Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) teaching licensure & MEd

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Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS)
teaching licensure and MEd

Become certified to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities

Each student with a disability has a unique set of academic, behavioral, social, emotional, communication, and functional needs. The academic behavioral strategist (ABS) licensure program will prepare you to meet the needs of young people—kindergarten through age 21. During the program, you'll receive your initial ABS license which qualifies you to work with students with mild to moderate disabilities in the following areas:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Emotional and behavioral disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Other health disparities

Note: The ABS program has extended its fall 2020 deadline to July 15. Applicants will be notified of decisions by August 1.

Watch a recent info session on the program.

Rated #9 in the nation among special education graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2020


Graduates of the academic behavioral strategist (ABS) licensure program:

  • Teach in classrooms, resource rooms, or 18-21 transition programs
  • Provide consulting to general classroom teachers
  • Work with students and their families directly as itinerant teachers
  • Serve students from kindergarten through 21 years old from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds


Most classes are offered in the evening—to allow students to maintain full time employment while completing course requirements—and are taught in person on the Minneapolis campus.

The ABS licensure and special education MEd program require the completion of 30 to 51.5 credits. Your total number of credits required may vary based on previous educational experience or licensures.

Required ABS licensure courses (42 credits)

  • CI 5645 – Methods for Teaching English Learners (3 credits)
  • MTHE 5355 – Mathematics for Diverse Learners (3 cr) or EPSY 5619: Specialized Interventions for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities in Mathematics (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5604 – Transitions from Work to School or Community Settings for Persons with Special Needs (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5605 – Collaborative Practices for the Special Educator (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5613 – Foundations of Special Education (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5614 – Assessment and Due Process in Special Education (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5616 – Classroom Management and Behavior Analytic Problem Solving (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5617 – Academic and Social Interventions for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5618 – Specialized Interventions for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities in Reading and Written Language (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5631 – Module 1: Introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (1 credit)
  • EPSY 5657 – Interventions for Behavior Problems in School Settings (3 credits)
  • EPSY 5704 – Practicum in Middle / Secondary Settings (2 credits)
  • EPSY 5705 – Practicum in ECSE / Elementary settings (1 credit)
  • EPSY 5741 – Student Teaching: Academic Behavior Strategist (6 credits)
  • Required for initial licensure and MEd only

  • EPSY 5699 – Experimental Teaching Seminar (2 credits)
  • Common content courses (7.5 credits)

    • OLPD 5005 – School and Society ( 2 credits)
    • OLPD 5009 – Human Relations (1 cr)
    • CI 5307 – Technology (1.5 credits)
    • EPSY 5001 – Learning Cognition and Assessment (3 credits)


    Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for information on tuition.


    Project PACT

    Are you interested in a teaching license in Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) or Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH), or cross collaboration between the two? Apply to Project PACT to get funding you need to support your tuition throughout your graduate program!

    Scholarships, fellowships and awards

    Special education scholarships, fellowships, and awards

    College of Education and Human Development awards

    Financial aid

    Visit OneStop Student Services for more information on available financial aid.

    How to apply

    Faculty and staff

    Michelle Marchant-Wood headshot

    Michelle Marchant-WoodLicensure and MEd coordinator

    • Positive behavior support
    • Social and emotional learning
    • Multi-tiered systems of support
    • Teacher pedagogy
    • Applied behavior analysis
    Laura Paczkowski headshot

    Laura PaczkowskiAcademic advisor

    • Academic advising
    Kathy Seifert headshot

    Kathy SeifertDirector of undergraduate studies

    • Adolescent literacy
    • Effective teacher preparation


    Program contact

    Alicia Vegell

    Program staff special education | 612-626-0367

    Laura Paczkowski

    Academic advisor

    University contacts

    Disability Services