TNTP Teaching Fellows logo
Change the Game for Students
Tress Blake teaching fourth grade at Wayzata North Woods Elementary School

Teach Minnesota

Change the Game for Students

Dates & Details

Eligibility

Teach Minnesota provides an accelerated path into teaching for accomplished professionals, recent graduates, and graduating seniors. It is specifically designed for people without experience as a licensed teacher.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for Teach Minnesota, applicants must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (conferred by June 1 of the year you are enrolling) from an accredited institution.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.25 from most recent degree (undergraduate or graduate).
  • Meet all legal requirements to work in the United States.

Finances

Key dates

  • Approximate Timeline for First Paycheck

  • First Program Tuition Payment Due

Program Costs

Tuition and Fees

As a Teach Minnesota Fellow, you are responsible for TNTP Academy tuition and fees, which will total approximately $7,000 during the 2022-23 school year. In addition, special educators are responsible for another $1,500 in tuition to cover their second year of coursework. Payment plans are available and special educators can spread payments for the additional $1,500 across both years. If you are interested in pursuing a loan to assist with tuition expenses, you must do so independently, as eligibility varies. Fellows are not responsible for tuition until they begin teaching during the school year.

Licensure and District Hiring Costs

Teach Minnesota Fellows are responsible for all costs associated with licensure through the Minnesota State Department of Education, including fees for any required exams. In addition, our partner districts may require teachers to take a TB test, drug test, and/or have their fingerprints processed for a background check. Fellows are responsible for any costs associated with state or district hiring requirements.

Expense Summary

Please refer to our detailed expense summary below for a comprehensive overview of costs associated with pre-service training, TNTP Academy, licensure, and district hiring.

Note: All of the costs below are based on the current school year and are subject to annual increases.

Category Expense Details
Academy tuition $7,000 The Special Education program costs an additional $1,500 to cover the second year of coursework. Covers the cost of an eight-week summer training program to prepare you for the classroom and year-long licensure coursework. Tuition is payable throughout the school year.
Undergraduate/graduate degree transcripts Varies
Testing (MTLE) $95-$190 $95 for MTLE – Elementary Content Exam $95 for MTLE – Elementary Pedagogy Test $95 for MTLE – Special Education
Testing (edTPA) $300 $300 for edTPA registration
Teaching License $114-$147.25 Fellows will need to apply for a Tier 2 license before they begin teaching in their first year. The cost for first-time applicants is $90.25 and covers both the license fee and fingerprint processing. The cost for existing MN license holders is $57.00 (as fingerprint processing is not required). Candidates will need to apply for a Tier 3 license after completion of our program. As they will already hold a Tier 2 license, they will not need to be re-fingerprinted so the cost will only be $57.00.
Average salary $44,443 Most Fellows will receive their first paycheck after the school year begins.
Background Check Varies This is a new hire requirement for many Minnesota schools/districts. The cost to Fellows will vary based on the company the school/district uses and whether the school/district covers the cost.
Median rent $1090/month Fellows are responsible for securing their own housing for pre-service training and the school year.

Funding Opportunities

There are many external resources that can help you manage the financial transition. We have listed a few below. (Note that, aside from AmeriCorps and the BEEC, TNTP Teaching Fellows does not specifically endorse any of these options. They are presented as suggestions for further research.)

AmeriCorps

As a Minnesota Teaching Fellow, you may be eligible to enroll in the TNTP AmeriCorps Program. AmeriCorps is a national network of service programs that connects more than 100,000 Americans each year to serve our country’s most critical needs in areas including environmental issues, disaster relief and education.

Upon successfully completing your first year of teaching in a high-need school, Fellows enrolled in the TNTP AmeriCorps Program are eligible for several financial benefits:

  • An education award of up to $6,345. AmeriCorps awards cannot be applied towards TNTP Academy tuition and fees, but they can be used for repayment of federal student loans and/or for future educational costs at schools that accept federal financial aid.
  • Postponement of federal student loans repayment. As an AmeriCorps member, you may be eligible to pause repayment of outstanding federal student loans. That means you would not have to make any federal student loan payments during your year of service, and after successfully completing the year, AmeriCorps would repay any interest accrued during that time.

In addition to these financial benefits, AmeriCorps members receive special training that prepares them to incorporate service learning and volunteerism into their teaching, including opportunities to participate in special activities such as AmeriCorps Week and the Martin Luther King Day of Service in their local communities.

Participation in AmeriCorps is dependent on federal funding and the award size is subject to change annually. As a result, candidates will be notified as soon as eligibility is determined, most likely at pre-service training.

