MEAOnline: Professional Development for Educators

Relicensure Courses

Additional Professional Development Courses

Financial Courses

Labor and Union Courses


A Asynchronous courses are self-guided and are available on LearnUpon at all times for members to complete on their own and at their own pace.

S Synchronous, Instructor Led Training (ILT) for groups allow individuals to enroll in a live course at a specific date and time with a live instructor using Zoom via LearnUpon. Members should contact their local president if they would like to request a group ILT.


Certified Negotiator Program for Education Support Professionals

Part 1 – PELRA and Bargaining Team Dynamics.  A  1 hour. This course will address the legal basis for bargaining, how to create an effective and functioning bargaining team, and the external and internal norms of a successful team.

Part 2 – Member Engagement.  A  1 hour. It’s essential that we recognize the vital importance of the real, perceived and potential power of our union. Members = Muscle, when you build engagement your power grows!

Part 3 – Research and Costing.  A  1 hour. In this section of ESP negotiation training, the participants will receive training on where resources are that will benefit your team during the negotiation process. These resources will include: language searches, settlement reports, cost comparison, and costing programs.

Part 4 – Preparing a Proposal and Communications.  A  1 hour. During this part of the course, you will learn strategies for preparing a proposal, presenting a proposal and how to respond to the proposals from the board. We will talk about the different modes of communication you can use during bargaining and do some scenarios to determine which modes are more effective during certain situations.

Go to course.


Certified Negotiator Program for Teachers 

A  4 hours. In this course negotiators will acquire knowledge and skills to lead their locals to settlement. The following essential aspects of bargaining will be covered: foundational labor law, member engagement, negotiations research, costing overview, team dynamics, proposal creation and preparation for being “at the table”. Go to course.


Cultural Competency Training (Relicensure) 

As of July 31, the entire four-part Cultural Competency sequence is now available as a learning path. We highly encourage anyone starting this series to please enroll in the learning path instead of this course. These courses are available separately for members who started the series pre-COVID. Thank you for understanding. 

This four-part series is designed to deepen educators’ understanding of their own frames of reference, the potential bias in these frames, and their impact on expectations for and relationships with students, students’ families, and the school communities. Participants will engage in self-reflection around the following topics: racial, cultural, and socioeconomic groups; American Indian and Alaskan native students; religion; systemic racism; gender identity, including transgender students; sexual orientation; language diversity; and individuals with disabilities and mental health concerns. 

Participants will not receive relicensure credit for the Cultural Competency requirement until they have completed all four courses. This training is designed to meet the language and intent of the MN statutory requirement. It is the only MEA PD training that meets all the required content. Local continuing education committees have the authority to approve or deny submissions so please check with local leaders if you have questions. Go to course.

Part 1A  2 hours. Equity work is a journey and in Part 1 we will lay the foundation for centering equity work in your community. Participants will ground themselves with norms and vocabulary and develop an understanding of the importance of intercultural competency.

Part 2A  2 hours. Equity begins with an exploration of self. Participants in Part 2 will begin to understand implicit bias and the construction of privilege. One of the goals of the session is to develop strategies to recognize and dismantle implicit bias in their lives. Learners will read articles, write in their work book, and watch TED Talks to deepen their knowledge and understanding. This course is for members who have completed Cultural Competency Training: Part 1.

Part 3A  2 hours. Equity work must be done in relationship with others. Language is power, and identifying skills to speak up against prejudice, bias, and stereotypes takes practice. In Part 3, participants will be able to acknowledge and respond to microaggressions, understand intent versus impact, and how to restore relationships using inclusive and recovery language. This course is for members who have completed Cultural Competency Training: Parts 1 & 2.

Part 4A  2 hours. Equity work is ongoing. Part 4 will highlight important strategies as you continue on your equity journey. We will go over definitions and characteristics of systems change, equity literacy, building your network, and provide tools for participants to develop an action plan to use in your learning community. This course is for members who have completed Cultural Competency Training: Parts 1, 2, & 3.


Culturally Responsive Teaching Through a Racial Justice Lens 

A  1 hour. This course will introduce strategies of culturally responsive teaching through a racial justice lens and how you can challenge and disrupt the systems, policies, and pedagogy that has perpetuated systemic racism. By completing this course, you will receive one hour of CEU credit. By definition of the state statute, this CEU will not satisfy the relicensure requirement of cultural competency; if you are interested in that CEU, please enroll in our four-part Cultural Competency learning path. Go to course.


