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Students from the Work and Learn North cohort

Grow Your Own

Work and Learn

Pathway to Teaching

The Work and Learn Program is for current or prospective Special Education employees in a Minnesota School District. The program provides a pathway for participants to earn their teaching license in special education while working in their district. Since the beginning of the program, 180 students have graduated with their Academic and Behavior Strategist (ABS) license. See below for our current cohorts and partnerships.

The program offers participants significant cost-savings on the coursework needed for an ABS license and master's degree. This is done by reducing the credits from 43 to 31. An additional special education licensure can be easily added. 

Our Work and Learn program provides a non-conventional pathway to licensure that significantly reduces students’ costs by allowing them to maintain their employment through student teaching. Participants in Work and Learn are working in our partner schools employed as Tier I and II Special Education Teachers or Paraprofessionals.

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.

Work and Learn is a PELSB (Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board) accredited teacher preparation program.

Contact

Barbara Jo Stahl

Director, Work and Learn
Phone Number
651-962-4398

Ongoing Work and Learn Partnerships

Barb Stahl lecturing a class of students

Serving ISD 728 and Member Region

Work and Learn Northwest

The Work and Learn Northwest program is for current or prospective employees of Independent School District 728 and their member region. This fully online program provides a pathway for participants to earn their teaching license in special education and master's degree while working for the district. The first cohort will start in January 2023. Attend a Work and Learn Northwest Online Information Session.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WORK AND LEARN NORTHWEST
Teachers using technology with grade school students

Serving East Metro Districts

Work and Learn East

The Work and Learn East program is for current or prospective employees of Intermediate 917, 916, and their member Districts, and District 196 Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan. The program provides a pathway for participants to earn their teaching license in special education and master's degree while working for the district.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WORK AND LEARN EAST
Teacher at front of class with students' raised hands

Serving Robbinsdale and Surrounding Districts

Work and Learn Midwest

The Work and Learn Midwest program is for current or prospective employees of Robbinsdale and the surrounding districts. The program provides a pathway for participants to earn their teaching license in special education and master's degree while working for the district.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WORK AND LEARN MIDWEST
Female teacher in a special education classroom

Serving Anoka-Hennepin District

Work and Learn North

The Work and Learn North program is for current or prospective employees of the Anoka-Hennepin school district. The program provides a pathway for participants to earn their teaching license in special education and master's degree while working for the district.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WORK AND LEARN NORTH
Teacher with elementary students at table

Serving Greater Minnesota

Work and Learn Greater Minnesota

The Work and Learn Greater Minnesota program is for current or prospective employees of a Minnesota district outside the 7-county metro area. The program is fully online and provides a pathway for participants to earn their teaching license in special education and master's degree while working for the district.
LEARN MORE ABOUT WORK AND LEARN GREATER MINNESOTA

Why Work and Learn

Work and 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 
  • Complete your ABS license in 2.5 years
  • No more than 1 face-to-face meeting per week; if outside Twin Cities, all courses can be completed online  
  • No more than 2 courses at a time to provide work-life-school balance 
  • Savings of travel time, gas costs and parking fees when partner school districts provide the space for the face-to-face courses
  • Advising sessions a minimum of 1 time every semester