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of St. Scholastica
Teacher Education Program

The Teacher Education program at the College of St. Scholastica is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) for a period of 7 years, from July 2019 to July 2026. The accreditation does not include individual education courses that the Educator Preparation Program offers to P-12 educators for professional development, re-licensure, or other purposes.

Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB)

The fully accredited Teacher Education Program is assessed according to the requirements and standards of the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). The teacher education program has full continuing unit and program approval through June 30, 2024.

Graduate Special Education Licensure

Teacher talking with a group of students in a classroom

FAST FACTS: Graduate Special Education Licensure with Optional M.S. in Special Education

  • 100% online format with limited residency**
  • Earn an additional license as a K-12 Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) in less than two years
  • Designed in a format that accommodates your life
  • Earn an optional master's degree in Special Education while working toward your additional Minnesota teaching license
  • Total Licensure Credits:
    • 32 credits for those currently holding an active Minnesota teaching license. If you are not currently licensed to teach in Minnesota, please see the section titled "Out of state considerations and those not currently licensed"
    • An additional 7 credits for a Master's in Special Education

Tuition: $435/credit*

*Tuition rates are for the 2021-22 academic year. Additional fees and costs for course materials may apply. Total program cost and completion time varies depending on transfer credits and individual program plans. Tuition rates are subject to change.

Program overview

The Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) license prepares teachers to serve the needs of students with mild to moderate academic and social needs in the disability areas of learning disabilities (LD), emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD), developmental cognitive disabilities (DCD), other health disorders (OHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The ABS offering at St. Scholastica is a second license, added to either an elementary, secondary, or K-12 teaching licensure. The role of the Academic Behavioral Strategist is to collaborate and consult with families, classroom, and special education teachers and other service providers to design and implement individualized education program plans that serve students with mild to moderate disabilities.

The Graduate Special Education Licensure program at The College of St. Scholastica is online and designed for practicing teachers looking to transition to the field of special education, though it is open to those in other fields and other states that would benefit from the curriculum. This pathway allows working teachers to earn their Minnesota Academic and Behavioral Strategist (K-12) license while also pursuing a Master of Science degree. This teacher certification program supports Fall and Spring starts. Prospective students are encouraged to apply early.

Our graduate licensure program was created in collaboration with the K-12 community. Coursework is grounded in research and best practices and instills teachers with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to promote learning for students with disabilities. The program will build reflective practitioners who work to facilitate inclusion as a way to meet the needs of academically and behaviorally diverse learners in order to provide them the educational experiences in which they are encouraged, valued, and respected. In addition to fostering students' efficacy, addressing the attitudes and biases of others toward individuals with disabilities is equally important. The varied courses, school-based projects and assessments, and field experiences enable the mastery of core skills for teaching special education, and those specific to an Academic and Behavioral Strategist.

Work toward your master's while earning your teaching license

Our program is designed to meet the requirements of a Master of Science while you are working toward your Minnesota Academic and Behavioral Strategist teaching license. This means you'll be able to enhance your work in the teaching profession with a master's degree, giving you more earning potential, better credentials and a full understanding of how to be an effective special education teacher. If you're not interested in earning a Master of Science degree and just want your Academic and Behavioral Strategist teaching license, we can accommodate your needs as well. To learn more, fill out the form today. Or if you're ready, start the application

Cohort model

Online learning isn't independent learning at St. Scholastica. We've applied a cohort model to our Special Education Licensure program, which means you'll move through the program with the same group of colleagues. We've also implemented a host of technologies to help bridge the gap between the computer and the classroom.

Program advisor

An online advisor is assigned to you at the beginning of the program and stays with you until you graduate. Your online advisor is available to answer questions and offer support.

Other student resources

  • Zoom is a fully functional virtual classroom that allows you to participate in live discussions with other students, attend online lectures, and much more
  • A 24-hour help desk means that you'll never struggle alone with an uncooperative computer
  • Instant messaging and discussion boards enable virtual class discussions
  • Other support services, including Hoonuit and SMARTHINKING, help you master important software and provide online tutoring support to make sure you have help when you need it

Federal loan forgiveness programs for teachers

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Education's loan forgiveness programs for teachers.

Career opportunities

Special education isn't just a rewarding occupation; it's also in-demand. There is a nationwide shortage of special education teachers. The Executive Summary of the 2017 Report of Teacher Supply and Demand indicates "The number and percentage of students that qualify for special education services ... has increased in the last several years" and "Hiring officials predict that in the next five years the most difficult staff to hire will be special education teachers," demonstrating the need for licensed professionals in the field.

Out of state considerations and those not currently licensed

The Academic and Behavioral Strategist program at The College of St. Scholastica meets the additional license requirements of the state of Minnesota. You will need to check with your state education agency to determine if this program meets your state's licensing requirements. This program does not include Minnesota’s initial teacher preparation Standards of Effective Practice.

**Limited Residency: Students will meet in person on two separate occasions over the course of the program for a full day. The first session will occur prior to the first semester of the program and will focus on orienting students to The College of St. Scholastica and the Special Education Licensure program.  The second session will occur during Term 3 of the program (summer) and will be aligned with the 21st Century Teaching and Learning Conference. This session will provide a Professional Practices Seminar.

Next Steps...

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  • Detailed program overview
  • Personalized financial aid
  • Individual admissions support

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Katie WayneKatie Wayne
Associate Director, Enrollment Management
(218) 625-4805
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  • "I really enjoyed my time in the SpEd program. The professors have designed and implemented a curriculum that is thought-provoking, but also self-reflective. The program is very flexible in design and supports a work, life and professional balance. It was engaging for students already in the field of education working to add a special education license."

    – Matthew Wade