We have answers to your questions

What is Pathway to 18?

Pathway to 18 is a collaborative effort of the seven universities of Minnesota State to help concurrent enrollment instructors become or remain qualified to teach concurrent enrollment courses and achieve the necessary credentialing requirements set forth by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the regional accrediting body for all post-secondary institutions in Minnesota and 18 other states in the region.

Pathway to 18 is here to help you quickly and affordably find the graduate programs and courses you need, and answer questions about funding, credit for prior learning and more.

 Credentialing Requirements

What are the requirements to teach concurrent enrollment courses?

In 2015, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) clarified expectations for dual credit/concurrent enrollment instructors. This clarification means high school instructors teaching courses for an HLC accredited college or university must meet the same minimum faculty qualifications as faculty hired by and teaching for the college and university.

If you are teaching in the liberal arts, the HLC has set the following requirements, which go into effect September 1, 2023, for concurrent enrollment instructors:

  • a Master’s degree or higher in the subject you teach.

OR

  • a Master’s degree or higher in another discipline + 18 graduate credits in the subject you teach.

Who do the credentialing requirements apply to?

The credentialing requirements apply to you if you currently teach concurrent enrollment courses in the liberal arts or plan to teach concurrent enrollment courses in the liberal arts after September 2023.

If you currently teach Career and Technical Education (CTE) concurrent enrollment courses, requirements to teach CTE courses vary by field. Please consult with your partnering college or university to identify the requirements specific to the CTE course you are teaching. You can search all credential fields for Minnesota State.


When is the deadline to meet the HLC credentialing requirements?

September 1, 2023, is the deadline defined by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for concurrent enrollment instructors to achieve the necessary credentialing requirements. The credentialing requirements have been communicated for more than five years and will no longer be extended.


Will I still be able to meet the credentialing requirements after September 2023?

Yes. Instructors who miss the September 1, 2023, deadline can continue to earn the necessary credentialing; however, they will not be able to teach in applicable disciplines until they are fully credentialed in that discipline.


What are the guidelines for instructors teaching concurrent enrollment courses in more than one subject areas?

Credentialing is required for concurrent enrollment instructors for each subject taught. After September 1, 2023, instructors who typically teach concurrent enrollment courses in more than one subject area can continue to teach only those disciplines in which they are credentialed.

Example: An instructor has typically taught concurrent enrollment courses in English, business, and communications. The instructor holds a Master’s degree in English, but does not hold advanced degrees in business or communications, nor do they have 18 credits in those disciplines. The instructor can continue concurrent enrollment courses in English; however, they would no longer be able to teach concurrent enrollment business or communications courses after September 1, 2023, unless they meet credentialing in those disciplines.

Applicable coursework

Where are graduate courses offered to meeting the credentialing requirements?

Course listings are available online through Pathway to 18. Our mission is to help you get the credentials you need quickly and affordably. A broad array of graduate courses, including online options for your busy life, are available at these universities:

  • Bemidji State University
  • Metropolitan State University
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Cloud State University
  • Southwest Minnesota State University
  • Winona State University

Can I take graduate courses from other post-secondary institutions not listed through Pathway to 18?

Yes. You may enroll in graduate courses offered by other post-secondary institutions. However, you will need to seek pre-approval from your partnering college or university and your school administrator prior to enrolling in any graduate courses to ensure the course and credits will count toward the credentialing requirements for your field.


Is Credit for Prior Learning available to meet credentialing requirements?

Yes, you can earn up to six credits with qualifying experiences. Learn more about Credit for Prior Learning.


How do I know if these courses will count toward my credentialing requirements?

Prior to enrolling in any graduate course, you should seek approval from your partnering college or university for each graduate course you plan to enroll in. All courses listed on the Pathway to 18 website have been approved within the Minnesota State system to count towards the minimum faculty qualifications for the subject areas/disciplines designated.


Will these courses qualify me to be hired as faculty at Minnesota State colleges and universities?

You may take courses that meet the minimum faculty qualifications for the concurrent enrollment courses you teach with your partnering college or university. If you plan to become a college or university faculty member, please consult the college or university you are interested in working for to have your courses evaluated for the purposes of teaching on their campus.

Tuition Support

Is tuition support available to meet the credentialing requirements?

Funding was approved by the Minnesota Legislature to provide tuition support to concurrent enrollment instructors pursuing discipline-specific graduate coursework. Learn more about tuition support opportunities here.

Why are concurrent enrollment courses important?

Here are 18 reasons to achieve concurrent enrollment credentialing:

  1. You can enhance opportunities to advance in your career.
  2. You play a vital role in preparing high school students for college and careers.
  3. Teachers make all professions possible. As a CE instructor, you make an even more powerful impact.
  4. You provide a supportive entry point for students to experience college.
  5. You create access to college in high school for many students who may otherwise not have access.
  6. You have the power to keep making student dreams of college come true.
  7. You make college more affordable for students, potentially reducing student debt and accelerating students into careers and the workforce.
  8. Your CE students are counting on you. You advance your district’s college and career readiness goals.
  9. You provide rigorous academic early college experiences for high school students.
  1. Students who complete CE courses are more likely to graduate high school.
  2. Students who complete CE courses are more likely to go to college and complete a degree.
  3. Students from low-income backgrounds who take CE courses are 10-30% more likely to go to college.
  4. Students in majority-minority school districts who take CE courses are 32-56% more likely to go to college.
  5. Students who take CE courses make smoother transitions from high school to college.
  6. Students save time and money with CE courses.
  7. 43% of Minnesota students complete a college course in high school (national average is 34%).
  8. Students have limited options for CE courses unless more instructors like you are credentialed.
  9. Pathway to 18 is a pathway for student success!