely take a look at the full article here: 10 Career Tips for a 20-Something.

Tips for 20-somethings

Here’s what I took out of it:

Take care

Above all, when setting yourself up for success you need to remember you. It’s easy to forget yourself among all of the stress of finals, job interviews, work, etc. that the whole point is to be happy with where we are. So yes, work hard, but also spend time with yourself and the people who make you happy. Schedule it in if you have to. Just make sure that you’re taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. How? From the article:

  • Work out- however you want, just get your heart pumping
  • Surround yourself with people who support you
  • “Every night, think of three positive things from the day”

Advocate for yourself

When it comes to your career, there is nobody who is going to make sure you’re reaching your goals. That’s all up to you. You need to be able to stand up for yourself: Negotiate that raise, be heard in meetings, only take on what you can handle, etc. Be confident! The best thing you can do for yourself is to know that you are good, and that you deserve to be treated that way.

Cultivate relationships

You need people around you. So does everyone else. That’s why networking is a huge part of the working world. The people you are working with understand the world you’re in, so they’re good people to have with you when you need to vent. They’re also good if/when you move on. Don’t forget about the people in your past. Former bosses and coworkers are still people you can call on, so make sure to keep those relationships in good standing.

I can definitely see why this was written by someone mentoring young women. Often, we forget that we have to take care of ourselves, not just everyone else. We need to practice advocating for ourselves, and that’s often really hard to do. So I think it’s important to remind yourself of that pretty often. I’m personally bookmarking this…and putting it in as a task for next semester’s finals week to make me feel better.

Overall, the one thing us Millennials need to remember is that our career is for us. It does no good to have a killer resume if at the end of the day we’re not happy.

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Making Progress During Winter Break

By: Sadie

Your semester is slowly coming to an end and winter break is right around the corner. You’re tired. Tired from endless studying, tired of the food on campus, tired of getting out of bed at 9 am for a lecture class, and you just want to go home. You want to see your friends, family, eat your mom’s home cooking, and lay in your bed and binge watch Netflix until it’s time to go back to school. After a couple of days of fun and relaxing, you ought to start being proactive and complete those tasks you’ve been putting off.

Here are some of the tasks I am referring to that you can do over winter break:

Sick of your family asking you what you want to do with your life? Finally decide on a major or a minor:

Write your resume, cover letter, or personal statement (or all three!):

  • Use our online Career Handbook to help you develop your resume, cover letter, and personal statement.
  • Visit our resume drop-in hours for one-on-one, immediate help.
  • Or if you don’t have time to sit down with someone, fill out a review request form to drop off or email your resume/cover letter/personal statement to be looked at.

Now that you have a rockstar resume, search for a job and/or internship:

  • Visit the U of M’s online database, GoldPASS, to post your resume and search for a job, internship, or volunteer opportunities.
  • Plan to attend one of our workshops or presentations for tips and advice on how to land a position.
  • Plan to attend a job and internship fair.
  • Schedule a time to job shadow a position you are curious about.
  • Take a look at additional resources offered on our website.

Found your dream job? Now practice your interviewing skills.

  • Practice interviewing online with InterviewStream.
  • Set up an appointment with one of our career counselors for a mock-interview.
  • Visit the Career Resource Center located in the Career & Internship Services office that has books with sample questions and tips for interviewing.

PS: The Netflix can wait, these important opportunities can’t.

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What is the edTPA?

By: Whitney

My previous blog post “What Tests are Needed to Become a Teacher in Minnesota” talked about the various Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) that need to be taken in order to get your teaching licenses. The total cost of taking these exams if you have to pay the annual fee of fifty dollars for each separate test section is $675. Since my last blog post, Minnesota Department of Education has decided that if you scored a 22 or higher on your ACT you no longer have to take the first portion of the exams which are the MTLE Basic Skills Tests.

This blog post is focusing on the Education Teacher Performance Assessment or more commonly known as edTPA. The edTPA is a performance evaluation where teacher candidates demonstrate skills that are needed in the classroom. It is becoming a stricter requirement for initial teacher licensure for many states including Minnesota.

There are several components to the edTPA including: planning, instruction, analysis of teaching, assessment, and academic language. Teacher candidates are required to supply the following: lesson plans, assignments, and video and classroom assessments of learning. One of the benefits of the edTPA is that it will provide universities more groundwork on what to teach teacher candidates in order to prepare them for their own classroom someday. As of right now, it is not required that teacher candidates pass the edTPA, but it is very possible that this will change in the very near future.

Scores are shared with the teacher candidates and their college or university. In the past it is up to the teacher candidate whether or not they would like to share their scores. When it comes to the hiring process, it is up to the administration of various school districts whether or not they would like to ask for the scores of their potential hires. It is also up to the incoming teacher whether or not they would like to share their scores.

