The secondary education program at UMN Morris will prepare you to teach middle and high school students. You’ll gain hands-on, real-world, clinical experience in classrooms and with students. The program is rigorous, but you’ll move through it with your peers in a collaborative and supportive learning community.
As a student in the secondary education program at UMN Morris, you will pursue a major that is separate from the program and earn a State of Minnesota teaching licensure in the discipline area of your choice, which likely will be the same discipline as your major. The secondary education program itself occurs in your final year of university and is one year in length, full time. No other coursework may be taken concurrently with the program.
The UMN Morris secondary education program is fully accredited by the Association for the Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) and is organized, implemented, and assessed according to the requirements and standards of the AAQEP and the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB), Minnesota’s teacher licensing board.
Talented faculty are committed to your personalized instruction. Instructional technology and opportunities to participate in multicultural and international educational experiences are key components throughout the program.
UMN Morris maintains positive relationships with the cooperating schools and teachers it works with in providing clinical experiences. These relationships ensure that you’ll have a positive learning experience as a secondary education student. Clinical opportunities are available throughout Minnesota, along with student teaching in El Paso, TX, and Chicago, IL.
In addition to the teaching skills you’ll have acquired, as a UMN Morris secondary education student, you’ll graduate with
- a wide breadth of knowledge through liberal arts general studies and content area studies;
- professional expertise through professional program components;
- the knowledge, skills, and disposition necessary for teaching;
- decision-making skills that focus on student learning as a result of coursework and clinical experiences; and
- the skill and confidence in lesson planning, teaching, and assessment because of numerous clinical experiences.
After enrolling at UMN Morris, your adviser will guide you through your first three years so that you are prepared to apply for admission to the secondary education program. During the fall semester of your junior or senior year, you will need to attend an application meeting to begin the application process. Enrollment in the program is limited. The decision to admit is made during the following spring semester, before fall registration. If admitted, your secondary education course sequence will begin the next fall semester.
Secondary education program application and admission materials are available at our Teacher Education Program Application site. Applications are due December 1 of each year and are submitted in the digital licensure system. The application meeting will guide you through this process.
Questions? Any member of the secondary education faculty is happy to visit with you by phone, email, or in person. You may contact us directly or schedule a campus visit through the Office of Admissions and they will coordinate your visit, including conversations with secondary education staff.
As a UMN Morris student pursuing secondary education, you will need to complete both the degree requirements for your major in the content area you want to teach and the secondary education program requirements.
Refer to the program guide for more information about program structure and requirements.
If you are transferring to UMN Morris for secondary education, a transfer specialist in the Office of Admissions will guide you through the process and determine if you meet the requirements for admission to UMN Morris. Division of Education Chair Michelle Page will conduct a preliminary review of your unofficial transcript to give you a general idea of which requirements you have met and which ones are still needed in order for you to apply for admission to the secondary education program.
If You Already Have a Four-Year Degree
If you already have a four-year degree and want to get a teaching license, we first need to determine if you’ve met the requirements for admission to UMN Morris’s secondary education program. To do this, we need to review your transcripts. You can send unofficial copies of your transcripts to Division of Education Chair Michelle Page, 108 Education, 600 East Fourth Street, Morris, MN 56267. Her preliminary review will give you a general idea of the courses you may need to take to get a teaching license.
If you decide to complete your license requirements at UMN Morris, you will need to apply to UMN Morris via the Office of Admissions. Once accepted to UMN Morris, we will conduct an official transcript review to determine the final list of courses that need to be completed. In most cases, you will need to complete content area courses and/or education prerequisites. Then you will be able to enter the secondary education program one semester to two years after beginning coursework.
If your transcript review shows you that you only have a few courses to take (three or four), check with the Division of Education immediately regarding program application. If your transcript review indicates that you will need many courses (eight or more), you can apply to the secondary education program in the fall of the year prior to actually entering the program. Program applications are due December 1 for the following academic year.
If you are unsure whether you should apply or not, you are encouraged to reach out to the Division of Education for assistance.
If You’re a Practicing Teacher
If you are a practicing teacher looking to expand your license from a grade 7-12 to a grade 5-12 in the same field, state law requires that you take a middle-level methods course. You may also be required to complete field experience in grade 5 or 6. The first step, however, is to have your transcripts and experiences reviewed by Division of Education Chair Michelle Page, 108 Education, 600 East Fourth Street, Morris, MN 56267. You also need to contact the Office of Admissions regarding special or expedited university admission.
If you are a licensed teacher looking to add a field to your license, you may need to take additional courses in the content area, take an additional methods course, pass an additional exam, and/or complete additional field experience, depending on what license you already hold and which field you would like to add. Each case is evaluated individually in consultation with state authorities. The first step is to have your transcripts and experiences reviewed by Division of Education Chair Michelle Page, 108 Education, 600 East Fourth Street, Morris, MN 56267. The State of Minnesota may require you to take the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam (MTLE) content exam in that field.
