Part Time Teaching Licenses: Montana

Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy


The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.

Meets a small part of goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Part Time Teaching Licenses: Montana results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Montana's policies

Montana offers a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time, although the use of such license is restricted.

Montana offers the Class 8 Dual Credit-only Postsecondary Faculty license. Applicants must be current faculty members at an approved college/university to qualify. The Class 8 license permits candidates to teach only dual credit courses in their identified field, essentially high school courses taken for college credits.

Class 8 candidates must provide a recommendation from an accredited professional educator preparation program stating the applicant's degree/major and verifying competency as it relates to instruction.


Recommendations for Montana

Offer a license that allows content experts to serve as part-time instructors.
Montana's Class 8 license only serves to allow college faculty to teach dual credit courses to high school students. The state should expand on this idea and offer a license that permits all individuals with deep subject-area knowledge to teach a limited number of courses without fulfilling a complete set of certification requirements. The state should verify content knowledge through a rigorous test and conduct background checks as appropriate, while waiving all other licensure requirements. Such a license would increase districts' flexibility to staff certain subjects, including many STEM areas, that are frequently hard to staff or may not have high enough enrollment to necessitate a full-time position.

State response to our analysis

Montana declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.

Research rationale

The origin of this goal is the effort to find creative solutions to the STEM crisis. While teaching waivers are not typically used this way, teaching waivers could be used to allow competent professionals from outside of education to be hired as part-time instructors to teach courses such as Advanced Placement chemistry or calculus as long as the instructor demonstrates content knowledge on a rigorous test. See NCTQ, "Tackling the STEM Crisis" at:

For the importance of teachers' general academic ability, see R. Ferguson, "Paying for Public Education: New Evidence on How and Why Money Matters," Harvard Journal on Legislation 28 (1991), 465-498.

For more on math and science content knowledge, see D. Monk and J.R. King, "Subject Area Preparation of Secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers and Student Achievement," Economics of Education Review 12, no. 2 (1994), 125-145; R. Murnane, "Understanding the Sources of Teaching Competence: Choices, Skills, and the Limits of Training," Teachers College Record 84, no. 3 (1983)