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Welcome to Placement and Licensure


*Please bookmark this site as you will come here often to apply for field experiences and work towards licensure.*


Our clinical experiences include field experiences, student teaching, internships and practicums all designed to meet PELSB licensure requirements.  We provide clinical experiences that are aligned to the scope and content of the license sought while providing experiences with students that have a range of exceptionalities and who differ in race, ethnicity, home language, socioeconomic status, including students on individualized education plans.  Your clinical experiences will be in a variety of schools, settings and grade bands.   

Required for all licensure areas:

 SMSU Clinical Experiences Summary


School of Education Field Placement Application Policy

As you work toward your degree and license, you will be completing applications required for field experiences, pre-student teaching, student teaching, internships, and practicums. Field placement applications with liability coverage documentation are submitted to the Placement & Licensure office by the first Monday in October or the third Monday in February. Students who do not meet the deadline will receive an email recommending withdrawal from the course from the Placement & Licensure Office.     


Liability Insurance Coverage

All students must have Liability Insurance Coverage before beginning any field (lab) experiences. The process can be completed at the Education Minnesota website. Click on "Join: Aspiring Educator" on the very top of the screen, then click on "You can apply online today!". Complete the application at the NEA (National Education Association) website. The SMSU Office of Placement and Licensure will receive information indicating that you have completed this process and have coverage.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is the last step in earning your degree and being recommended for licensure.  We want the student teaching experience to be a positive and rewarding experience for our teacher candidates, classroom mentor teachers and university supervisors.


Cooperating Teachers and University Supervisor

We greatly appreciate all our Cooperating Teachers and University Supervisors!  Use the brown bar to access documents related to these important roles.

View Teacher & Supervisor Info



Tiers Without Fear!

START HERE!  Please use the Tiers Without Fear Exploration Tool below to guide you in deciding if you are ready to apply for licensure in Minnesota.  We encourage you to use this exploratory tool as a starting point in your licensing journey.

Tiers without Fear exploration tool

Applying for your License

Licensing Resources

Southwest Minnesota State University’s teacher education licensure programs are accredited through Minnesota’s Professional Educator Licensure and Standards Board. They have been designed to meet the licensure/certification requirements in Minnesota and prepare students for the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams (MTLE). Field experiences need to be completed in accredited Minnesota schools. Student teaching must be completed in a Minnesota public school which integrates the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards, or in a Minnesota private school which can provide documentation of integration and assessment of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards with the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment tests. Candidates who participate in a student teaching abroad opportunity are required to complete a minimum of 4 weeks of their semester of student teaching in a Minnesota school that meets these requirements.

Minnesota is part of the National Association of Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate agreement (see more here: ).  Although most states accept our teacher education program graduates for licensure, licensure boards in each state are responsible for setting requirements for licensure/certification in their state. On-campus and online/distance students living in or moving to any state other than Minnesota should be aware of the unique requirements for that state. Students seeking to establish licensure outside the state of Minnesota will need to apply for their Minnesota teaching license, and then apply to transfer that license to another state. It is important for all students to understand the licensure requirements in the state they intend to seek teacher licensure. Another source of information for licensure requirements in other states is the Education Commission of the States; you can click on each state to get general information on what is needed (

Teacher licensure requirements vary depending on state laws and may include several factors, such as:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree program
  • Submission of transcripts
  • Completion and clearance of a background check
  • Passing of required state-specific entrance exams and basic skills tests
  • Application fee
  • Exam fees
  • Additional Coursework
  • Specialized trainings and certifications

For more information on the requirements for licensure in these states bordering Minnesota, please see the links provided below:

Iowa Board of Educational Examiners -

Nebraska Department of Education -

North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board -

South Dakota Department of Education -

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction -

We are here to help you reach your goals!

Stephanie Fladhammer
Customer Service Specialist
Office: IL 150
Phone: 507-537-6152

Faye Johnson
Field Experience Coordinator
Office: IL 151
Phone: 507-537-6290

Rebecca Panka
Director of Clinical Experiences in Education
Office: IL 152
Phone: 507-537-7059

Kala Kopitski
Director of Assessment, Accreditation and Licensure
Office: IL 154
Phone: 507-537-6681


Last Modified: 1/17/23 3:35 PM | Website Feedback