Degrees, Not Debt

Asynchronous and Synchronous for group (contact your local president)

 1 hour. Education Minnesota’s Degrees, Not Debt program is rallying public support to decrease the cost of college and make it easier and cheaper to pay student loan debt. We know that student loan debt makes life hard for many young educators, driving some away from teaching. Many see the cost of college as a barrier to getting into the profession in the first place. These challenges weaken the diversity and depth of our teaching corps. This course covers basic information about student loans and loan forgiveness programs and how to use them. Go to course.


English Learners – Relicensure 

A  1 hour. Learn to tap into the strengths the English Learners bring to your class. Discover strategies for differentiation and scaffolding to support their work as they progress through stages of language acquisition. For ESPs, teachers, and early career educators. Go to course.


Reading – Relicensure 

A  1 hour. Participants will review the research and exemplary practices that help students acquire strong reading comprehension skills. For ESPs, teachers, and early career educators. Go to course.


Social Media, Legal Issues for Educators 

A  20 minutes. In this course, the learner will consider the do’s and don’t’s of using social media platforms both personally and professionally. Go to course.


Student Mental Health – Relicensure 

A  1 hour. This session raises awareness of key warning signs for early onset mental illness in children and adolescents and includes strategies for addressing learning challenges faced by students with particular mental health challenges. Go to course.


Worksite Unity Leader Training Part 1 

/ S (for group—contact your local president)

90 minutes. During this training, members will learn about power, the pathway to fully funding public schools in Minnesota and messaging about our campaign during COVID-19.


Blurred Lines: Addressing Boundaries 

60-90 minutes. This training will cover areas such as communication boundaries, personal boundaries, financial boundaries, relationship boundaries, institutional boundaries and power boundaries. Under these topics, we will address giving students rides home, texting with students, buying a student breakfast or having coffee with a student. We’ll delve into where the legal lines are and the potential legal consequences of blurring those boundaries.


Cellphones, Social Media and Student Safety 

S  60-90 minutes. With cellphones becoming increasingly prevalent in schools, this presentation will explore these and other legal questions that arise when students use their cellphones to record or photograph their classmates or school employees. This session will also provide some tips to help navigate some of the common social media pitfalls and protect you as an educator.


Certified Negotiator Program for Education Support Professionals

/ S (for group—contact your local president)

Part 1 – PELRA and Bargaining Team Dynamics. 1 hour. This course will address the legal basis for bargaining, how to create an effective and functioning bargaining team, and the external and internal norms of a successful team.

Part 2 – Member Engagement. 1 hour. It’s essential that we recognize the vital importance of the real, perceived and potential power of our union. Members = Muscle, when you build engagement your power grows!

Part 3 – Research and Costing. 1 hourIn this section of ESP negotiation training, the participants will receive training on where resources are that will benefit your team during the negotiation process. These resources will include: language searches, settlement reports, cost comparison, and costing programs.

Part 4 – Preparing a Proposal and Communications. 1 hour. During this part of the course, you will learn strategies for preparing a proposal, presenting a proposal and how to respond to the proposals from the board. We will talk about the different modes of communication you can use during bargaining and do some scenarios to determine which modes are more effective during certain situations.

Go to course.


Considering Staff Safety: Individual Issues and Proactive Steps for a Local 

 60-90 minutes. Safety in our schools is important for educators, students and families. A safe classroom and school means a safe educational environment for students and a safe workplace for employees. Considering staff safety means considering individual issues for staff and students, but there are also proactive steps a local union could take to address safety and the impact on staff and students. This session will provide information on options for staff who are injured or at risk for injury, as well as options for local unions to consider.


Continuing Contract Law: Know Your Rights 

60 minutes. This session will cover the basics of the continuing contract law, Minnesota Statute §122A.40. An Education Minnesota attorney will walk you through probationary periods, non-renewals, unrequested leaves of absence, terminations and access to and expungement of records. Come with your questions and leave with a better understanding of your rights.


Conversational School Finance 

75-90 minutes. This session will present the basics of Minnesota’s complicated school funding system, state trends and why we face massive shortfalls. You will build your vocabulary of terms and concepts of school district budgets. You also will learn how to use finance data to understand a district’s financial position and how to advocate with members and others for adequate, equitable funding for public education. Go to course.


Data Practices: Public, Private, Confidential, Nonpublic, Protected. What Does This All Mean? 

60-90 minutes. This session will cover the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, including a basic introduction and more advanced topics. Participants will learn about various types of personnel data, and the circumstances under which that data may be available to the public. We will discuss educational data and the duty to keep this data private.


