The Minnesota Professional Development system believes that learning and career guidance is one of the most important activities in a practitioner's professional development and personal growth. Through the learning and career guidance services, practitioners learn to explore all possible options. This gives them a greater sense of confidence to develop new views of their world and themselves, and to make their own decisions regarding their career growth.
Continuous learning and constantly searching for guidance, information and feedback, allows practitioners to see themselves more clearly. Learning new skills and having new experiences can be a source of renewal for someone who does not want to change jobs.
Who will benefit from using these Learning and Career Guidance Resources?
- Family child care
- Center-based programs (teacher/assistant/aid)
- Center-based administrator/director
- Public prekindergartens (ECFE)
- Family, friend and neighbor care
- All Head Start (including Early Head Start and Migrant Head Start)
- Early intervention
- Trainers and other adult educators
- Public and private school and school-age programs.
Career Guidance Services will:
- Assist practitioners in self-knowledge and self-support
- Explore professional goals and objectives
- Assist practitioners in creating a professional development plan (pdf)
- Assist practitioners in examining their educational and occupational goals
- Assist practitioners in career planning, preparation and change.
Professional Development and You
Professional development will help you improve the knowledge, skills, behavior and insights needed to become an effective provider or leader.
High-quality professional development:
- Is planned based on a needed improvement, and is driven by a coherent long-term plan
- Reflects best available research and practice
- Allows the learner to develop further experiences
- Promotes constant examination and improvement in your practices
- Requires time to allow transfer of learning, and to apply new learning.
Why do practitioners need professional development?
Teacher expertise is the single most important cause of school readiness and student success. Teachers who are engaged in continuous, meaningful and appropriate professional learning pass on that desire to learn to the children with whom they work. Research also stresses the importance of teachers taking ownership of personal professional learning, engaging in review of personal needs, and selecting appropriate learning experiences. This site is designed to help you assess your needs and assess the professional learning in which you take on.
Professional development tools
The following tools will help you meet the goals of your growth and improvement plan:
- Self-assessment tools
- The Minnesota Registry learning records
- Online personal development planning tools
Self-assessment is an organized process of evaluating your current and preferred career objectives, opportunities, challenges, obstacles and resources. It helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses, values and goals, skills and competencies, and link these to your future career and life decisions.
Self-assessment is a key first step in personal change. Self-assessment provides practitioners an opportunity to take time to inventory their current situation and desired outcomes before beginning to make new plans and put them into action.
Self-assessment allows you to:
- Help identify your past experiences and current situation, and identify what you would like to achieve by making a change
- Discover your core strengths and competencies
- Figure out options that you might not have otherwise considered
- Do a reality check - give yourself feedback and ask for feedback from others that will help develop a solid action plan
- Develop an organized process that can be used at any time in the future as you consider personal and career changes.
Self-assessment will help practitioners answer the following questions:
How did you get where are you now?
- Identify your current knowledge, skills and ability
Where do you want to go?
- List your short-term goals
- List your long-term goals
- Where do you want to be in six months, one year, three years, ten years, and so on?
How do you get there?
- What are the stepping stones that will get you from where you are now to where you want to be in your short-term or long-term goals?
- What are the skills you need to develop? Is your current position providing you with the experience needed in order to meet the goals?
- Do you need to go back to school to get the education needed for your next job?
- Do you need to expand your responsibilities (take on leadership or management activities) within the job you have, or do you need to find another job that will enable you to take on more responsibilities?
The Learning Record is a tool that documents formal and non-formal learning in a standardized and reliable manner. The Learning Record is designed to assist and empower the practitioner to take the next steps. The Registry will be able to calculate the Minnesota Career Ladder steps and transfer the information to the Practitioner Learning Record, which a provider will be able to print out for him/herself.
Three Learning Records available to the practitioner:
- The Certificate of Achievement will be printed by the Registry staff and mailed to the practitioner.
- The Practitioner Learning Record will be available to the practitioner, and will provide evidence of training and skills achieved. The practitioner can give the document to county licensors, supervisors or perspective employers.
- The Career Ladder Learning Record and Plan will be made available to the practitioner only. The learning record will be used for career goal planning and advising. It will identify personal education and training needs. The document could also be used for the practitioner to explore fitting career paths.
Learning Records policies and procedures
The learning records will be available as a self-service to the practitioners who are registered on the Registry. Practitioners will have the option to view the learning record on their screen, print it or have a learning record e-mailed to them right from the Registry. The learning records are free and can be printed from the practitioner's printer. They will need a user name and password to use this option.
Practitioners who do not have access to a printer will also have an option to request the learning records in person. If a practitioner decides to come to the Center for Professional Development (Metropolitan State University, Midway Campus) to request a learning record, a picture ID will be required. In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), records may not be released to a third party without the prior written authorization of the student. Telephone or e-mail requests will not be honored. The learning records will also follow the registry policies on data privacy.