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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Concentration

Master of Arts

Our Emotional and Behavioral Disorders concentration prepares you to serve K-12 students who have been identified with emotional and behavioral disorders in a variety of educational settings addressing mild, moderate, and severe needs. If you're not already a Tier 3 or Tier 4 Minnesota licensed teacher, you will also need to complete the Standards of Effective Practice concentration. This additional concentration meets the Minnesota Professional Educator Standards and Licensing Board’s (PELSB) Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice, a requirement for all Tier 3 and Tier 4 licensed teachers.


Mostly Online

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

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Courses start every 6 weeks. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

Total Credits


Finish in as Few as

18-28 months (plus thesis)


  • Writing the Thesis (EDUC795)

    Exploration of a significant educational issue relevant to the student's profession through writing an independent thesis or collaborative research project. Recognition of the characteristics of quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods, meta-analysis, and action research designs. Reflection on research ethics from a Christian worldview. Oral defense of student’s thesis or project following collaboration with the thesis advisor.

    4 credits

  • Introduction to Special Education: History, Law, Academics, and Behavior (SPED602)

    Identification of the impact of historical, philosophical foundations, legal bases, and contemporary issues on special education. Exploration of disability category characteristics, cultural influences, and linguistic considerations. Description of the effects of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the collaboration between special and general education. Introduction to functional behavioral assessments, individual and school-wide support systems, and the adaptation of evidence-based instruction. Identification of how curricular components guide instruction and analysis of positive instructional environments.

    4 credits

  • Child & Adolescent Psychopathology (SPED604)

    Explanation of etiology, characteristics, and classifications of behavioral disorders. Description of foundation and conceptual models related to emotional/behavioral disorders. Identification of current educational definitions, identification criteria, and labeling issues. Analysis of behavioral manifestations and the relationship between emotional/behavioral disorders. Determination of consultation with other professionals.

    3 credits

  • Intervention Strategies for Moderate to Severe Behavioral Disabilities (SPED613)

    Identification of policy and procedures for educational services to pre K-12 students with EBD. Application of essential features of EBD classrooms. Description of how Functional Behavior Assessments are utilized. Analysis of theories of behavior change. Description of interagency collaboration and program accommodations. Integration of faith perspective and students with EBD.

    3 credits

  • Norm-Reference Assessment and Field Experience (SPED617)

    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. Identification of students’ strengths and needs through assessment, Development of an evaluation report, Explanation of results with family, student and staff.

    4 credits

  • 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

  • Consultation, Collaboration, and Resources (SPED623)

    Identification of collaborative partners and structures needed to provide effective special education services to students and their families. Inclusion of community, interagency, educational organizations, and other professional services while considering family background, socioeconomic status, cultural and linguistic diversity. Evaluation of current research and its relevance to planning and implementing emerging special education practices.

    2 credits

  • Programming and Planning for Special Education (SPED627)

    Development and evaluation of an individual education program (IEP) based on student assessment results. Consideration of technology, supplementary aids, services, and transition needs of students. Synthesis of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity.

    2 credits

  • Reading Foundations and Field Experience (SPED629)

    Identification of relationships, stages, and patterns among reading, writing, and oral language development, fluency and comprehension processes, instructional strategies, markers/strategies to address dyslexia, and connections between personal faith and professional role. Description of English language structure, word identification strategies, and the role of vocabulary knowledge. Determination of appropriate assessment strategies and analysis of texts for K-12 classrooms. Students will apply evidence-based lesson design, instructional methods, and assessment strategies in a 35-hour supervised K-12 field experience.

    4 credits

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

    Introduction to behavior methods and mental health for students with mild/moderate needs. Interventions for K-12 students with mental health and behavioral 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.

    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

  • Select one from:

Credits listed are for the current catalog. The PELSB (Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board) may implement new requirements that may require credit changes.