Special Education

School of Teaching and Learning
Lommen Hall 216
John Benson
Faculty: Deanne Borgeson, Keri DeSutter, Erin Gillette, Marci Glessner, Sue Severson, Ximena Suarez-Sousa

The mission of the MSUM Special Education program is to prepare professionals who empower individuals to maximize their self-reliance, their accomplishments and their quality of life. The Special Education program prepares educators skilled in assessment and instruction who understand and respect the individual differences of diverse learners.

MSUM is unique in that it offers undergraduate and graduate programming in several licensure areas including:

  • Academic Behavior Strategist (ABS) undergraduate only
  • Developmental Disabilities (DD) undergraduate and graduate
  • Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) undergraduate and graduate
  • Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (EBD) undergraduate and graduate
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) graduate only
  • Physical/Health Disabilities (P/HD) graduate only

Special Education Admission Requirements
To be admitted to the Special Education licensure program students must have:

  • Completed application to Teacher Education (SARTE, see Teacher Education)
  • Cumulative GPA minimum of 2.8

Licensure in Special Education
To be awarded a license in Special Education, all students must complete at least one licensure area. Students enrolled in the Twin Cities cohorts have the option to complete coursework leading to licensure as a teacher of Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (E/BD), Developmental Disabilities (DD), or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD). Students majoring in Elementary Inclusive Education have the option to complete coursework to earn an ABS license. If a student is enrolled in the Twin Cities cohort or a graduate licensure program, the student may meet the requirements for multiple licensures. Students with a previous degree in education may add SLD, EBD, DD, ECSE and PH/D at the graduate level. Students may also add on the ABS license to a secondary/K-12 licensure area.

To complete licensure in Special Education, all students must complete a student teaching experience as defined by the Minnesota State Board of Teaching (BOT). Students receiving multiple licensures, either across general and special education or within special education, will complete field experiences in each licensure area.

All Academic Behavior Strategist licensure candidates must also complete a degree in general education (see Elementary Inclusive Education or Secondary/K-12 for information).

Policy for continuing enrollment in the special education licensure program
Completion of SARTE is required before students can enroll in 300 and 400 level education courses. Students need to continue to meet SARTE retention points. Passing the MTLE content and pedagogy exams is mandatory before students will receive Minnesota licensure.

All applicants for a first time Minnesota special education teaching license must complete the following teacher licensure examinations before being granted a special education license in addition to passing the MTLE Basic Skills Exams.

  • Special Education content
  • Tests specific to general and special education licenses.

All student teaching or practica in special education require a minimum GPA of 2.8 and a “C-” or better for all courses required for licensure.