At LDA we want our rigorous class assignments and licensure requirements to feel purposeful and never like busywork. Our program focuses on real day-to-day work for special education teachers. You learn not just what to do and why, but also how to do it. All courses incorporate experiential learning and real-world modeling. Three different practicums in purposefully designed settings give you relevant practice. And throughout the program, you will gain hands-on experience with at least seven different types of assessments.


Because we are a small, local non-profit, we are able to provide a very personal and intimate program for our candidates – where everyone knows everyone and we can keep classes small. Additionally, our model immediately connects candidates with an experienced special education mentor for the program’s duration.

Specifically designed to incorporate research-based best practices for teacher coaching, our program goes several steps beyond most others when it comes to mentoring. Our mentors will help to seamlessly integrate what you learn in classes, what you do in practicums, and how both translate into your success on the job. From the start of the program and throughout its duration, you’ll have weekly access to your mentor for individualized advising, coaching, and support. Your mentor also will have an evaluative role. And most importantly, our mentoring program is based on partnership principles of coaching that embraces equality, dialogue, and reciprocity to establish an effective relationship that facilitates your success.


In addition to our One-on-One mentoring and coaching for candidates, we also take full advantage of LDA’s campus to offer face-to-face evening classes taught by expert professors in the field.

Advancing Racial Equity.

LDA Minnesota’s organizational values includes, “Creating an inclusive and equitable community.”  As a licensure program, 100% of teacher candidates, professors and mentors complete the Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI) including one-on-one meetings with an equity trainer to provide each person with a personal intercultural development plan. Additionally, we strive to intertwine equity content into every course: tackling such issues as racially-based disparities in Minnesota. And because we do not pretend to have all the answers, we constantly work to get direct feedback from teacher candidates, professors, and consultants on how to improve our approach to continue to advance racial equity in special education in Minnesota.

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