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Curriculum | Graduate Special Education Licensure

In order to earn the Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) license, students will need to complete the core skills for teachers of special education (8710.5000), and the skills for academic and behavioral strategist (8710.5050). They also need to meet the requirements regarding comprehensive scientifically-based reading instruction (reading standards). The core skills consist of 52 State standards divided into four areas. The ABS skills consist of an additional 49 State standards divided into the same four areas plus one additional area. The core skills and ABS skills are divided into the following areas:

  • Foundational knowledge
  • Referral, evaluation, planning and programming
  • Instructional design, teaching and ongoing evaluation
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Clinical experiences

The clinical experience does not require typical student teaching since the ABS license would be an endorsement and not a separate license.  Students will need to have at total of 150 clinical experiences across the three areas including, primary (K-4), middle level (5-8) and secondary (9-12, including transition programs).

License in ABS
Total credits: 32

Master of Science in Special Education  
Total credits: 35-39

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Expand and Collapse Required Courses

Expand and Collapse EDU 5600 - Foundations of Special Education

Address the foundational knowledge necessary for teaching students with exceptionalities utilizing the principles of Universal Design. Topics include an introduction to disability laws, an overview of the special education process, historical and theoretical frameworks and legal mandates that have shaped the current field of special education, as well as the needs and characteristics of individuals with exceptionalities and an introduction to Universal Design. This is the first course in a series leading to eligibility for licensure in Minnesota as an Academic and Behavioral Strategist.

Expand and Collapse EDU 5605 - Clinical Practicum Seminar ABS

Focuses on the application of teaching skills in special education classrooms, primary (grades K-4), middle level (grades 5-8), and secondary (grades 9-12, including transition program settings). Clinical practicum experiences include: planning and teaching lessons designed to meet individual academic and behavioral needs of students who have a range of mild to moderate disabilities, from the primary disability areas of autism spectrum disorders, developmental cognitive delays, emotional or behavioral disorders, other health disorders, and specific learning disabilities. The experiences will also include formal observations, participation in school activities, communicating effectively with parents/guardians, and working with general education teachers and school support personnel. The seminar component of the course will include a minimum of three synchronous meetings and will provide opportunities to actively explore central educational issues and key concepts related to the education of students with mild/moderate exceptionalities. Candidates are supervised and observed by a college faculty member. The duration for this second licensure student teaching internship is 4 weeks (150 student contact hours) in length. The distribution of hours at each grade band will be determined on an individual basis and may occur over the course of multiple semesters.

Expand and Collapse EDU 5630 - Collaboration Skills

Develop skills necessary for successfully communicating and collaborating with families, educators, related service providers and community resources specific to the programming needs of students with exceptionalities. Topics include ethics, knowledge and skills of collaboration, the application of collaboration for consultation, team membership, co-teaching, the supervision of paraprofessionals, and the impact of family and culture on communication and collaboration.

Expand and Collapse EDU 5640 - Behavior Theories, Analysis and Interventions

Focuses on the legal and ethical aspects of behavior management and positive behaviors and supports for students with exceptionalities. Students are prepared to conduct Functional Behavior Assessments and design and implement Behavior Intervention Plans that promote and enhance positive behavior.

Expand and Collapse EDU 5650 - Assessment Strategies for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

Addresses the knowledge and skills related to assessment, evaluation, and eligibility for special education and related services of students with mild to moderate disabilities. Topics include norm referenced individualized test instruments, classroom based assessments, formal/informal assessments, basic statistics/measurement concepts, school-based definitions, criteria, characteristics and report writing.

Expand and Collapse EDU 5660 - Special Education Law

Explores the historical and legal aspects of the educational and due process rights of students with exceptionalities and their families. Students are prepared to design and implement Individualized Education Program plans and documents required by due process procedures and school systems.

Expand and Collapse EDU 5670 - Fundamental Characteristics of Mild/Moderate Disabilities

Develops a deeper understanding of skills and knowledge necessary for teaching students with mild to moderate exceptionalities. Topics include theories/practices for mild disabilities, support systems, current trends at local, state, national levels and impacts of culture, disability, and gender on identification.

Expand and Collapse EDU 5680 - Transitional Planning and Secondary Services for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

Addresses the transition needs of students with disabilities, learning how to cover and implement transition systems. Topics include policies and legislation, transition assessments and paperwork, working collaboratively, transition IEPs and services, and setting up transition services in post school environments.

Expand and Collapse EDU 5690 - Instructional Strategies for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

Focuses on classroom application of research-based strategies and interventions for learners with exceptionalities. Topics include: legal requirements and laws, Response to Intervention (RtI), Universal Design for Learning (UdL), instructional strategies and assessments for teaching reading, vocabulary spelling, handwriting and math, instructional technology and delivering and documenting educational services

These two courses are offered each semester; only those interested in earning a Masters will take them:

  • EDU 6180 Understanding & Evaluating Educational Research (3 credits)
  • EDU 6190 Using Data to Improve Student Learning (4 credits)

(Elementary reading standards are required for the Academic and Behavioral Strategist license and may be waived on a case-by-case basis for those with a Minnesota Elementary Education teaching license. A review of your past coursework will determine if the elementary reading courses will be required.)

EDU 5325 Elementary Reading Methods I – 2 cr.
EDU 5330 Elementary Reading Methods II – 2 cr.

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