Pathway to Licensure


We help passionate and experienced education assistants reach their career goals.

Education assistants and paraprofessionals in our schools and in our member districts already provide outstanding service to our students. Now, they can become classroom teachers.

By investing in staff who already provide excellent service to students, and who know of the challenges and joys of this line of work, we hope to hire and retain some of the best-prepared teachers possible. We also know that alternative licensure programs are one way that many aspiring teachers of color in particular have been able to reach their professional goals.

In 2019, we began a partnership with the University of St. Thomas to offer a similar program for paraprofessionals and EAs who wish to pursue a master's degree as well as an Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) teaching license with a focus on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or emotional/behavior disorders (EBD).

Since 2015, Northeast Metro 916 in partnership with the University of Minnesota has offered a pathway to licensure program for EAs to obtain a master’s degree and teaching license in the area of emotional/behavior disorders (EBD).

Work-and-Learn: special education licensure from the University of St. Thomas (EBD or ASD)

Our newest licensure program is designed for paraprofessionals and Tier I teachers who have a bachelor's degree, and who aspire to earn a special education teaching license. This is an affordable, accessible, and accelerated program where you can earn your ABS license in two years and complete the ASD component in the third year, all while earning your master’s degree.

For more information, read the program summary and review the PowerPoint.

Residency program: special education licensure from the University of Minnesota (EBD only)

Each year, we offer an EBD teacher licensure cohort in partnership with the University of Minnesota. This program provides a pathway for education assistants to earn their master’s degree in education and a K-12 teaching license in emotional/behavioral disorders in two years. Interested applicants must have completed an undergraduate program with a 2.5 or above GPA and have one year of experience working with individuals with emotional/behavioral disorders. To learn more about this program, visit the University of Minnesota website.

Lizzie Reetz

Talent Acquisition Partner