The edTPA in the eyes of many teacher candidates is that it is just another step that they now have to take in order to get their license. While this is true, the main purpose is to make sure that incoming teachers are as prepared as possible for when they have their own classroom. The edTPA gives student teachers an opportunity to really evaluate their teaching and how their students are learning. This means that it is meant to help improve their teaching for both themselves and their students. It will also help institutions to evaluate their teacher preparation courses. The cost of the edTPA is $300. This brings the total cost of testing and the edTPA to $975 if you pass the first time and you have to pay the annual fee for each section of the MTLE tests to become an Elementary and Special Education certified teacher in the state of Minnesota. This total will vary based on content/subject area.

edTPA Particpation Map

Photo source: AACTE

For more information visit: http://www.edtpa.com/Home.aspx or http://www.edtpaminnesota.org

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Why Major in Philosophy?

By: Michael

I’ve talked before about why you should consider an accounting major, but today I am going to be taking you to the other side of the collegiate fence and attempt to express the benefits and joys of obtaining a degree in philosophy. As many of you who have read in my bio know, I have a joint-degree with a major in Philosophy in addition to my Accounting major but for reasons unknown, have waited until now to talk about it. There is a lot of negative connotation in many students’ minds about majoring in philosophy with the most common concerns being that there is no explicit career path outside of academia and even then the pay is abysmal. The good news is, everything you may have heard is horribly inaccurate and you are now getting a second chance at a first impression of the philosophy field!

Philosophy

Why did I choose Philosophy as a major?

When I began my undergraduate degree at Saint Cloud State as a pre-business student, I had no idea what philosophy was beyond Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato, which I only covered at the very surface when I was in high school. I had no idea that there was an entire devotional study with seemingly endless theories about every topic imaginable and more. Part of my general education requirements included an intro course in social sciences and I chose to do a course on Ethics in Society. What I discovered in that class changed the trajectory of my college career. Although many universities like UMD do not provide a pre-law program, philosophy apparently is the next best option considering that graduates from those programs tend to score the highest on the LSAT. I was considering law school at the time until I became more involved in Accounting and chose the path of a CPA instead. I chose to complete my philosophy degree because of the opportunities for law school, the surprising amount of cross-over between the department and the business field, and because it was interesting.

Here are a list of skills that you will have developed by the time you complete a degree in philosophy as well as brief examples of how they are beneficial:

The ability to analyze and evaluate arguments

Analyzing and evaluating arguments is an important skill that can be used in any number of professions in which interpersonal communication is a must. Analyzing and evaluating are crucial to the decision making process, especially when that decision affects others, or relies on concerns expressed by others. Being able to interpret different perspectives can help to establish a best possible outcome.

Clarity of thought

Philosophers learn early on that in order to present information on complex subjects, you need to be able to follow logical formats and be able to separate and distinguish your thoughts and ideas. This is important for critical thinking, an often sought after skill in the work force.

Advanced communication skills

In philosophy courses, you are constantly expected to be engaged in group discussion and debate because it is based on socially touchy subjects such as religion and politics, theories are just that and tend to be uncontrollably biased from individual to individual, and cognizance to logic is a must. To describe what I mean, there is a joke that describes the two laws of philosophy:

First Law: “For every philosopher, there is an equal and opposite philosopher”

Second Law: “They are both wrong”

This is important because when practicing these communication skills, you have to constantly acknowledge differences in people’s opinions and beliefs and you learn to respectfully manage conversations and handle them. Managers often have to communicate difficult decisions that others might disagree with and being able to communicate reasoning behind your decisions is a very valuable skill to have.

Breadth of vision

Philosophy students tend to be more open to new ideas and differing viewpoints on life, society, and knowledge. There is never and end-of-the-line in philosophy and you learn early on that trying to find a definitive answer will only lead you down the rabbit-hole. Knowing this, you accept that others have different views and you thirst to learn more and more about the world.

How to integrate your Philosophy degree

My most important tip to you for if you are interested in majoring in philosophy but aren’t interested in working in academia is to combine the major with that of another field you are interested in and plan to work in. For me, I chose Accounting but others have chosen all sorts of other combinations: Some common second majors that I have seen are:

  • Economics
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Pre-Med
  • Pre-Law
  • Criminology
  • Theology
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Astronomy

Want to know what all of those fields have in common? Well I will end this post on an interesting and fun fact: Every single one of those majors I listed have been covered by at least some number of philosophical ideas, debates, and theories. In Economics, you might come across Melhus’ philosophical theory of overpopulation and its effect on microeconomic resource distribution, or Hypocrites’ oath on ethical and dutiful medical practices, Descartes’ studies in analytic geometry, or William Wordsworth’s pioneering poem, The Prelude, which helped spark the Romanticist literary era in England, eventually resurfacing in American works by authors such as Walt Whitman. There is also Hobbes’ social contract theory and the justification of an authoritative government, Locke’s theory of socialism which played an integral role in the development of our constitution, and Darwin’s theory on evolution and natural selection, the list is endless. To elaborate, of the authors and theories listed above, I have studied every single one of them and more while working on my degree and knowing that, how can it be said that philosophy cannot supplement any field you choose to study?