Black Educator Excellence Cohort (BEEC)

Through a partnership with a national foundation, the Black Educator Excellence Cohort (BEEC) supports new Black enrollees in transitioning to the classroom. The BEEC provides additional resources and support, including stipends to help offset living expenses, testing fees and tuition. Support is contingent upon funding and is subject to change.

Black Educator Excellence Cohort

Loans & Grants

Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP)

To qualify for loan forgiveness for a federal loan, you must work for five consecutive years in a qualifying Title I school. You also must meet the standard to be considered as “highly qualified” for all five years of service (through degree and required teacher tests). You must not have an outstanding balance on direct loans or FFEL loans as of October 1, 1998, or you must have obtained those loans after October 1, 1998. You cannot be in default on a subsidized or unsubsidized loan, unless you have made “satisfactory repayments.” The loan for which you are seeking forgiveness must have been made within the five years of teaching. All secondary math, secondary science and special education teachers are eligible for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness. All other teachers are eligible for up to $5,000.

Qualifying Loans: Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

Loan Consolidation

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (or combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. A Direct Consolidation Loan for federal loans has a fixed interest rate based on the weighted average of the loans being consolidated.

In order to qualify, you must have at least one Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan that is in a grace period or in repayment. If you want to consolidate a defaulted loan, you must either make satisfactory repayment arrangements on the loan with your current loan servicer before you consolidate, or you must agree to repay your new Direct Consolidation Loan under the Income-Based Repayment Plan, Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan, or Income-Contingent Repayment Plan.

Repayment plans can range from 10 to 30 years, based on the amount being consolidated, other education debt and the selected repayment plan. Repayment can begin in 60 days or sooner.

Eligible Loan Types:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • PLUS loans from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
  • Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Nursing Loans
  • Health Education Assistance Loans

To learn more about loan consolidation and to apply, visit the Direct Consolidations Loan website or the Student Loans website.

Short-Term Healthcare

You may require short-term health care as you transition out of school or your current job. When choosing your short-term health care, be sure to inquire if your plan meets Minimum Essential Coverage requirements. If not, you may be required to pay a tax penalty.

Affordable Health Care
Though this is not considered short-term health care, you may enroll in a plan now and update or cancel the care once you are hired as a full-time teacher. Contact a healthcare.gov representative (1-800-318-2596) and report this “life event.” Coverage varies by state, and a variety of plans are available. While open enrollment is closed for 2014, visit www.healthcare.gov to see if you qualify for “Special Enrollment.”

eHealth
A variety of plans are available. You can arrange to pay on a monthly basis, and select a six-month or 11-month plan. You may also select to pay up front for a 30-day or one-month plan. Prices range from $35 to more than $100 per month, depending on the individual. Coverage begins the very next day when enrolling in this plan.

Sallie Mae

This plan offers coverage with a maximum of six to 11 months. It offers a $50 co-pay for urgent care with multiple plan options.

COBRA
If you are leaving a job that provided health insurance, you may want to enroll in COBRA. This would allow the previous health insurance to remain in effect for up to 18 months after employment is terminated. COBRA is typically a more expensive option, usually costing several hundred per month.

Temporarily Add-on to a Family Member’s Plan

Another option could always be to add on to the insurance of a family member or significant other. If you are 26 or under, you are eligible to be covered under a parent’s insurance plan. Rules regarding family and significant others vary by insurance policy.

Personal Loans

There are many options for personal loans. These are loans from banks or another source that have a fixed payment schedule and can be used to fund anything desired, including living costs, health care or education costs. You are given a lump sum of money up front, and you will be required to make monthly payments. Eligibility requirements vary by provider, but most also require a credit check.

Personal loan providers:

SoFi
Lending Tree
Wells Fargo
TD Bank 
USAA

Home Equity Loans

Through a home equity loan you may borrow a lump sum of money and use home ownership as collateral. A credit check is required, and most lenders require moderate to good credit ratings. Home equity loans tend to have lower interest rates than many other loans. Also, interest rates can be fixed, so there is no need to worry about increases. These loans allow flexibility for spending and they can be used in any way in which the borrower chooses.

Research where you can find the best rates on home equity loans in your area at Lending Tree or Bankrate.com. These companies will compare rates at banks in your area, and you can select the lowest rate.

Grants and Crowdfunding

The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation’s $2,000 Learning and Leadership Grant can be used to pay for an individual Fellow’s professional development programs, like TNTP Academy. Grants are only available to Fellows who will not receive a master’s degree. Deadlines for grant applications are February 1, June 1 and October 1. Fellows must independently complete their grant application.

