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Academic Behavioral Strategist Concentration

Master of Arts

Our Academic Behavioral Strategist concentration prepares you 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 Concentration Disabilities. You’ll be equipped to work in resource rooms and inclusive K-12 settings within public schools.

Online

Mostly Online

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

Location: Online

Start Dates: Spring 2018

Blended

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

Start Dates: Fall 2017, and Spring 2018

Total Credits

41

Finish in as Few as

15-18 months (plus thesis)

Courses

  • Educational Research (EDUC614)

    Focus is on understanding and reporting educational and psychological research. Students will conduct online computer searches, appraise the quality of professional literature, cite research using APA style, and understand the options of writing a master's thesis or conducting an action research project.

    1 credits

  • Preparing the Thesis/Action Research Project (EDUC755)

    Assists students in preparing their master's thesis or conducting an action research project. Focus is on the design process and includes the following topics: information on the nature and scope of the master's thesis/action research project; selection and refinement of topic; APA style; and the oral examination process.

    1 credits

  • Writing the Thesis/Action Research Project (EDUC790)

    Exploration of a significant educational issue relevant to the student's professional involvement through an independent, individually supervised thesis or project.

    3 credits

  • 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)

    Identification of the impact historical and philosophical foundations, legal bases, and contemporary issues have on special education. Identification of common disability category characteristics. Description of the impact culture, faith, and linguistics have on special education. Description of how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) impacts special education.

    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)

    Description of standards and critical elements in the special education assessment process. Identification of test development principles and evaluation of standardized assessment instruments for special education decision-making. Description of responsibilities of assessment team members. Synthesis of assessment data. Application of scriptural principles to assessment in special education.

    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)

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

    3 credits

  • Special Education Assessment Field Experience (SPED670)

    Identification of students strengths and needs through assessment. Identification of the purpose of multidisciplinary teams. Development of an evaluation report. Explanation of assessment results with family, student and staff. Creation of interventions. Development of a plan for continued professional development in the area of assessment. 30 hours/12 weeks

    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

    • 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

Credits listed are for the current catalog. The MN Board of Teaching may implement new requirements that may require credit changes.

Premier Paraprofessional Partnership with Anoka-Hennepin

We partner with the Anoka-Hennepin School District to offer you opportunities to work as a full-time float para in area schools while you earn your master’s in special education. This program is a chance to gain first hand experience, get full-time pay and benefits while you work towards your degree, and make connections that will help you build a successful career.

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