Degrees, Not Debt 

/ S (for group—contact your local president)

1 hour 

Education Minnesota’s Degrees, Not Debt program is rallying public support to decrease the cost of college and make it easier and cheaper to pay student loan debt. We know that student loan debt makes life hard for many young educators, driving some away from teaching. Many see the cost of college as a barrier to getting into the profession in the first place. These challenges weaken the diversity and depth of our teaching corps. This course covers basic information about student loans and loan forgiveness programs and how to use them. Go to course.


Digital Organizing 101 

S (for group—contact your local president)

1 hour 

A digital revolution is underway in our society, and members and locals are eager to harness the power of social media and digital organizing tools to increase member engagement and affect change in bargaining and local elections. This session provides an overview of the latest texting, social media and video tools and details how locals can use them. Go to course.


Education Minnesota Foundation – Get Grants to Improve and Grow Your Practice 

1 hour. This training will review the different Education Minnesota Foundation grant applications, and show how the easy grant writing process can benefit educators, education support professionals and students.


Financial and Fiduciary Responsibilities for Local Leaders 

1 hour. Education Minnesota and all its affiliates and intermediate organizations must comply with local, state and federal laws, plus the rules and policies set forth in our governance documents and by our national affiliates. At the same time, we must ensure strong financial practices. This session will provide information on fiduciary responsibilities and financial training for treasurers, local and intermediate organization leaders.


Free Speech Rights of Educators 

60-90 minutes. This class will examine the various sources of speech protection for educators, both within and outside the classroom. After learning about major Supreme Court cases and Minnesota laws affecting free speech rights of educators, participants will apply their knowledge with real-life scenarios. Participants will also learn strategies for protecting or expanding their own speech rights through collective bargaining.


Grievance Process and Practice 

60-90 minutes. This session will detail the grievance process from the initial writing of a grievance to its completion. Attendees will have the opportunity to practice each step of the process using situations which are based on interesting, unusual and true circumstances. Participants should bring a copy of their contract with them.


Internal Audit Committee Training 

S (for group—contact your local president)

1 hour 

Your local’s internal audit committee plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the local’s financial reporting. Having the right knowledge and tools will help your committee manage this important responsibility in the most efficient way possible. We’ll take you step by step through the internal financial review process.


Invisible Illnesses 

45-60 minutes. Invisible illnesses include a large and varied number of conditions, from depression to migraines to fibromyalgia. People who suffer from invisible illnesses often don’t look sick, and because of that they are sometimes not believed. We will discuss the legal protections available to these individuals, and how those protections may coincide or diverge from contract language. We will also discuss how we can best represent and support fellow educators who suffer from invisible illnesses.


Language Matters 

60-90 minutes. Locals and individual members need to pay close attention to language in their contracts. A few words can sometimes make a big difference in meaning. During this workshop we will review various examples of language from grievance to emergency leave and everything in between. Attendees should bring a copy of their collective bargaining agreement to the session.


Legal Basics 

60-90 minutes. Many state laws impact educators in the classroom and affect your working conditions and employment status. Join us for an interactive review of the key things to know as a Minnesota educator. This session is particularly beneficial for newer members.


Legal Issues for ESPs 

60-90 minutes. This session will offer a review of the laws affecting ESPs. An Education Minnesota attorney will walk you through the Public Employment Labor Relations Act (PELRA), wage and hour laws, leave laws, antidiscrimination laws and other applicable state and federal laws.


Legal Issues in Bargaining 

60-90 minutes. Many legal issues arise during bargaining. Can the employer refuse to provide budget documents? Are the district’s negotiators bargaining in good faith? Can they summarize negotiations in the newsletter? This session will cover a variety of legal questions that come up before, during and after negotiations.


Legal Issues for Members Facing Disability 

60-90 minutes. In this session, we will address the various issues faced by our members and locals when it comes to navigating physical and mental disabilities, including strategies for member rights advocates to use in assisting members with disabilities, how members request accommodations, the Long-Term Disability (LTD) application process, disability benefits through the pension programs and other related issues.


Maltreatment and Mandatory Reporting 

60-90 minutes. This session will test participants’ knowledge and provide tips for educators on how to comply with the Maltreatment of Minors Act. When and how are members required to report suspected child abuse or neglect? What are your rights if you are the subject of an investigation? These questions and more will be discussed.