Go Fund Me
Ask your community to help you make the transition. Some of our Fellows have used crowdfunding on platforms such as Go Fund Me, a personal fundraising site to “crowd-source” personal expenses. You set up the page and friends and family make small donations on a secure site. The money you raise is deposited directly into your bank account. Go Fund Me charges 7.9 percent of your total donation + $0.30.

Amazon Wish Lists
Create a wish list on Amazon.com and send it out to family, friends, former colleagues, and professional networks. This is a great way to start setting up a classroom reading library, or getting basic supplies like Expo markers, poster paper or cleaning supplies.

DonorsChoose.org
Once you enter the classroom, Donors Choose is a way to “crowd-source” funding for classroom projects and expenses. You are able to post projects for your classroom and individuals can donate. Projects can range from paper and pencils to iPads and projectors. Materials are shipped directly to your school. Any donations made are tax deductible. There is no cost to donors or teachers.

Applying

Key dates

  • Early Bird Deadline

Choosing Your Subject Area

We recruit for high-demand subject areas. This allows us to provide partner schools with the teachers they need the most and also provides more options for you to find a teaching job.

Subject Grades Test Requirements
Elementary Education K-5 MTLE Content Knowledge Exam: Elementary Education
Special Education K-12 MTLE Content Knowledge Exam: Special Education

Application

The first step in the application process is to submit an online application. On the application you will indicate your program and subject area preferences and share basic information about your background and experiences. We ask several questions about your college education, such as GPA and credit hours, so you might find it helpful to have your transcripts available. You will also respond to four hypothetical scenarios that a first-year teacher might experience. We’re not looking for a right answer so don’t sweat it! We don’t expect candidates to have in-depth knowledge of education issues or teaching strategies when applying; that is why we have a rigorous training program. Simply draw on your critical thinking and other transferable skills to briefly explain how you might approach the situation. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and experiences and we’re looking for the same in our Fellows. Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis, so apply early to increase your chance of admission to your first-choice program and subject area. You will receive a response to your application approximately two to three weeks after submission.

Tips for a Strong Application

Interview

Based on your written application, you may be invited to the next step of the selection process: the recorded interview. You’ll have the option of recording a video or audio interview – whichever is easier for you! Through our flexible interview process you can submit your interview at any time, day or night, when it is most convenient for you. No scheduling is required! The interview will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete, including set-up, practice, and tech check time.

During your interview, you will respond to several questions asking you to apply your skills to the classroom. Our hope is that these scenarios help you understand more about being a Fellow and a teacher and give you an opportunity to show how your talents might shine in the classroom. As with the application, we are not looking for specific right answers. We are looking for how you apply your critical thinking skills, how you approach your personal learning and your commitment to educational equity.

You will receive a response to your interview approximately two to three weeks after completion.

Preparing for Your Interview

Enrolling

Receive an Offer to Enroll

Once you successfully complete the selection process, you’ll receive an official offer to enroll. Offers are extended on a rolling basis. You will need to complete a few tasks to formally enroll, such as uploading unofficial transcripts. After you complete your tasks and accept your offer, you will connect with your assigned program staff to begin preparing for summer training.

Complete Enrollment Coursework

Before pre-service training (PST), you will build your foundational knowledge about the teaching profession through online coursework. You will complete self-guided enrollment modules, which include reading, videos, guided reflection, and an assessment at the end.

Training

Key dates

  • Pre-Service Training Begins

  • Pre-Service Training Ends

Pre-Service Training

You’ll begin your commitment with a rigorous summer pre-service training program that is centered on-field experience. Our Summer 2022 PST was held at Wayzata Public Schools from Monday, June 20th – Tuesday, August 9th; Summer 2023 PST dates and location will be shared this winter.. You will study proven teaching techniques and begin to develop the in-depth content knowledge that great teachers use every day to advance student learning and can expect to practice these techniques intensively, both with peers and with real students in summer school classrooms. Rather than overwhelming you with training that is a mile wide but an inch deep, we focus first on mastery of four foundational teaching skills before shifting to more advanced practices.

There are three main elements to summer training:

  • Skill Building Sessions – During skill building sessions, program instructors teach foundational skills such as lesson planning and delivery, classroom management techniques and content specific strategies.
  • Field Experience – Field experience is time spent teaching in a summer school classroom. Fellows typically observe a mentor teacher in action and gradually take on responsibility delivering instruction for students in the class. Program coaches visit the classroom regularly to provide real-time feedback and support.
  • Responsive Coaching Sessions – In these small group sessions, Fellows practice and receive coaching on targeted skills.

