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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 Minnesota school districts 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

Upcoming Work and Learn Offerings

Teacher with elementary students at table

Serving Greater Minnesota

Work and Learn Greater Minnesota

This fully online program provides a pathway for participants to earn a teaching license and master’s degree in special education while being fully employed for a Minnesota school district. The cohort will start in Summer 2023.

Deadline for applying is March 24, 2023. Application coming soon.

Work and Learn Greater Minnesota
Barb Stahl lecturing a class of students

Serving ISD 196, Intermediate 916, 917, 288 and member districts

Work and Learn East/Southwest

This fully online program provides a pathway for participants to earn a teaching license and master’s degree in special education while being fully employed for a school district. The cohort will start in Summer 2023 and is open to school district employees only. Learn more about Work and Learn East and Work and Learn Southwest, which are joining for a combined online cohort.

Deadline for applying is March 24, 2023. Application coming soon.

Group photo of students from recent Work and Learn North cohort

Serving Anoka-Hennepin District

Work and Learn North

This program provides a pathway for participants to earn a teaching license and master’s degree in special education while being fully employed for a school district. The cohort will start in Fall 2023 and is open to Anoka-Hennepin district employees only.

Application coming soon.

Work and Learn North

Ongoing Work and Learn Partnerships

Teacher at front of class with students' raised hands

Priority Serving ISD 728 first then open to all MN districts

Work and Learn Northwest

The Work and Learn Northwest program is for current or prospective employees of ISD 728 first and then open to all Minnesota districts. The 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.

WORK AND LEARN NORTHWEST

Future Work and Learn Offerings

Teacher talking in classroom

Join One of These Future Cohorts

Work and Learn Future Cohorts

Work and Learn Greater Minnesota

  • Statewide (open to all districts in MN)
  • Summer 2023 start date; fully online
Work and Learn East/Southwest
  • ISD 196, Intermediate 916, 917, 288 and member districts (open to district employees only)
  • Summer 2023 start date; fully online

Work and Learn North

  • Anoka Hennepin School District (open to Anoka Hennepin employees only)
  • Fall 2023 start date; in person and online

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)
  • Shared responsibilities for recruitment
  • 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