Continuing Education Unit Committee

Next Meeting: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of the VOA Continuing Education Committee?
The Volunteers of America Continuing Education Committee is a state-approved committee that serves schools sponsored by Volunteers of America-Minnesota (contract alternative and charter schools). The committee stands to approve continuing education clock hours for teacher re-licensing for those schools that choose to be served by this committee. Members of the committee include teachers, administrators and community members of VOA sponsored schools and are elected by the licensed staff at the schools served by the committee.

How many hours of continuing education are required to renew my license?
Licensed teachers must complete at least 125 clock hours of continuing education in each 5 year license period in order to renew. Hours must be earned in two or more of the allowed categories listed (categories A-I, below).

It is expected that the majority of your renewal hours emphasize professional development in areas of relevant coursework, educational workshops, staff development, curriculum development, or formal peer coaching relationships (categories A-E, below). The committee may deny hours that are primarily for personal, rather than professional improvement.

It is expected that the majority of your renewal hours emphasize professional development in areas of relevant coursework, educational workshops, staff development, curriculum development, or formal peer coaching relationships (categories A-E, below). The committee may deny hours that are primarily for personal, rather than professional improvement.

State guidelines grant 1 clock hour for each hour of participation in a continuing education activity (referred to as a Continuing Education Unit or CEU).

For accredited college coursework, the following policy applies:
1 quarter credit = 16 clock hours
1 semester credit = 24 clock hours

What type of activities can be counted for CEUs?
The state allows continuing education units in the following areas:

  1. Relevant college coursework
  2. Educational workshops, conferences, institutes, seminars or lectures
  3. Staff development activities, in-service meetings, and courses
  4. Site, district, regional, state, national or international curriculum development
  5. Engagement in formal peer coaching or mentorship relationships with colleagues that address standards.
  6. Professional service (such as serving on state or local boards or committees) (limited to 30 hours per 5 year cycle)
  7. Leadership experiences (limited to 30 hours per 5 year cycle)
  8. Opportunities to enhance knowledge and understanding of diverse education (limited to 30 hours per 5 year cycle)
  9. Pre-approved Travel or Work experiences (limited to 30 hours per 5 year cycle)

Is there a time limit on when my CEU hours can be completed?
Hours for license renewal must be completed no more than 5 years from the year of renewal. For example, if you are renewing your license in 2012, only CEU hours completed since 2007 would be accepted. Hours completed before 2007 would be ineligible to count for license renewal.

Are there any specific areas I must receive training in to renew my license?
There are also currently five state-required learning areas that all teachers must obtain training in within the 5-year license span. Volunteers of America CEU Committee requires documentation of 2 clock hours in each of the following areas within each 5-year period:

  • Positive behavioral interventions
  • Accommodation, modification or adaptation of curriculum, instruction or materials for students with special needs as they work towards achieving graduation standards.
  • Scientifically-based reading strategies and instruction
  • Understanding key warning signs of mental health problems in students
  • Integrating technology effectively with student learning to increase engagement and student achievement (new requirement for all teachers renewing after June 30, 2011).

What is the new reflective practice requirement for relicensure?
For teachers renewing their licenses after June 30, 2012, the state requires that a teacher submit a written statement of professional learning. When applying for 5-year relicensure, in addition to the usual CEU clock-hour submissions, teachers must supply their CEU committees with a written reflection on their participation in various forms of job-embedded professional development during the 5 years prior to their relicensure.

The law specifies four ways that teachers can meet this requirement, requiring documentation of:

  1. Support for student learning;
  2. Use of best practices techniques and their applications to student learning;
  3. Collaborative work with colleagues that includes examples of collegiality such as attested-to committee work, collaborative staff development programs, and professional learning community work; or
  4. Continual professional development that may include (i) job-embedded or other ongoing formal professional learning or (ii) for teachers employed for only part of the renewal period of their expiring license, other similar professional development efforts made during the relicensure period.

For more information about this new requirement and a sample template for the reflective statement, see the Reflective Practice Requirement document.

When does the VOA CEU committee meet?
The committee meets to conduct committee business and approve clock hours 3 times a year, generally in the fall, winter and spring. As the specific dates of upcoming meetings are determined they will be sent to school site liaisons. Approval of hours outside of scheduled meetings cannot be guaranteed, so please be aware of meeting dates and submit your hours promptly. If you have emergency approval needs or other extenuating circumstances, please contact a committee member (see contacts, below).

What is the process to submit my CEUs?
For all experience categories, the most important thing to provide to the committee is clear documentation. For most classes, trainings or workshops, you should receive some official documentation of the experience including the title and topics covered, date, and number of hours attended. Staff development or in-services provided by your school should be signed by your school director or professional development coordinator. For convenience, school-based training or staff developments can be grouped together under one form. For other categories, any appropriate and reasonable documentation of completion will suffice.

For each experience attach a completed Clock Hour Approval Application form to your documentation. Indicate on the form the category, the number of hours, and if any part of the experience meets the mandatory requirement areas. Include enough description or documentation so that the committee members can evaluate the legitimacy of the experience or how it fits one of the required learning areas. Incomplete applications or applications without sufficient documentation may not be approved and will be returned for further information or clarification.

Give completed applications to your school site contact at least 1 week before the scheduled committee meetings, who will forward them to the committee for approval.

How can I receive CEUs for travel or work experiences?
Travel experiences and outside-of-school work experiences can often provide meaningful professional enrichment opportunities for educators. However, because of the generally informal nature of these experiences, pre-approval of the experience by the committee is necessary.

To request pre-approval, simply fill out a clock hour form indicating your request for pre-approval, describe the activity and explain how it will relate to your professional development as an educator, dates and hours involved, and submit it to the continuing education committee. If approved, the request form will be returned to you. After your activity, complete the clock hour form and re-submit to the committee for final approval of your travel or work experience activity. Remember, a maximum of 30 clock hours will be granted in each 5-year period for either travel or work experiences.

How do I know my hours that I submit to the committee have been approved?
All approved CEUs are immediately entered into the Department of Education website. You may register for an account at the Minnesota Department of Education website and view all your approved hours.

If I leave my current school, will my previously approved hours be available to my new school or district?
If you ever leave Volunteers of America Schools, all of your approved hours will be accessible online by your new district committee. You may also request your paper file of your approved CEUs from the committee. Submit a written request with a contact address to a committee member and your records will be returned to you.

How do I renew my teaching license?
After you have submitted your 125 Clock hours and met the requirements of the required learning areas, you may renew your license any time after January 1 of your renewal year.

The renewal process with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is entirely online. Go to the Minnesota Department of Education website and choose Educator Licensing from the menu on the right side of the page, and then choose Apply for or Renew my License. Detailed instructions for registering for an account and logging in are available on the website.

You will be required to have a copy of your actual paper license to login, as the serial number printed on the license is part of the process. You will also be required to have a Visa or Mastercard to pay for your renewal fees online.

Who do I contact if I have more questions? Who are the committee contacts?
If you have further questions, please contact your school site liaison or a member of the CEU committee.

Committee contacts

  • Kathryn Phelps, Teacher


  • Scott Totten-Hall, Teacher


  • Sharon Churchill, Teacher

    Chair-person / Secretary

  • Danielle Jesperson, Teacher