Outstanding local teachers will prepare you to manage a classroom, to deliver the content your students must learn, and to support students in meeting high expectations by building bridges between challenging academic content and students’ unique values and experiences. You must demonstrate emerging proficiency in these fundamental skills by the end of pre-service training to earn teaching eligibility for the fall.

Pre-service training is a full-time commitment with sessions five days per week.

Expert Coaching

During pre-service training, our coaches will be your most critical development resource as you apply lessons from training sessions with students in your classroom. All pre-service training coaches are experienced teachers with a track record of raising achievement in challenging classrooms.

Pre-service training coaches will visit you regularly in your classroom, providing real-time guidance to improve your teaching. After class, you will meet to debrief and practice concrete strategies you can apply in future lessons. Coaches will also pull you into small skill-building sessions to address your high-priority development needs.

You can’t improve if you don’t know how you are doing. Whether you are struggling with delivering content or striving to improve your classroom management skills, your coach will focus their expertise on helping you quickly get up to speed in that area. This rich feedback and personalized professional development will help you grow quickly into an amazing teacher.

Certification

Key dates

  • Coursework Begins

Certification Coursework

During your first year as a full-time teacher, you will also complete TNTP Academy licensure coursework under the guidance of outstanding Minnesota teachers and Teach Minnesota staff.

The first year is the most important of a teacher’s career and our approach is designed with that understanding in mind. While many teacher training programs treat teachers’ first year like a warm-up, we see it as a critical opportunity to help teachers develop essential skills and determine whether they can make a successful career teaching.

Shortly after you begin teaching during the school year, you will begin TNTP Academy to bolster your instructional impact. TNTP Academy will focus on the most critical knowledge required in your subject area, is responsive to your development areas in the classroom, and will help you develop the planning skills needed to teach that content effectively.

Special Education ABS

The Special Education ABS program is comprehensive in order to best prepare Special Education teachers to meet the needs of their students. As a result, the Special Education program is a two-year program. Special Education Fellows will complete the program with a dual license in Special Education ABS and Elementary Education.

Prepare For Required Exams

Once enrolled, you’ll receive guidance on completing mandatory state exams in your subject area, which you must pass to earn certification. Test dates are limited and the exams may be challenging to pass. We encourage you to register and complete your required exams as early as possible.

 

Topic Details
Teach Minnesota Testing Requirements

No state tests are required to enter Teach Minnesota or to begin teaching on a Tier 2 license in Minnesota through our program.

Teach Minnesota Fellows will be required to pass the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam (MTLE) Content Knowledge exam in order to graduate the program and be recommended for Tier 3 licensure.

The MTLE needs to be completed by end of the first year for the 1 year program, and end of the second year if sped-elementary.

Visit the Minnesota Testing Licensure Exam website to register for the appropriate exam(s) based on your subject area assignment.  When you register for the MTLE exam(s), list Teach Minnesota as a test score recipient.

Testing Windows

MTLE Content Exams

While there are no registration deadlines for the MTLE, spots fill quickly, so we strongly suggest registering for testing windows in April or May as soon as possible. Your official score report will be emailed to you, if you requested this option when you registered, at 10:00 p.m. CT on the score report date for your test date. You can expect to receive your score report 2-6 weeks after taking the test based on your specific test date within the testing window. Your scores will be available for two years in your account.

Be sure to plan ahead. Dates and time slots that fit your schedule are not always available for the MTLE Content Knowledge exam.

MTLE Content Knowledge Exams

Retake Policy: Examinees who do not pass a subtest may retake that subtest. If you wish to retake a subtest, you must complete the registration process again. Please note that you must wait 45 days before retaking the subtest.

Retake Fee Vouchers: Examinees who have failed a subtest three or more times may be eligible for a fee voucher for subsequent attempts. To request a retake fee voucher, contact Evaluation Systems before registering to test.

Accommodations: Examinees with documented disabilities, examinees for whom English is not a primary language, and examinees whose religious practices prevent them from testing on Saturdays may be eligible for alternative testing arrangements.

MTLE Content Knowledge Exam: Elementary Education

MTLE Content Knowledge Exam: Special Education

Testing Resources

We do not specifically endorse any of these materials and individuals’ preparation needs will vary, but these resources may be helpful starting points in studying for these important tests.

Resources

The following resources are videos and tutorials to help in preparing for the tests:

For more resources to prepare, visit the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations website.

