Special Education A.A.S. Degree

Why Choose Special Education A.A.S. Degree at CLC?

Experienced Instructors – program instructors have more than 60 years combined experience in special education, childcare, and vocational rehabilitation/counseling.

Placement – graduates have enjoyed nearly 100% career related job placement.

• Flexible and Convenient – combination of hybrid and online courses allows for flexible student work time and weekly connections to faculty and classmates.

Special Education Certificate – prepares students for jobs across the career lattice – paraprofessionals, early childhood caregivers in centers and family programs and preschools.

Articulated Credits – CLC has agreements with eight area high schools to accept high school child development course work.

About the Program

Parents, future childcare providers, early childhood teachers and special educators: the CLC child development program includes courses that enable any and all early childhood and school-age career pathways. Enjoy the hands-on experiences on campus, access to latest research, and/or convenience of online learning.

Whether you are beginning your education or updating your skills and knowledge, the CLC Child Development department will provide professional development tailored to your needs. Come join the fun!

Program Information

Program Course Requirements

First Year – Fall Semester
CDEV 1100  Foundations of Child Development (3 cr)
CDEV 1110  Guidance: Managing the Physical and Social Environment (4 cr)
CDEV 1120  Professional Realtions (3 cr)
General Education (6 cr)
Total  16 Credits

First Year – Spring Semester
CDEV 1130 Infant/Toddler Development (4 cr)
CDEV 2110  Characteristics of Learning & Behavioral Disorders (3 cr)
CDEV 2112  Collaboration Skills and Transition Training (3 cr)
General Education (4 cr)
Total 14 Credits

Second Year – Fall Semester
AMSL 1410  American Sign Language I (4 cr)
CDEV 1135  Profiles of Exceptional Child (3 cr)
CDEV 1160 Internship (4 cr)
General Education (4 cr)
Total 15 Credits

Second Year – Spring Semester
CDEV 1162 Internship in a Specialized Setting (2 cr)
CDEV 1398  Special Topics (1 cr)
CDEV 2114  Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (2 cr)
CDEV 2343  School Age Development (4 cr)
General Education (6 cr)
Total 15 Credits

* Denotes Prerequisites

Career Description: Graduates will be qualified to seek immediate employment as paraprofessionals in public or private schools and will be particularly qualified to work with students with special needs, which is the largest segment of paraprofessional needs.

Program Information: The Special Education A.A.S. degree is designed to meet the needs of individuals seeking employment as a special education paraprofessional. The program is also beneficial to anyone working in family or center-based childcare, as a nanny, or preschool teacher.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:



  • Integrate child development theory with appropriate practice in early care and education settings;
  • Plan and prepare effective instruction;
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communications for families, coworkers, agencies, and early childhood partners;
  • Plan culturally relevant activities to nurture cognitive, physical, language, social and emotional development;
  • Recognize ethical, legal, and professional responsibilities; and
  • Summarize and demonstrate understanding of special education laws and regulations, the needs of special education students and the special education working environment.



Special Program Requirements:



A MN DHS background check must be obtained before the student is admitted to the degree program.

In addition to the program requirements listed, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: The cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be at least 2.0;
  2. College Technical Core GPA Requirement: The cumulative GPA of credits in the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0; and
  3. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.



Accreditation: The CLC Child Development program is currently involved in the National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation process for the A.A.S. Child Care & Guidance degree. This degree does include portions of the A.A.S. Special Education degree.

Transfer Opportunities: Students can transfer credits to Concordia- St. Paul and Mayville State University.

Career Opportunities: DEED shows occupational growth projections of 12% in Central MN, and 18%, nationwide, in addition to the significant needs for replacement of retiring Special Education teachers. OSDS information projects 753 annual openings in MN with 686 of these coming from replacement needs. That same source also projects just 65 graduates per year for this period.

Career Titles: Special Education paraprofessional


stephen larson

Stephen Larson

Child Development Instructor Online
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stephen larson
Stephen Larson

Child Development Instructor Online

M S. Degree Rehabilitation Counseling, Career Rehabilitation Counselor, Minnesota State Services for the Blind, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, past president of the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association, graduate of the Education Policy Fellowship Program, 29 years of experience promoting the success of children and adults with disabilities in school, work and independent living.

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Cynthia Tougas-Mann

Child Development Instructor
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Cynthia Tougas-Mann

Child Development Instructor

B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education, ESL emphasis, pursuing Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Experience in center-based childcare, Head Start, School Readiness, ECFE. 10 years experience as an instructor in higher education. Serves on local food shelf and community Santa Anonymous committees. She enjoys exploring MN with her children and attending their school sporting events.

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Kim Bailey

Child Development Instructor
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Kim Bailey

Child Development Instructor

Kim Yang Bailey
MA Ed. in Early Childhood Education, pursuing Ph. D in Organizational Leadership; specializing in Early Childhood Education (anticipated completion term Spring 2019). Experience 15 years at Head Start; Mentoring of new staff and revision of Mentoring Curriculum, Coaching, Center Education Coordinator trainee, Lead Teacher, Bilingual Interpreter, and School Readiness preparation. Experience certified Pre-K CLASS observer. Three years’ experience as an instructor and two years as a professor for higher education. Over 15 years of advocacy for vulnerable, diverse, underprivileged children and their families.

Student Testimonials


2014 Graduate of A.A.S. Child Care and Guidance degree
My experience at CLC was wonderful! The classes are fun and I loved all the hands on work I was able to do. I also had very helpful teachers in class and online. I’d recommend this program to others.


Graduate of Child Development Care and Guidance A.A.S
I had been a licensed child care provider for 9 years when I decided to go back to college and get my Child Development degree. This degree has enabled me to provide a higher quality program for the children in my care. My child care families recognize that I am a professional in the child care field.


2014 Graduate – Brainerd
As a student in the child development program, I have had the opportunity to learn so many new and useful things. I am so glad that I chose this program. The program instructors were amazing to work with and made it fun and exciting to learn. I was lucky to be a part of so many classes that enriched my life and I look forward to using the skills I have learned in the near future.


Graduate of A.S. Young Child Education degree and an A.A. degree.
The CLC Child Development Program provided me with the opportunity and tools to improve my current licensed child care program as well as prepare me for a new journey in the world of child development as a Center Director. The convenience of an on-line option enabled me to enhance my professional development skills at a time that was convenient and fit my schedule. My instructors were always available and ready to answer questions, provide guidance and up to date information.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:


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