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New Teacher Application Process

The process to becoming an approved instructor in our College Now program begins by submitting a New Teacher Application Form.  Applications for new teachers are due each spring by the end of February for the following year. New teachers should be approved prior to submitting a course request in April. Interested teachers must submit these five items:

  1. New Teacher Application Form
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Current/Updated Vitae
  4. A Letter of Reference from H.S. Principal
  5. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended (both undergraduate and graduate work)

Once these materials have been received, the submitted information will be passed along to the specific discipline for their review.  Applications can be submitted to:

College Now Contact Information
Mail: Email: Fax:

Ellie Ahmann – College Now
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State Street
Marshall, MN  56258


Minimum Qualifications for Consideration:

The process for approving instructors is done on a case by case basis by each individual academic department. While a Master's degree in discipline is preferred, a variety of credentials, qualifications, and experiences are considered. Undergraduate and graduate coursework, teaching experience, previous involvement with teaching of other college level courses (ie: AP, IB, CEP), ongoing professional development involvement, tested experience outside the classroom demonstrating breadth and depth of knowledge in the subject area, and other factors will be taken into consideration. Each department has a minimum criteria for consideration. This minimum criteria is in no way an indication of approval, but simply the very minimum criteria for which that department will review candidacy. Approval depends on all factors listed above, sometimes including a testing opportunity and/or personal interviews. Teachers are approved under an SMSU faculty mentor who is the teacher of record for the course. Minimum qualifications for consideration are:

Art: Strong teaching experience. Proof of continual work outside of teaching in the field (active artist). Some graduate credits highly preferred.

English: Undergraduate degree in English with 3-6 graduate credits in discipline. Master's preferred.

Foreign Languages (Spanish): Master's degree in the discipline or eighteen graduate credits in the field of Spanish.  A written plan to show how these requirements will be met by 2022 is required if they are not met at the time of application.  A telephone interview will be conducted to gauge knowledge and competency in the target language.

Math: Strong teaching experience and strong math undergraduate coursework. Graduate coursework preferred. Personal interviews always conducted to gauge knowledge and competency. Scaled approval process:

Level I - Algebra   
Level 2 - Trigonometry    
Level 3 - Pre-Calculus    
Level 4 - Calculus    
Level 5 - Statistics

If approved for higher course, automatic approval of lower course is included. For higher level approval, candidates must go back through the approval process for reconsideration.

Political Science/Economics/Geography: Prior experience teaching the course with undergraduate or graduate coursework in the specific discipline.  A combination of adequate coursework, teaching experiences, and additional professional opportunities and tested experience considered.

Psychology and Sociology:  Undergraduate minor in the specific discipline OR a Master’s degree with at least 6 credits of undergraduate coursework and some master’s level discipline specific related courses (3-6 credits).

Sciences (biology, physics, and chemistry): Master’s degree required. Discipline specific Master’s preferred, but Master’s in Education accepted with undergraduate degree in the specific discipline. Strong teaching experience required.

Speech: Strong prior experience teaching oral communication or public speaking. Undergraduate or graduate coursework in communication discipline, and experience in related speech activities (ie: competitive speech and debate).

Please note that The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has put out new language regarding credentialing for college faculty including concurrent enrollment instructors. All College Now teachers will eventually need to meet this standard which may likely include additional graduate coursework. Teachers considering a partnership with SMSU in offering concurrent enrollment programs should be aware of this policy and the future credentialing requirements. See HLC policy on determining qualified faculty:

If you should have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact me:

Ellie Ahmann - Assistant Director of College Now

Last Modified: 5/8/24 10:14 AM | Website Feedback