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In our Academic Behavioral Strategist License program, you’ll be prepared to serve K-12 students in a variety of mild to moderate disability categories, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Other Health Disabilities, and Developmental Cognitive Disabilities. You’ll be equipped to work in resource rooms and inclusive K-12 settings within public schools.

If you're not already a licensed teacher, you will have to complete the Standards of Effective Practice concentration, which meets the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice, a requirement for every Tier 3 and Tier 4 K-12 licensed teacher in Minnesota.


Mostly Online

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

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Courses start every 8 weeks beginning Fall 2024. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

Total Credits


Finish in as Few as

18-28 months


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

    Interpretation of student performance data, employing differentiation strategies for diverse needs, and applying evidence-based instructional practices for students with mild-moderate disabilities. Creation of positive learning environments and exploration of the connection between faith concepts and K-12 special education. Development of skills for resource search and citation, distinguishing between research-based, non-research-based, and scholarly sources. Development of skills to find, review, and summarize scholarly articles and adhere to APA style while linking academic research to evidence-based practices.

    4 credits

  • Characteristics of Mild-Moderate Disabilities (ABS) (SPED633)

    Exploration of the five disability categories represented under Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS). Identification of strategies that support stakeholders of children with mild-moderate needs. Explanation of topics that form the basis for special education practice for students with mild-moderate disabilities.

    4 credits

  • Responsive Instruction, Intervention, and Assessment (ABS) (SPED635)

    Identification of assessment measures for instructional decisions, professional organizations and publications related to interventions, and the historical context and educational movements. Interpretation of assessment data. Designing of instruction and modifications and analysis of progress monitoring data. Description of students’ assessment results and progress understandable to all stakeholders. Identification of the impact culture and linguistics has on special education.

    2 credits

  • Intro to Behavioral Methods & Mental Health for Mild-Moderate Special Needs (ABS, EBD) & Field Exper (SPED639)

    Introduction and interventions to behavior methods and mental health for students with mild/moderate needs. Impact of mental health and behavioral labels/diagnoses within K-12 education. Identification of roles of professionals within and outside the school related to mental health. Includes a 35-hour field experience in which students complete observational experiences in mild, moderate, and severe K-12 EBD settings OR in mild-moderate ABS settings covering LD, EBD, ASD, DD, and OHD.

    4 credits

  • Classroom-based Assessment and Field Experience (SPED655)

    Description of legal, professional, and ethical standards in assessment related to informal assessment measures and environmental factors influencing student achievement and behavior. Description of student’s learning style, strengths, and analysis of behavior based on observations and assessment data. Identification of the influence diversity, age and gender have on assessment.

    4 credits

  • Foundations of Education (TEAC521)

    Introduction to the teaching profession and focus on influences shaping education. History, philosophy, psychology, sociology, legal matters, reform, and other current education issues. Student mental health and impact of chemicals in student lives, families, and schools. Personal growth planning, collaboration, and connection between professional responsibilities and personal faith and values.

    2 credits

  • Educational Psychology (TEAC524)

    Identification of different approaches to K-12 students’ development, learning, performance, and critical elements needed to structure an effective learning environment. Understanding of the developmental process of language acquisition and the influence of culture on learning. Synthesis of early assessment theory and current issues. Description of theories that influence learning and behavior related to the learning environment. Integration of Christian or personal faith perspective of learning.

    4 credits

  • General Methods of Teaching (TEAC526)

    Development of effective lesson plans that include all required components. Creation of effective long-range plans, assessments, and evaluations. Design of lesson plans that integrate a variety of instructional strategies and incorporate student assets including language and culture. Description of appropriate data practices related to student assessment and progress. Planning of opportunities that utilize culturally responsive practice to engage all students and especially multilingual learners and those who have been historically marginalized.

    4 credits

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Education (TEAC528)

    Identification of various groups in American communities and skills to foster culturally affirming communication and collaboration. Description of Minnesota-based American Tribal Nations and communities. Analysis of how biases, discrimination, prejudices, racism, and sexism impact student learning in the classroom and influence personal identity. Recognition of the impact school environments and practices have on the delivery of equitable education.

    4 credits

  • School-Wide Systems Field Experience (TEAC595)

    Supervised observation in K-12 inclusive education setting. Analysis of student needs, classroom environments, and related cultural factors. Development of a personal standard for effective teaching. Implementation of effective lesson plans. Identification of MN EdTPA language. Impact of personal faith on the special education teacher role. 30 hours over 8 weeks.

    1 credits

  • Student Teaching Seminar (TEAC751)

    Analysis of the impact communication and teaching practices have on student learning. Consideration of the learner’s needs while aligning an instructional plan to help ensure student success. Application of appropriate academic language related to lesson planning, instruction, and assessment in the K-12 environment. FE: EdTPA fee $300. GE: Graded on an S/U basis.

    1 credits

  • Select one from:

    • Academic Behavioral Strategist: Student Teaching (SPED780)

      Implementation of procedures necessary to incorporate referral, assessment, evaluation, IEPs, and interventions for students with mild-moderate disabilities. Management of timelines and responsibilities including consultation with parents, school and community professionals. Development of strategies for efficacy and engaging resources. Analysis of personal and professional growth as a special educator. 12 consecutive weeks required.

      4 credits

    • Academic Behavioral Strategist: Practicum (SPED786)

      Implementation of procedures necessary to incorporate interventions and IEPs for students with mild-moderate disabilities using engaging resources. Management of timelines, responsibilities, and consultation with parents, school and community professionals. Analysis of personal and professional growth as a special educator (80 required hours in a special education school setting). FE: Practicum fee: $100, out of region fee: $100, out-of-state fee: varies.

      3 credits