Helpful Resources

Registering for a Computer-delivered Test

Overview of Tests

Testing Requirement FAQs

Are there required tests Fellows must pass in order to start Pre-Service Training?

No, Teach Minnesota Fellows will not be required to pass any state-required exams during the Enrollment phase of the program prior to the start of Pre-Service Training.

Are there any state-required exams Fellows must pass after Pre-Service Training, during their first year in the program?

Yes, in addition to meeting all program requirements, Fellows will be required to pass the relevant MTLE exams for their licensure area to teach on a Tier 3 license in the state of Minnesota at the conclusion of their time in the program. Program staff will provide more information during Pre-Service Training Orientation about timeline for taking the MTLE exam.

Where can I find more information about the MTLE exam?

Visit the Minnesota Testing Licensure Exam website to learn more about the MTLE exams required for each subject area.

MTLE Testing Resources

We do not specifically endorse any of these materials and individuals’ preparation needs will vary, but these resources may be helpful starting points in studying for these important tests.

MTLE Test-taking Strategies
This guide will help examinees understand the structure and content of the tests; plan an effective course of study; and learn strategies for successful test taking.

MTLE Elements: Elementary Education (Grades K–6)
This resource provides test content and sample questions.

The following resources are videos and tutorials to help in preparing for the tests:

How to Prepare for Your Teacher Licensure Test

Additional MTLE Information

Retake Policy. Examinees who do not pass a subtest may retake that subtest. If you wish to retake a subtest, you must complete the registration process again. Please note that you must wait 45 days before retaking the subtest.

Retake fee vouchers. Examinees who have failed a subtest three or more times may be eligible for a fee voucher for subsequent attempts. To request a retake fee voucher, contact Evaluation Systems before registering to test.

Accommodations. Examinees with documented disabilities, examinees for whom English is not a primary language, and examinees whose religious practices prevent them from testing on Saturdays may be eligible for alternative testing arrangements.

Earning Certification

TNTP Academy holds high standards for licensure, and our teachers are widely recognized for their ability to help high-need students make dramatic learning gains.

As a first-year Fellows, you will be evaluated on TNTP’s Assessment of Classroom Effectiveness (ACE). The evaluation system incorporates a wide variety of evidence from your classroom to create the fullest possible picture of your performance. TNTP Academy is designed to address your high-priority development needs.

By setting a high bar and helping you meet it, we ensure that you are capable of getting real results for students. And as a TNTP Academy graduate, principals and district officials will know that you are not simply a licensed teacher, but one with a proven track record in the classroom.

Pursuing a Master's Degree

After successful completion of your first year of teaching, Fellows will have the opportunity to apply to an online program to earn a Master of Science in Education degree from the Johns Hopkins University.

This program is designed to build on the TNTP Academy training experience, with collaborative spaces for experiential learning through TNTP Academy to be applied toward Johns Hopkins University Master’s degree requirements. Participants will earn a Master’s degree while enjoying savings achieved through a reduced course load.

Teaching

Key dates

  • Hiring Begins

  • School Begins

Finding A Teaching Position

Teachers are more successful when they work in a school that is a good fit for them. As a Fellow, you will be responsible for leading your own job search to ensure that both you and your principal feel good about the match. Teach Minnesota staff will inform you when you are eligible to begin your job search.

While our staff will offer resources and guidance, all hiring decisions are ultimately made by principals or other school-based administrators. We do not place Fellows in a school. Instead, you should expect to conduct a personal job search. You will also need to be flexible about your teaching assignment, anticipating that you will work in the school where you are needed most.

Although this may sound daunting, Teach Minnesota will help you navigate the district hiring process, showing you how to find vacancies and occasionally coordinating interviews with principals. In addition, our team will host school meet and greets, set up mock interviews, and review résumés.

While admission to Teach Minnesota does not guarantee a teaching position, the need for quality teachers in critical-shortage subjects remains high.

Salary and Benefits

Once hired, you will be a full-time district employee and will earn the same starting salary as any other first-year teacher in the district. Currently, the average first-year teacher salary is $44,443.

As a Fellow, you can also access the same comprehensive benefits as all new teachers in Minnesota, including medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage. You will learn more information on benefits when you are hired by one of our partner districts or charter management organizations.

TNTP Teaching Fellows Alumni Network

Upon graduating, you will be invited to join the TNTP Teaching Fellows Alumni Network. As a member of our alumni community, you will receive a regular newsletter with links to valuable professional development and career opportunities. More importantly, you’ll be able to connect with more than 33,000 Fellows across the country to share resources, talk through challenges, and discuss important education issues affecting classrooms like yours.