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Grow Your Own

Work and 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 Work and Learn program is for current or prospective employees of Intermediate 917, 916, 288 and their member Districts; District 196; Anoka-Hennepin; Midwest (Robbinsdale); and Greater Minnesota. The program provides a pathway for participants to earn their teaching license in special education while working for the district.

The program offers participants significant cost-savings on the coursework needed for an Academic and Behavior Strategist (ABS) License and master's degree. 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 and Learn Southwest

The University of St. Thomas School of Education is seeking applicants who have a bachelor's degree for a new Work and Learn Southwest Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) teacher preparation cohort. It will start fall semester 2021 at the end of October. The Work and 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. This program is blended (online and face to face), which allows students to balance their personal life while completing a teacher preparation program.

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Teachers using technology with grade school students

02 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.

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Teacher reads to grade school students on carpet

03 Serving Greater Minnesota

Work and Learn Greater Minnesota

The University of St. Thomas School of Education is seeking applicants for a new Work and Learn Greater Minnesota Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) teacher preparation cohort. It will start fall semester 2021 at the end of October. This teacher preparation program is open to individuals with a bachelor's degree who are interested in the ABS license. This program is fully online and allows interested candidates to balance their personal life and complete a teacher preparation program.

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04 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 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.

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Female teacher in a special education classroom

05 Serving Anoka-Hennepin District

Work and Learn North

The Work and Learn North program is for current or prospective employees of 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.

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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 
  • 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 with no more than 3 completed per semester 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
  • Automatic enrollment in scheduled coursework and advising sessions a minimum of 1 time every semester