Of Possible Interest:

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Careers in Social Work

By: Sadie

As you may have read in my previous post about social work, I discussed what exactly social work is, what social workers handle in their profession, and what the social work program is like here at UMD. Today, I’m going to talk about some of fields you can go into after you graduate with a social work degree, education requirements for social work, and certain disciplines that intersect with social work.

Careers in Social Work

So, if I graduate with a social work degree do I have to be a social worker?

The answer is no. This is something that I questioned before I decided to pursue a social work major. I didn’t want to be limited to only being able to be a social worker.

Here are some of the places that social workers practice:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Criminal Justice Systems
  • Government Agencies (i.e. services to children and families, services to adults, financial assistance)
  • Mental Health Clinics
  • Private Practice
  • Policy (i.e. Local City Council, State Legislature, Congress)
  • Residential Treatment Centers/Group Homes/Shelters, etc.
  • Community Agencies that address domestic violence, homelessness, community development, disabilities, etc.

Is having my bachelors degree enough to get a career in any of these professions?

For some, but not all. Depending on the type of field you want to go into you may need to go through more schooling. If you decide to further your education you can get a Masters of Social Work (MSW), your Ph.D. or Doctrine of Social Work (DSW), or you can get certain licensures.

What could I minor in, or double major in with a social work degree?

Many disciplines intersect with social work. Psychology, Sociology, History, Biology, Psychiatry, Economics, and Political Science are all majors or minors that compliment a social work degree.

Here are some other helpful sources that go more in-depth with what you can do as a career with a Bachelor of Social Work:

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What Tests are Needed to Become a Teacher in Minnesota

By: Whitney

When I decided to switch my major to teaching, I figured that there would be a couple of tests I would be required to take before I was able to become a certified teacher. What I didn’t realize was just how many tests I would need to take. Even after being in the program for a couple of years it has never been made super clear what tests and how many I will need to complete to receive licensure to teach in elementary (K-6) and special education (K-12) in the state of Minnesota. What is almost as important to realize, is how much it really costs to become a teacher. The following paragraphs will talk about the tests, costs, and time length of each test needed to become an elementary or special education teacher.

The first set of tests that is needed for all initial license no matter which license you are wishing to obtain is the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE): Basic Skills Tests. The basic skills test, tests teacher candidates in the areas of reading (60 minutes), writing (105 minutes), and mathematics (75 minutes). The reading and mathematics tests are in a multiple-choice format and the writing is a mixture of multiple choice and constructed response questions. Each sub test costs $25 and must be passed with a minimum score of 240. This price does not include the annual $50 fee that must be paid in order to take the exam. The total cost to take the MTLE Basic Skills portion of the test is $125 (Minnesota Department of Education, 2014).

The next set of tests that is required for all teacher candidates is the MTLE Pedagogy Tests. There are two 60 minute subtests for each pedagogy test in the areas of early childhood, elementary, and secondary. Each subtest is multiple choice and costs $35 each. The total cost for this test if you have to pay the $50 annual fee is $120. If you don’t need to pay the annual fee then the cost would be $70. These tests must also be passed with a score of 240 (Minnesota Department of Education, 2014).

After the pedagogy tests, things start to get a little trickier because there are different licensure exams for various fields that are available. For right now I will just be focusing on the exams necessary for licensure in the field of elementary and special education.

To be certified to teach elementary education there are three different subtests that must be taken. All are called elementary education. Each test is an hour in length and costs $35. Each test is in a multiple-choice format and must be passed with a minimum score of 240. The total cost of these tests if you pay the annual fee is $155 (Minnesota Department of Education, 2014).

Finally to be certified as a special education teacher from ages birth to 12th grade you must take the “Special Education Core Skills” subtest. Each of these tests is 60 minutes in length and cost $35. Again if you have to pay the annual fee it is $120. This is also a multiple-choice test that needs to be passed with a minimum score of 240 (Minnesota Department of Education, 2014).

One of the very nice things about each of these tests is that each subtest can be taken separately. For instance, if you think that you will do better on the Basic Skills tests if you take the reading, writing, and math all on separate days then you can certainly do that! What is also great is that if you pass the reading and writing, but don’t pass the mathematics portion of the test, you only have to retake the mathematics portion not all three!

The edTPA or Teacher Performance Assessment is also a requirement. Since this is a much bigger topic I will discuss it in later posts. For more information on licensure exams for elementary and special education or on other teacher candidate licensure requirements visit http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/Licen/index.html.

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