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Become a highly effective special educator

Initial Licensure/ MA in Teaching Special Education

Our Initial Licensure/MA in Teaching Special Education

Our MA in Teaching Special Education at University of St. Thomas is designed for students who are looking to gain their Initial Teaching License and are primed and ready to make a difference. Working with children with exceptionalities is more than a career choice, it's a calling to serve children, families and communities. We can help you answer that calling through our license and degree programs that address the widespread national and state critical teacher shortage areas in special education.

At St. Thomas, we prepare educators with strong teaching skills through evidence-based, culturally sustaining and high-leverage practice-based coursework that leads to a license plus master's degree.

Where you'll learn:

Courses offered on campus, metro locations, and online. We offer face-to-face, hybrid, and hyflex (face-to-face, online synchronous or asynchronous) course formats.

When to start:

Year round

Contact

Barbara Jo Stahl

Adjunct Faculty, Off-campus Coordinator
Phone Number
(651) 962-4398

Special Education Concentrations

Educators specializing in Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) learn to meet the mild to moderate needs of learners from kindergarten through age 21 in the primary disability areas of autism spectrum disorder, developmental cognitive disabilities, emotional behavioral disorders, specific learning disabilities, and other health disabilities.


Educators specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) learn to meet the needs of learners with autism from birth to age 21 (B-21) in areas such as academic achievement, socialization, communication, and behaviors.


Educators specializing in Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (DCD) learn to meet the needs of learners from kindergarten through age 21 in areas such as academic achievement, cognitive development, adaptive behaviors, and functional skills.


Educators specializing in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) learn to meet the needs of learners from birth through six with motor, sensory, health, communication, social-emotional or cognitive disabilities.


Educators specializing in Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD) learn to meet the needs of students from kindergarten through age 21 in the areas of academic achievement, behaviors, emotional development, and socialization.


Educators specializing in Specific Learning Disabilities (LD) learn to meet the needs of learners from kindergarten to age 21 (K-21) including from those who are emergent in basic academic skills in the areas of cognitive and emotional development.


FACULTY

Dr. L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan

Dr. L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan

L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan, Ph.D. is a Professor in Special Education. She coordinates the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental Cognitive Disabilities, and the Work and Learn programs. Additionally, she works on our Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) and Teacher Quality Partnerships (TQP) grants.

Read About Dr. L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan
Shelley Neilsen Gatti

Dr. Shelley Neilsen Gatti

Shelley Neilsen Gatti, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in Special Education. She coordinates the Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and Residency programs. Additionally, she works on our Black Educator Initiatives (BEI) and Teacher Quality Partnerships (TQP) grants.

Read About Dr. Shelley Neilsen Gatti
Todd Busch

Dr. Todd Busch

Todd Busch, Ph.D. is a Professor in Special Education. He coordinates the Academic Behavioral Strategist and Specific Learning Disabilities Programs.

Read About Dr. Todd Busch
Bonnie Ingelin

Dr. Bonnie Ingelin

Bonnie Ingelin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Special Education. She coordinates the Early Childhood Special Education Program.

Read About Dr. Bonnie Ingelin
Barbara Jo Stahl

Barbara Jo Stahl

Barbara Jo Stahl, Ed.S. is an Executive Fellow in Special Education. She coordinates the Work and Learn Programs. In addition to teaching, she supports marketing and recruitment for special education.

Read About Barbara Jo Stahl
Headshot of Laura Medwetz

Laura Medwetz

Laura Medwetz, M.S. is an Adjunct Faculty in Special Education. In addition to teaching, she supports special education student teaching and the edTPA assessment.

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Attend an Online Information Session

Join us for an online information session to learn more about all the ways you can pursue a Special Education licensure or degree.

REGISTER FOR ONLINE INFORMATION SESSION

Additional Opportunities

  • Student Teaching Removes the Financial Barrier
  • Institutes, Professional Development, and Networking
  • Community Partnerships
  • Student Teaching Removes the Financial Barrier

    A unique component of St. Thomas's graduate level student teaching is we allow educators to do these experiences on-the-job to remove one of the financial barriers to become an educator. Our dedicated field office personnel work with you to ensure that your clinical practice (field experiences and student teaching) meets your needs and facilitates your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time student teaching, regularly scheduled seminars with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter the field and have a positive impact on learners.

    Institutes, Professional Development, and Networking

    The department offers summer institutes in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Early Childhood Special Education, Developmental Cognitive Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities. The Department of Special Education also offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities annually. Whether networking with educators in the field at the annual Autism and Emotional Behavioral Disorders Symposium on Evidence-Based Practices or simply catching up on the latest tools and techniques, the School of Education provides lifelong learning opportunities. Most events include a CEU component.

    Community Partnerships

    The Department of Special Education takes pride in engaging in innovative partnerships with a variety of organizations. Students will find many opportunities for professional growth as a result of working with these organizations. Department of Special Education Partnership examples include the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), St. Paul Public Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools, Intermediate School Districts, Independent School Districts, Charter Schools, and nonprofits such as the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM).

    Student Teaching Removes the Financial Barrier

    A unique component of St. Thomas's graduate level student teaching is we allow educators to do these experiences on-the-job to remove one of the financial barriers to become an educator. Our dedicated field office personnel work with you to ensure that your clinical practice (field experiences and student teaching) meets your needs and facilitates your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time student teaching, regularly scheduled seminars with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter the field and have a positive impact on learners.

    Institutes, Professional Development, and Networking

    The department offers summer institutes in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Early Childhood Special Education, Developmental Cognitive Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities. The Department of Special Education also offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities annually. Whether networking with educators in the field at the annual Autism and Emotional Behavioral Disorders Symposium on Evidence-Based Practices or simply catching up on the latest tools and techniques, the School of Education provides lifelong learning opportunities. Most events include a CEU component.

    Community Partnerships

    The Department of Special Education takes pride in engaging in innovative partnerships with a variety of organizations. Students will find many opportunities for professional growth as a result of working with these organizations. Department of Special Education Partnership examples include the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), St. Paul Public Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools, Intermediate School Districts, Independent School Districts, Charter Schools, and nonprofits such as the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM).