Northstar Continuing Education

Classes on your time, at your convenience, when you want to study! 


CEUs 1.5, 3.0 or 4.5



All of our continuing education and professional development classes can be completed on your time, at your convenience, whenever you want to study!




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Phone: 763-219-8483


Using Augmentative Alternative Communication to Build Academic Skills

    In 1.5, 3.0 or 4.5 continuing education units


Course Description:

Many students using augmentative and alternative communication devices in general and special education classrooms are not working up to their academic potential, despite having access to superior technology. In this course, teachers will learn how to assess the needs of their students using AAC and how best to translate use of this technology into academic success, regardless of cognitive ability. Teachers will learn how to adapt the general curriculum and bring students beyond emergent literacy skills to their functional use in the classroom. Specific technology applications, such as word prediction software, communication boards, and speech generating devices and how they can best be used to improve academic success will also be discussed.


Goals and Objectives

As a result of this participation in this course, students will:

1. Adapt the general curriculum for students using AAC.

2. Promote the development of positive social relationships between peers and students who use AAC.

3. Develop IEP based on the student’s literacy, language and communication goals.

4. Support student’s successful use of a variety of AAC technologies.

5. Promote movement beyond emergent literacy to functional literacy skills.

6. Determine students’ continuing needs of through ongoing reading, writing and language assessments.

7. Collaborate with professionals to improve academic and social outcomes for their students who use AAC.



The required text is:

Soto, G. & Zangari, C. (2009). Practically Speaking: Language, Literacy and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs.