Special Education prepares individuals to work as teachers for students with mild moderate disabilities and prepare them for licensure as a Special Education: Academic and Behavioral Strategist teacher.
The Special Education undergraduate program is designed to meet the licensure standards as determined by the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). The program employs a cohort model for the preparation of undergraduates, with all students from a given year considered members of the same cohort. Cohort students concurrently enroll in the same block of courses. Applications for the program are submitted during the fall semester, with online and in-person cohorts beginning in the spring. Students are encouraged to apply when they are close to or have completed all general education requirements. All interested students are highly encouraged to contact the Program Coordinator for program information and guidance for admission procedures.
This program aligns with the Minnesota State Special Education: ABS Transfer Pathway.
|Program||Locations||Major / Total Credits|
|Special Education Academic and Behavioral Strategist BS||BS - Bachelor of Science||
||76 / 120|
Policies & Faculty
Incoming and Transfer Student Orientation. Orientation makes a significant difference in a student’s success and persistence in college. All new and transfer students are required to attend an orientation program before registering for classes. The College of Education Student Relations Coordinator conducts the Academic Success session. This session includes explanation of general education and general education coursework required for program, cultural diversity requirements, academic performance, and assignment of program advisors. Students are accompanied to a registration lab to complete their upcoming term schedule.
Transfer Credit Evaluation. Evaluation of prior academic course work will be based on evidence presented through (a) transcripts, (b) course syllabi, (c) course description. Students have a right to appeal this decision.
Admission to the Special Education Program
Undergraduate Major Coordinator: Kiersten Hensley
In order to apply for the Special Education Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) program: Apply online at ed.mnsu.edu/sped/
Admission to Professional Education
Coordinator of Admission to Professional Education, Tracy Stokes-Hernandez, 117 Armstrong Hall
Students working toward a teaching degree must be admitted to Professional Education during their first semester in the program to allow continued registration.
- Minimum of 40 earned semester credits
- Minimum of 2.75 cumulative GPA
- Evidence of registration for the MTLE Basic Skills Exams
- Completion of MATH 201, HLTH 240, and CDIS 205 or HLTH 210
Program Continuance. The Special Education Department will monitor block entrance and continuance in program. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in Program coursework.
Admission to Student Teaching. Student teaching at Minnesota State University, Mankato is a performance-based, 16-week program, requiring the demonstration of an acceptable level of performance in the areas of planning and preparation, classroom management, instruction, and professionalism. Multiple methods of assessment are used and evidence is collected to assess the student teacher’s skills and dispositions. These methods include direct observations of teaching activities by cooperating teachers and university faculty, the use of videotaped lessons and activities for self-assessment, participation in online activities, and participation in activities reflective of the professional responsibilities of teachers (e.g., parent conferences). The Office of Field and International Experience (OFIE) requests placements for all student teachers in partner districts. Application materials are available in 119 Armstrong Hall.
Admission to the student teaching experience is contingent upon completion of:
- General Ed and Diverse Cultures program requirement
- a grade point average of 3.0, grades of “C” or better for all major coursework
- admittance to Professional Education
- all methods and professional education course work
- formal application materials one year prior to student teaching semester (obtain specific dates from 119 Armstrong Hall)
- attendance at all preliminary student teaching meeting(s)
- submission of scores on the Basic Skills Exams
- recommendation of advisor
- approval of placement by school district administration and cooperating teacher, OFIE, and completion of Minnesota State University, Mankato and district-approved background checks.
Teacher Licensure Coordinator. Marisel Riquelme, 118 Armstrong Hall
The University recommends licensure upon satisfactory completion of a licensure program. Licensure does not occur automatically through graduation and the awarding of a diploma. Students need to apply for a Minnesota teaching license at the close of the term in which they graduate. The College of Education, 118 Armstrong Hall, coordinates the licensure process. In addition to meeting all program requirements, the Basic Skills exam(s) (e.g. ACT Plus Writing, MTLE, NES, SAT, GRE) need to be successfully completed along with the Pedagogy and Content examinations. Minnesota State Law requires that all individuals applying for initial licensure in this state be fingerprinted for national background checks. A conduct review statement will need to be completed and signed. There is a fee for the criminal background check and a fee for the issuance of a State of Minnesota teaching license.
Application for Graduation. No special departmental activities are required of students in this major for graduation. Students must follow the university procedure for application for graduation. See front section of this catalog for the steps in this process and the corresponding timelines
Clinical Experiences. A major component of professional education coursework involves clinical experiences in schools. Multiple methods of assessment are used to document competencies. The successful completion of each clinical experience is necessary for progression in the program. All clinical placements are arranged by the Office of Field and International Experience. Proof of current background checks and liability insurance required for clinical experiences.
