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Our Academic Behavioral Strategist License prepares you to serve K-12 students in a variety of mild to moderate disability categories, including ASD, EBD, LD, OHD, and DCD. You’ll be equipped to work in resource rooms and inclusive K-12 settings within public schools.


Mostly Online

You'll complete over 80% of your coursework online.

Location: Online

Start Dates: Spring 2018


Mostly Online

Courses will be a mix of online and face to face sessions. You'll complete 30-80% of your coursework online.

Location: Anderson Center, and St. Paul

Start Dates: Summer 2017, Fall 2017, and Spring 2018


  • Characteristics of Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED600)

    Overview and introduction to the mild-moderate range of five disability categories represented under Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) including: Learning Disabilities (LD), Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), Developmental Disabilities (DD), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, curriculum, and contemporary issues of each will be studied.

    3 credits

  • Introduction to Special Education (SPED605)

    Special education historical and legal issues. Basic characteristics of mild-moderate disabilities. State and federal laws, due process, data privacy requirements, exclusionary rules. Special education historical and philosophical background. Attitudes toward the exceptional child. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Significant litigation related to special education. Preview into the child with LD, EBD, OHD, DCD, or ASD.

    1 credits

  • Introduction to Academic Instruction and Behavior Management for the Exceptional Learner (SPED608)

    This course will prepare special education teachers for their unique role as academic instructors and skillful classroom managers. Students will become familiar with a wide range of evidence-based teaching and behavior management methods that include approaches for one to one, small group and class-wide delivery. An emphasis on universal design as it relates to the needs of both typically developing and exceptional learners will accompany a foundational introduction to Behavioral management through antecedent-based intervention and environmental arrangement.

    2 credits

  • Norm-Referenced Assessment (SPED610)

    Introduction to special education teacher role in assessment processes. Norm-referenced, standardized assessment as part of identification and instructional planning process for students with emotional/behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, other health disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, or developmental cognitive disabilities. Issues of test quality (reliability, validity, standardization), scoring, and interpretation. Survey of instruments commonly used in assessment.

    3 credits

  • Foundations of Instructional Strategies for Students with Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED618)

    Course provides teacher-students a framework for designing, implementing, and evaluating instructional methods to teach exceptional students writing, mathematics, social skills, organizational skills and transition skills. Examine and apply evidence-based instruction while making instructional modifications and accommodations to address the needs of students with a range of disabilities and needs.

    3 credits

  • Reading Foundations (SPED620)

    Identification of relationships among reading, writing, and oral language, comprehension processes, and instructional strategies. Description of the structure of the English language and word identification strategies, and the role of vocabulary knowledge in language. Analysis of different texts for K-12 classrooms. Assessment strategies for reading and writing needs.

    3 credits

  • Reading Field Experience (SPED621)

    Supervised reading instruction in a K-12 setting. Assessment and analysis of reading ability. Creation of lessons and application of reading instruction skills/strategies. Designing of an environment that fosters reading. Identification of how personal faith connects with the professional responsibilities of a teacher. 30 hours over 12 weeks.

    1 credits

  • Special Education: Planning and Programming (SPED625)

    Special education delivery systems. Using assessment data to write academic and behavioral goals and objectives for incorporation into an individual education plan (IEP). Evaluation of available service delivery options to choose the most appropriate setting to meet students need. Effective multidisciplinary team processes with consideration of influence of diversity and language on eligibility, placement decisions, and programming.

    3 credits

  • Responsive Instruction, Intervention, and Assessment (SPED631)

    Preparation of special education teachers for their role in the screening, monitoring, and early intervention processes related to good instructional practice. Students will understand data collection and analysis practices that integrate multiple sources of information in a collaborative model. Emphasis will be on evidence-based instructional strategies for all students, as well as research-based interventions for students with a variety of needs. The focused content area will be reading.

    3 credits

  • Introduction to Behavioral Methods & Mental Health for Mild to Moderate Special Needs (SPED641)

    Introduction to behavioral methods and foundations of mental health for students with mild to moderate special education needs. Students analyze behavior methods/interventions for the classroom with emphasis on brain-based research. Understanding behaviors and mental health are explored within behavioral, social, emotional, educational, cognitive, physical, communication, and functional contexts as well as foundations of cognitive/emotional development and informal tools for screening.

    3 credits

  • Classroom-Based Assessment (SPED655)

    Focus is primarily on non-standardized assessment techniques including curriculum-based assessment/measurement; observations; functional behavioral assessment; learning styles/multiple intelligences; and ecological, authentic, and portfolio assessments. Review of behavior rating scales and various assessment data in evaluation reports. Students practice techniques in actual classrooms.

    3 credits

  • Special Education Assessment Field Experience (SPED670)

    Eighteen-week, 35 hour clinical field experience designed for students to demonstrate understanding and competent application of assessment. Students identify specific educational needs and judge eligibility for special education or response to intervention (RTI) process while using both formal, norm-referenced assessment as well as informal, classroom-based assessment.

    1 credits

  • ABS Field Experience (SPED673)

    A 35-hour field experience in which studendt observe K-12 educational programming process for children with mild to moderate disabilities in the areas of LD, EBD, DCD, ASD, and OHD with an emphasis on defining characteristics in each category. Experience the referral process, evaluation, eligibility, IEP development, programming, and professional collaboration to prepare for work in this field.

    1 credits

  • Consultation, Collaboration & Resources (SPED675)

    Focus is on the communication skills necessary to consult and collaborate effectively with parents, administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and agency personnel about the special needs of students. Students will become acquainted with outside agencies, as well as transition needs and services. Clarifying personal beliefs and adjusting to diverse student needs within their student teaching environments are critical elements of this course.

    2 credits

  • Select one from:

    • Student Teaching - Academic Behavior Strategist (SPED780)

      Knowledge and skills practiced while student teaching for 12 weeks, under supervision of cooperating teacher and university supervisor, with students under mild-moderate disability categories of LD, EBD, OHD, DD, and ASD, from referral and assessment through placement and instruction. Collaboration with educators and parents. Portfolio including artifacts from required Minnesota special education standards.

      4 credits

      Corequisite Course: SPED641;SPED675

    • ABS: Practicum (SPED786)

      A minimum seven-week experience with mild-moderate special education students in the areas of LD, EBD, DCD, OHD and ASD. Special education programming including referral review, assessment, IEP development, placement, and instruction in academic and social skills. Demonstration of all standards required of ABS teachers. Consulting/collaborating with regular and special education teachers, administrators, school psychologists, paraprofessionals, and other educational personnel.

      3 credits

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