Special Education Master's

Program Overview

The Master of Arts Degree in Special Education is designed for certified educators who desire to become an accomplished special education teacher as well as receive an LBS 1 endorsement. This program is designed to provide teachers interested in transferring into a special education classroom or bringing special education skills to their current teaching area of expertise. Graduates will be prepared to demonstrate competency and proficiency as a special education teacher in any of the following areas: learning disabilities, social/emotional disorders, mental retardation (EMH or TMH) (currently referred to as intellectual disability), physical handicaps, autism, or traumatic brain injury that matches their original certificate.

Program Highlights & Benefits:

  • 2 year or less completion time
  • Summer & holiday breaks
  • One course completed every 8 weeks
  • Tuition discounted 20%
  • Classes meet on campus or in an online format

Program Objectives

  • Designed for certified educators who desire to become an accomplished special education teacher as well as receive an LBS I endorsement
  • Build and strengthen a theoretical understanding of the foundations of special education
  • Increase knowledge and skills in research-based assessment methods, curriculum, and instructional design and practice
  • Examine issues of inclusion and least restrictive environment, special education educational systems, and special education policy and law
  • Apply strategies and skills developed in coursework through practicum experience
  • Conduct research to answer questions related to special education practices and successfully meeting the needs of all learners
  • Graduates will be prepared to demonstrate competency and proficiency as a special education teacher in any of the following areas: learning disabilities, social/emotional disorders, mental retardation (EMH or TMH) (currently referred to as intellectual disability), physical handicaps, autism, or traumatic brain injury that matches their original certificate
  • Must have a valid professional educator’s license

Areas of Study

Course Title Units
EDU 6425 Psychology and Methods of Teaching the Exceptional Learner* 3
EDU 6350 Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Academic and Physical Challenges* 3
EDU 6355 Instructional Strategies for Students with Academic and Physical Challenges* 3
EDU 6360 Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Learning and Behavior Disorders* 3
EDU 6365 Instructional Strategies for Students with Learning and Behavior Disorders* 3
EDU 6370 Curriculum Based and Educational Measurement of Exceptional Learners* 3
EDU 6010 Differentiation and Learning Theory 3
EDU 6890 Practicum 1: Content Area Learning and School Collaboration 3
EDU 6895 Practicum 2: Content Area Learning and Community Collaboration 3
EDU 6650 Action Research 3
EDU 6635 Bilingual Only** Methods & Materials for Teaching Bilingual Students 3
  Total Credit Hours: 33 Units

Endorsement Process:

Students must pass the Illinois Content Area Test for Special Education (Learning Behavior Specialist 1 Test 155).

Students apply for endorsement through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) via the Regional Offices of Education. ISBE Form 73-52, official transcripts, and any fees must be submitted to the state before the endorsement is given. Upon approval, the student will obtain a LBS 1 Limited endorsement. This endorsement allows the endorsement holder to teach Special Education students within the age and grade limits of their teaching certificate. (It is recommended that students take and pass the LBS 1 test prior to beginning Practicum 1.)

NOTE: This is only an introduction of the program. You are responsible to review the Graduate Catalog for program details.

The first six courses fulfill the State of Illinois requirement for the LBS 1 Special Education endorsement*