Background Checks. Students involved in any clinical experience undergo a background check once per academic year to assess misdemeanor and felony conviction records maintained at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. This information is provided to districts for their determination of suitability. The Office of Field and International Experience coordinates the background check process.
GPA Policy. All non-clinical courses that make up the program must be taken on a graded basis. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and earn at least a “C” in all major coursework for program continuance.
313 Armstrong Hall(507) 389-1122
Credits: 3Exploration of human service professions serving and interacting with individuals with disabilities.
Goal Areas: GE-07, GE-09
Diverse Cultures: Purple
Credits: 4This course is designed to teach secondary assessment, instructional and transition planning methods needed by students in the undergraduate program of study in Special Education - Academic and Behavioral Strategist. The course focuses on strategies that promote choice and quality of life for young adults with mild to moderate disabilities.
Credits: 4This course will introduce teacher candidates to different aspects of being a Special Educator, including writing Individual Education Program plans, working collaboratively, addressing strategies for working with paraprofessionals, developing an understanding of collaboration including co-teaching, and using technology in the classroom to assist student learning.
Credits: 4This course provides the student learner with the knowledge and skills necessary to make effective data-based decisions within the instructional context. Students will gain training in and knowledge of instructional decision making at the individual and systems level.
Credits: 3This course provides a rigorous overview to the education of children and youth who differ greatly from the average in physical, cognitive, emotional or social characteristics. It introduces the student to Minnesota's Graduation Standards Rule in relation to the needs of children and youth who receive special education services.
Credits: 4This course teaches how to select and apply specific evidence-based reading and writing strategies for students with mild/moderate disabilities. Students will learn basic instructional principles behind validated instructional models and how to use these models in different instructional settings.
Credits: 3This course is designed to teach the principles of Positive Behavior Supports and intervention planning. Students will learn how PBIS can be applied at the school, classroom, and individual levels. Students will apply learned information to identify successful interventions.
Credits: 4Designed to provide an introduction and overview of the characteristics and educational needs of children and youth with diverse and exceptional needs in the public school. The course introduces Minnesota Graduation Standards Rules in relationship to the needs of students with diverse and exceptional needs.
Credits: 4Introduces students to theories of learning and human development as they relate to regular and diverse learning populations. Students will acquire an understanding of the many factors that affect learning and human development and strategies that can be used to enhance learning for all learning populations.
Diverse Cultures: Gold
Credits: 4Provides the student learner with the knowledge and skills to assess the individual needs of the student learner and design an educational program based on the assessment information collected. Emphasis will be placed on providing the student learner with the opportunity to learn and administer a variety of norm-referenced and criterion-referenced test instruments and apply test results to developing individual education programs for a variety of learners with diverse educational needs.
Credits: 4Describes and demonstrates strategies that teachers can use to differentiate the curriculum to meet the needs of special learners in an inclusive classroom. Course will also examine the latest knowledge related to intelligence, creativity, holistic education and classroom differentiation.
Credits: 4Provides student learner with the knowledge and skills to plan, develop, and implement the IEP for a student with DCD. In addition, the student learner will develop an understanding of the alternative dispute processes in the state of Minnesota. The student learner will learn the legal requirements of the IEP process and parental participation including a) how to operate the IEP process, b) conciliation process, c) participation in mediation, and d) due process as outlined in IDEA 1997. Legal issues and requirements will be discussed.
Credits: 4Introduces students to methods and strategies for personal and professional growth and development. As a result of taking this course, students will be able to a) engage in reflective inquiry for personal and professional growth, b) identify and demonstrate dispositions necessary for teaching special needs learners, c) understand the cultural, social, and other environmental effects on learning and human development, and d) use strategies for personal and professional growth.
Credits: 4Provides an introduction to reading and language arts instruction for special needs and other students in an inclusive classroom. As a result of taking this course, students will be able to plan and implement effective literacy lessons and utilize a variety of differentiation strategies.
Credits: 4This course provides instruction in the connections between critical content concepts, standards, research-based practices in mathematics and science, and students with mild-moderate disabilities for the purpose of developing goals and objectives in order to implement effective instruction.
Credits: 4This course is designed to teach pre-service special education teachers the basics of Applied Behavior Analysis as well as classroom management skills that foster positive interactions among students in pre-K through 12th grade. Students will learn to conduct behavioral assessments and report results through professional writing.
Credits: 4Focuses on competencies, strategies, issues and trends to prepare the student to teach persons with DCD. Coreq: SPED 449
Credits: 8Focuses on documenting the university student's ability to apply the knowledge and skills learned in coursework and teach youth with DCD in the public school. The university student will assess students with DCD, develop individual goals and objectives, design instructional units and lesson plans, implement instruction in the LRE, and evaluate the effectiveness of instructional interventions.
Credits: 1-3Authentic applications of special education knowledge.
Credits: 1-2Teaching students with disabilities.
Credits: 1-3Advanced independent study in a specified area.