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Special Education License


Jeffrey Strand photo

“I thought the underlying culture of social justice and inclusion inherent in the MAE program was the most important part of my experience. Augsburg took their platform as a teacher preparation program and made it into something meaningful, and it felt like all of the work we were doing was part of something bigger and more important than all of us.”

Jeffrey Strand, Special Education Teacher

Augsburg University offers licensure in K–12 Special Education: Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS). This program qualifies students to teach in special education programs and positions working with students with mild to moderate disabilities in the areas of emotional/behavioral disabilities, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disabilities, developmental and cognitive disabilities and other health disabilities. This program is built on an inclusive education model. Under this model, students learn how to work closely with both special and general educators to facilitate inclusion of special education students into the regular education classroom. Five years after being licensed, teachers must extend their license in one of the above categories through additional coursework.

The ABS licensure program is offered through weeknight and summer schedules.


Offered at Minneapolis and Rochester

Licensure Requirements

Licensure requirements are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Classes will include both undergraduate and graduate students, with graduate students having additional course responsibilities. Graduate courses are taken at the 500 level. All courses must be taken for licensure, and up to seven courses may also be applied toward the master’s degree in education. The following courses for the ABS license are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels:

  • EDC 200/522 – Orientation to Education in an Urban Setting*
  • EDC 206/566 – Diversity/Minnesota American Indians
  • EDC 310/533 – Learning and Development in an Educational Setting*
  • EDC 410/544 – Learners with Special Needs*
  • EED 225/524 – Foundations of Literacy
  • EED 325/525 – K-6 Methods: Literacy*
  • EED 336- Advanced Literacy Methods
  • EED 350/550 – K–6 Methods: Math*
  • EED 360/560 – K–6 Methods: Science*
  • SPE 410/510 – Implementing Assessment Strategies*
  • SPE 411/511 – Etiology and Theory of Mild to Moderate Disabilities
  • SPE 415/515 – Theory to Practice*
  • SPE 425/525 – Transition and Community*
  • SPE 430/530 – Instructional and Behavioral Practices*
  • SPE 490/540 – Parent and Professional Planning
  • EDC 591 – Topics

To complete the ABS license students will also need to complete certain requirements at the undergraduate level:

  • HPE 115 – Chemical Dependency Education
  • MAT 137 – Mathematics for Elementary Teachers I
  • EDC 220 – Education Technology
  • EDC 330 – Building the Public Good: Public Achievement and Organizing (fall term)
  • EDC 332 – Building the Public Good: Public Achievement (spring term)
  • EDC 331 – Practicum in Public Achievement (fall term, co-registered with EDC 330)
  • EDC 333 – Practicum in Public Achievement (spring term, co-registered with EDC 332)
  • EED 326 – Elementary Reading K-6 Field Experience* (taken concurrently with EED 325/525)
  • SPE 481,483 – Student Teaching: Elementary Special Education
  • SPE 485, 487 – Student Teaching: Secondary Special Education
  • SPE 488 – TPA and Student Teaching Seminar

*Field experience required as part of this course.

This program is based on an innovative internship model that allows students employed in special education classrooms to fulfill a portion of their special education field experience requirements while they work. All students are expected to complete a significant number of hours in special education settings. All must complete field placements or student teaching in classrooms serving these populations. Hours must be completed across elementary, middle school, and high school and include experiences with the five areas of disability that are part of this license. Specific information on field experience requirements is available from the Education Department.