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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Undergraduate Programs

Page address:
Armstrong Hall

The Special Education: Academic and Behavioral Strategist Bachelor of Science undergraduate program is 5 semesters long and prepares teacher candidates for Minnesota's Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) license. This cross categorical license allows teachers to teach students with mild/moderate learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. This program prepares new teachers for the classrooms of today where special education teachers often have students with a variety of learning needs. The Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT) requires new ABS teachers to complete one disability specific license within 5 years as part of renewal. Minnesota State University, Mankato has redesigned our Graduate Program to enable this to happen efficiently.

Students typically start the major program during their sophomore year or apply upon completing an Associate's degree from a community college. The program requires a full-time commitment from students for 5 semesters. The program is run as a cohort model; all students admitted during a given year go through the program together following the same sequence of courses.

Applications are due each fall on October 15th for admission into the program beginning spring semester.

For those in the Twin Cities area we also offer this program out of our Edina location. To learn more about this program please visit our Edina Campus page.

Program Course Sequence (Once Accepted to Program)

To see the full list of the courses with descriptions and offerings take a look at the Course Descriptions page

1st Semester (BLOCK I)

  • SPED 401 (4) IEP Writing and Professional Practice
  • SPED 408 (4) Individuals w/Diverse and Exceptional Needs
  • SPED 409 (4) Learning and Human Development for Diverse Learners

2nd Semester (BLOCK II)

  • SPED 410 (4) Assessment, Evaluation, and Individualized Planning for Diverse Learners
  • SPED 412 (4) Due Process, Planning & Design of the Individual Education Program
  • SPED 448W (4) Behavior Management and Learning Environments for Diverse Learners
  • School Field Experience

3rd Semester (BLOCK III)

  • SPED 404 (4) Instructional Decision Making
  • SPED 407 (3) Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
  • SPED 411 (4) Effective Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom
  • SPED 414 (4) Literary Methods for Inclusive Classroom: Diverse Learners
  • School Field Experience

4th Semester (BLOCK IV)

  • SPED 333 (4) Transition Plan/Secondary Methods for Students w/Mild-Moderate Disabilities
  • SPED 406 (4) Strategies for Teaching Learners w/Special Needs: Reading and Writing
  • SPED 413 (4) Professional Growth and Development for Teachers of Diverse Learners
  • SPED 422 (4) Strategies for Teaching Learners w/Special Needs: Math and Science
  • School Field Experience

5th Semester (BLOCK V)

  • SPED 458 (4) Seminar: Student Teaching
  • SPED 459 (8) Student Teaching: Mild and Moderate Disabilities

Admission Checklist

Once you have been accepted to the program please download the [PDF] Admission Checklist (72 KiB). You should be print this out and use it as a checklist for yourself while in the program to make sure you are progressing on time for graduation. If you would like to be considered to join the program take a look at the How To Apply page!


Please contact:

Sean Wachsmuth PhD
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Department of Special Education
Minnesota State University, Mankato
318L Armstrong Hall
Mankato, MN 56001

Phone: 507-389-5449
Fax:      507-389-5888