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Grow Your Own

Work & Learn

Pathway to Teaching

The School of Education partners with school districts to provide a pathway to teaching for district employees (Tier 1 teachers, Tier 2 teachers and paraprofessionals) who are dedicated to education, are current or prospective employees of one of the partner districts and have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Work & Learn is a PELSB (Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board) accredited teacher preparation program.

The program offers participants significant cost-savings on the coursework needed for an Academic and Behavior Strategist (ABS) License. A master's degree or an additional special education licensure can be easily added.

Start dates are throughout the year, depending on the school district. These annual offerings provide districts with an opportunity to market and recruit candidates into tiered license positions in critical areas of shortages.

Barb Stahl lecturing a class of students

01 Serving Southwest Metro Districts

Work & Learn Southwest

The Work & Learn Southwest program is for current or prospective employees of SouthWest Metro Intermediate District 288 and its 11 member districts, Participants will be employed as teachers of record or paraprofessionals by their school district while taking courses.

Teachers using technology with grade school students

02 Serving East Metro Districts

Work & Learn: East

The Work & Learn East program is for current or prospective employees of Intermediate 917, 916, and their member Districts, District 196, and Anoka Hennepin. The program provides a pathway for participants to earn their teaching license in special education while working for the district.


Why Work & Learn

Work & Learn Benefits

School building

For Districts

  • University of St. Thomas full-time faculty and adjuncts teach alongside district employees. 
  • Prepare future educators to meet the needs of your specific school district(s) 
  • Long-term, ongoing partnership with flexible start dates 
  • Shared responsibilities for recruitment and marketing 
  • Collaborative planning and development for customization of program
Prospective students in a class having a discussion

For Prospective Students

  • 31 graduate credits required compared to the typical 43 credits 
  • No more than 1 face-to-face meeting per week  
  • No more than 2 courses at a time with no more than 3 completed per semester to provide work-life-school balance 
  • If outside of the Twin Cities, all courses can be available online. 
  • Savings of travel time, gas costs and parking fees when partner school districts provide the space for the face-to-face courses.  
  • Automatic enrollment in scheduled coursework and advising sessions a minimum of 2 times every semester