Through the UMN Morris secondary education program, you will be able to earn a State of Minnesota teaching licensure in the discipline area of your choice:
- General science (grades 5-8)
- Life science (grades 9-12)
- Chemistry (grades 9-12)
- Physics (grades 9-12)
- Social studies (grades 5-12)
- Mathematics (grades 5-12)
- Communication arts and literature (English) (grades 5-12)
- Spanish (grades K-12)
- Instrumental music (grades K-12)
- Vocal music (grades K-12)
- Visual arts (grades K-12)
For all discipline areas, you must complete specific courses in the licensure area and program prerequisite courses, along with your degree requirements (general education requirements and academic major requirements). Once you’ve earned your degree, you can apply for a Tier 2 or Tier 3 teaching license by submitting your application materials to the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). During your senior capstone course and the licensing informational meeting, you’ll learn about teacher licensure, including the application process. Faculty and staff in the Division of Education will also help you with your submission.
Student Learning Outcomes
By completing the secondary education program, you will be able to
- use central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of disciplines taught in the middle and secondary school;
- understand adolescent development theory, individual and group motivation, and diversity among learners;
- create instructional opportunities adapted to learners from diverse cultural backgrounds and with exceptionalities;
- use instructional strategies and technologies that reflect your knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques;
- encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills;
- identify formative and summative methods of student assessment; and
- collaborate with parents/guardians, families, colleagues, and the community in an ethical manner.
General Education Requirements
The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.
Careers & Graduate School
UMN Morris secondary education students typically earn a bachelor of arts degree in the major of the content area(s) they want to teach and become classroom teachers. It’s common for area school administrators to encourage UMN Morris graduates to apply for positions in their schools. However, classroom teaching is not the only path available. Past UMN Morris graduates have also gone on to:
- Work in mobile environmental education centers
- Lead classes and tours for national and state parks
- Develop curriculum
- Work in educational publishing
- Coordinate community service programs and community-based educational experiences
- Work with education consortiums
- Work for nonprofit organizations
- Graduate school for curriculum and instruction
- Attend graduate school for curriculum and instruction, and educational policy
The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.
The American Indian Salt Springs Award is presented to outstanding American Indian education students.
A scholarship made it possible for Carrie Wickstrom to complete her West Central School of Agriculture education in 1929 and go on to college to become a teacher. Based on academic merit and financial need, recipients of the scholarship she established are students pursuing licensure in education with preference given to those intending to teach at the elementary level.
This scholarship was created through the estate of Estelle Lundring Lee, a longtime resident of Morris and friend of the Morris campus. The scholarship assists those planning to teach in elementary, secondary, or higher education in obtaining a multi-cultural experience outside of Minnesota. It covers the course fee charged for students who go outside the sixty-mile service area for student teaching.
As a nontraditional, “older-than-average,” student, the late Shirley Stewart Skoog commuted to Morris from Ortonville where, in addition to being a full-time student, she was a teacher, wife, and mother of teenage children. Shirley particularly enjoyed writing and drama classes. She graduated from UMM in 1970 with a major in elementary education and only a few credits short of a minor in theater. Believing good teaching is itself a performing art, Shirley devoted her career to teaching and spent more than 30 years in the classroom.
All Available Scholarships
Research & Engagement
As a UMN Morris student pursuing secondary education, you’ll be able to engage with your area of study in multiple ways, whether it’s through research or in serving a particular program. Regardless, you’ll have access to many opportunities to broaden your understanding of the subject matter and gain first-hand knowledge about teaching, for a transformative learning experience.
UMN Morris offers some programs through which you can carry out research or creative projects.
Gain teaching experience on campus by working in the writing center or as a peer-assisted learning (PAL) tutor. There are plenty of opportunities beyond campus as well to volunteer at teaching-related organizations, such as Big Friend/Little Friend, Tutoring, Reading, and Empowering Children (TREC), and the campus chapter of Education Minnesota Aspiring Educators (EMAE), or to participate in education-focused activities, like Super Science Saturday. In addition, study away opportunities are also available for all students.
Opportunities for Students
The Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) offers students an opportunity to present research plus scholarly and creative work. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances.
- Creative Activity
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides University of Minnesota undergraduates from every college, major, and discipline, the opportunity to partner with a faculty member on research or creative projects.
- Creative Activity
The University of Minnesota Morris offers the Morris Academic Partnership (MAP) program, in which faculty select academically talented, qualified second-year and third-year students to assist them in scholarly and creative projects. Selected MAP students undertake assignments intended to enhance their intellectual competence and increase their interest in graduate or professional study.
- Creative Activity
- Morris Academic Partnership (MAP)
- Student Employment
The UMN Morris elementary education program has specific appeals procedures for students who are not initially admitted or who are struggling at various points in the program. Students are expected to follow the grievance and appeals procedures outlined under Academic Petitions and under Student Complaints and Grievances. If any dispute is not settled after full implementation of the appeals processes as defined, the student may contact the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, per MN Statute 122A.09, Subdivision 4c.
Admissions Appeal Process
Communication of Concern Process
The Communication of Concern is a developmental, supportive process intended to communicate clearly with teacher candidates about areas of growth and concern. The UMN Morris course instructor or cooperating teacher completes the form that identifies the concern. Then, an individualized learning plan is created in collaboration with the discipline coordinator. Teacher candidates are supported in their growth and held accountable for improvement.