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Areas of Emphasis

The Master of Science: Special Education program has emphasis areas in:

  • Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS),
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD),
  • Developmental Disabilities (DD/DCD),
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE),
  • Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD), and
  • Learning Disabilities (LD/SLD).

Candidates can select certificate or licensure options. All candidates must have previously met or will complete the Special Education core courses. Candidates that have met the SPED Core will complete the Alternative Core. A transcript review will be completed for licensure candidates to ensure completion of all licensing requirements for the state of Minnesota. An 18-credit Standards of Effective Practice certificate is available for initial licensing.

See descriptions of all the areas of emphasis below. Click on each emphasis to see what the program entails.

Special Education: Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS):

The Special Education ABS program enables you to evaluate and provide special education services to students who have needs in the mild-to-moderate range of areas of academic, behavior, social/emotional, communication and functional performance. These students needs are mild-to-moderate range of the following disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental Disabilities (DD/DCD), Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD), Learning Disabilities (LD/SLD), and Other Health Disorders (OHD) in K-12 classrooms.

Special Education: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD):

The Autism Spectrum Disorder program prepares you to work with students diagnosed with autism between the ages of birth to twenty-one. The program includes information to work with students diagnosed with autism from the mild to moderate to severe range of the disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affect how an individual processes information and interprets the world. Core features of autism are persistent deficits in social interaction and communication and restricted, repetitive or stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests or activities. Each individual with ASD displays a unique combination of characteristics, ranging from mild to severe, requiring individually determined educational and treatment programming.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE):

The Early Childhood Special Education program equips you to work with families and their infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities. The ECSE educator is prepared to work with families in their homes and with the children in a center-based program. Upon completion of the program, you will have the knowledge, skills and supports necessary to be effective in your respective role in order to increase the probability that young children with disabilities and their families achieve positive outcomes.

Special Education: Developmental Cognitive Disorders/Developmental Disabilities (DCD/DD):

The Developmental Disabilities category is for students in kindergarten to grade 12.
Developmental Disability is defined as a condition that results in intellectual functioning significantly below average and is associated with concurrent deficits in adaptive behavior that require special education and result in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activities: self-care; receptive and expressive language; learning; mobility; self-direction; capacity for independent living; and economic self-sufficiency.

Special Education: Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD):

The Emotional Behavioral Disorders program prepares you to evaluate and design instruction for students with the diagnosis between kindergarten and age 21. Candidates will be prepared to work with students in the mild-to-severe range of the disability. For students to meet criteria for EBD, the student must demonstrate behavioral consistency by having an established pattern of one or more of the following emotional or behavioral responses:

  1. withdrawal or anxiety, depression, problems with mood, or feelings of self-worth;
  2. disordered thought processes with unusual behavior patterns and atypical communication styles; or
  3. aggression, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.

The established pattern of emotional or behavioral responses must adversely affect educational or developmental performance, including intrapersonal, academic, vocational or social skills; be significantly different from appropriate age, cultural or ethnic norms; and be more than temporary, expected responses to stressful events in the environment. The emotional or behavioral responses must be consistently exhibited in at least three different settings, two of which must be educational settings, and one other setting in either the home, child care or community. The responses must not be primarily the result of intellectual, sensory, or acute or chronic physical health conditions.

Special Education: Learning Disabilities (LD):

The Learning Disabilities program prepares candidates to work with students having specific learning disabilities or related learning difficulties. Candidates will be prepared to work with students in the mild-to-severe range of disability between the ages of kindergarten and age 21.LD is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may be exhibited as an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. SLD also includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia.

Last Modified: 9/19/22 10:55 AM | Website Feedback