Academic & Behavioral Strategist (ABS) Special Education Alternative Licensure

Obtain your license to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities through our online graduate certificate program.

The Alternative Licensure Special Education (ALSPED) program is a collaborative effort between local school districts and Winona State University to prepare highly qualified teachers to meet the chronic teacher shortage in Special Education.

Candidates who complete this program will be eligible to obtain an Academic and Behavioral Strategist License.

Work across Multiple Disability Areas:

  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
  • High Functioning Autism
  • Developmental/Cognitive Disabilities


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Employment at a school with a licensed cooperating teacher
  • Acceptance to WSU's Graduate Studies
  • Acceptance to WSU's Special Education Department
  • Recommendation form from a Special Education Administrator, such as a SPED Director or School Principal
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
    • Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement may attain probationary status. Probationary status is considered on a case-by-case basis.

24-Month Hybrid Program

This 24-month hybrid program consists of:

  • 10 online courses
  • field experience
  • student teaching experience

Semester Schedule

  1. Summer One: 2 courses – 6 credits*
  2. Fall One: 2 courses – 6 credits
  3. Spring One: 2 courses – 8 credits
  4. Summer Two: 2 courses – 6 credits, Field experience – 3 credits: Total of 9 credits
  5. Fall Two: 2 courses – 6 credits, Field experience – 3 credits: Total of 9 credits
  6. Spring Two: Student Teaching

*Each course will have 2 synchronous meetings.

View program requirements and course descriptions in the online catalog.


Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about the steps you need to take to apply for the Alternative Licensure in Special Education program.