Alternative Teacher Preparation Program

  • The SWWC Alternative Teacher Preparation Program is one of the first and few alternative teacher preparation programs in the state of Minnesota.  Approved by PELSB in March 2020, SWWC's Alternative Teacher Preparation Program, in partnership with Southwest Minnesota State University, is now able to offer licensure in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Educational Behavioral Disorder (EBD), providing a flexible and supportive experience, for candidates that currently hold a Minnesota Special Education ABS license.
    Advantages of Licensure Through an Alternative Teacher Preparation Program
    • Lower tuition
    • Online coursework available 24/7
    • Flexibility in practicum placement
    • Support from mentor teachers and instructional coach
    • Candidates could potentially complete coursework in one summer
    Differences From Traditional Teacher Preparation Programs
    • Non-degree seeking
    • Grad credit not available
    • Not eligible for financial aid assistance 
    Program Requirements
    • Candidate must currently hold a Minnesota bachelor's degree in Special Education ABS license, to be eligible to apply for the program.
    • Candidates must successfully complete the application process and program requirements.

    ASD Program (12 credits)
    AE 686 - ASD: Assessments & Programming (3 cr.)
    AE 687 - ASD: Communication & Social Skills (3 cr.)
    AE 688 - ASD: Behavioral and Instructional Strategies (3 cr.)
    AE 680 - ASD: Practicum in Special Ed: Moderate to Severe, B-21 (3 cr.)

    EBD Program (9 credits)
    AE 623 - Characteristics of Students with Moderate to Severe EBD (3 cr.)
    AE 643 - Behavior Management & Teaching Strategies (3 cr.)
    AE 683 - EBD: Practicum in Special Education: Moderate to Severe, B-12 (3 cr.)

    An EBD teaching license allows you to work with students with Moderate to Severe Emotional/Behavioral Disorders.  

    SWWC's Alternative Teacher Preparation Program seeks to recruit candidates recommended by principals, teachers, etc. as possessing those characteristics that will help the candidate develop into a highly effective teacher for all students.  
    The Conceptual Framework adopted by SWWC utilizes the best practices identified in a review of current research into alternative teacher preparation. Main components of the Conceptual Framework include:
    1. careful selection of candidates with ‘star’ teacher qualities
    2. extensive pedagogical training in instruction, curriculum, and working with diverse students
    3. intensive mentoring and supervision
    4. recruitment and training of high quality mentor teachers and student teaching supervisors
    5. high quality supervision with frequent and substantial evaluation
    6. meaningful collaboration with peers and teaching staff
    7. the integration of theory and practice to prepare candidates to make and enact decisions needed to meet the needs of the diverse learners they will serve
    8. practice in lesson planning and teaching prior to taking on full responsibility as a teacher
    9. well-defined standards of professional practice and performance that are used to guide and evaluate coursework and clinical work
    10. high exit standards

    SWWC Alternative Teacher Preparation Program Handbook

    Questions can be directed to Lisa Gregoire at or 507-537-2294.