Mental Health Issues for Adults 

60-90 minutes. Educators perform a hard job, often under scrutiny and with many of students depending on them. When our members experience mental illness or experience a mental health crisis, what can we do to recognize this and respond with as much help as possible? What protections do our members have, and what resources are available to them? This session will explore those issues.


Negotiations Research: Online Data & Information to Support Bargaining 

75-90 minutes. Are you new to your bargaining team, or new to doing research in support of bargaining? Familiarize yourself with the negotiations tools available on the websites of Education Minnesota, government education departments, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, and other resources around the web. You will learn to use resources that will assist your local do the research necessary for bargaining. Tools include a contract language search engine, data on demographics and funding, survey tools and economic data.


Past Practice: How the Past Can Haunt (or Help) You! 

60-90 minutes. What constitutes a binding past practice? How can I use past practice to support a grievance? What is the proper way to terminate a past practice? An Education Minnesota attorney will walk you through the answers to these questions and more.


Preserving Statutory Protections 

60-90 minutes. This session will help you develop strategies to preserve legal protections relevant to your workplace, including leave laws, the Public Employment Labor Relations Act and laws related to pay and benefits. Participants will discuss strategies to extend statutory protections to all bargaining unit members and strategies to negotiate greater benefits than those provided in statutes. Bring your own contract for reference during the session.


Special Education Dilemmas 

60-90 minutes. An interactive discussion for special education staff and paraprofessionals on how to improve collaboration and communication with colleagues, parents and administrators in difficult situations.


Supporting Transgender Students and Staff: Legal Issues and Best Practices 

60-90 minutes. Over the past few years, issues surrounding the rights of students and employees who identify as transgender have gone from relatively obscure to center stage. This presentation will identify legal challenges involving transgender individuals, including an update on cases brought against Minnesota school districts, the Department of Education’s partial revocation of its guidance regarding transgender students and cases across the nation.


Take It or Leave It: What You Can and Cannot Do Based on Your Local Contract 

60-90 minutes. Can I use FMLA to care for my sick grandchild? Does the district have to give me time off to send off my son who was just called up for active duty? My child’s school program is during the day but I don’t know if I can take time off to attend. This session will review various state and federal leave laws and include what to look for in your collective bargaining agreement. Bring your contract and your questions.


Teacher Code of Ethics 

60-90 minutes. Information provided will help licensed instructors avoid situations that could jeopardize their careers, licenses and reputations. The session focuses on the legal and ethical issues addressed by the Teacher’s Code of Ethics, including a discussion of other related laws. Being informed and understanding these issues will help you have a successful teaching career.


Top 10 Reasons for Discipline 

60-90 minutes. Join one of the Education Minnesota attorneys and discuss the top 10 reasons teachers receive discipline. From boundary issues with students to paperwork compliance, we will look at why discipline commonly happens and consider best practices for avoiding discipline as a teacher.


Unfair Labor Practices 

60-90 minutes. This session will provide an overview of unfair labor practices under the Public Employment Labor Relations Act. We will discuss the legal rights and obligations of unions and employees and how to use those rights to aid in a successful organizing campaign.


Unrequested Leave of Absence Strategies 

60-90 minutes. Members discuss and develop strategies for writing or refining contract language dealing with unrequested leaves of


Using Membership to the Max: Member Benefits 

1 hour. Minnesota ESI works to bring quality programs and services to members and their families. Through a member-led advisory committee and board, programs and services go through a review process before being sponsored. Learn about the ESI, NEA and AFT sponsored programs including identity theft protection, financial resources and shopping discounts. There are programs for members at every stage in their career. In fact, there are many ways for members to save the cost of their dues and more.


What’s New? Ask the Lawyer 

60-90 minutes. Join one of the Education Minnesota attorneys as we review current legal issues and answer your burning legal questions. Even if you’ve attended before, we’ll have new questions to test your knowledge of the legal issues impacting educators.


When Can I Afford to Retire? 

90-120 minutes. 

For Members with a PERA Pension

For Members with a TRA Pension

The answer to this question depends not only on how well you have planned financially, but also on what your plans are in retirement. While you are working, your income comes from your paycheck. In retirement, your income will come from three sources: your pension, social security, any savings you have accumulated in accounts such as 403(b)/457/IRAs and savings. In this session, members will begin to understand how defined-benefit pensions work and how income in retirement is calculated based on the pension option you choose. You will also learn about various investment plans and the differences between them so you can plan what is best for you. Also important are health care choices, and decisions related to long-term care insurance as a means to provide independence as well as helping to protect assets and retirement savings. Go to course.