Master of Arts (M.a.)

Special Education

with LBS 1 Endorsement

In-Person or Online 30 major credits * 2 years

Affordable Tuition

$166/mo

*if using financial aid

How to Pay
In your area one night a week OR fully online
Get started today to reserve your seat for spring!
Programs designed for working educators

Program Highlights & Benefits

Classes meet on campus or in an online format

2 year completion time, including holiday breaks

One course completed every 8 weeks

Tuition discounted 20%

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 Objectives

  • Build and strengthen a theoretical understanding of the foundations of special education.
  • Increase knowledge and skills in evidenced-based assessment methods, curriculum, 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 experiences.
  • Conduct research to answer questions related to special education practices and successfully meeting the needs of all learners.

Areas of Study

CourseTitleUnits
SPED 6425Psychology and Methods of Teaching the Exceptional Learner*3
SPED 6350Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Academic and Physical Challenges*3
SPED 6355Instructional Strategies for Students with Academic and Physical Challenges*3
SPED 6360Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Learning and Behavior Disorders*3
SPED 6365Instructional Strategies for Student with Learning and Behavior Disorders*3
SPED 6370Curriculum Based and Educational Measurement of Exceptional Learners*3
EDT 6230Assistive Technology Principles and Practices3
(Capstone) SPED 6890Practicum 1: Content Area Learning and School Collaboration3
(Capstone) SPED 6895Practicum 2: Content Area Learning and Community Collaboration3
RES 6600Research in Education3
 Total Credit Hours:30 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 their Regional Office of Education. ISBE Form 73-52, official transcripts, and any fees must be submitted to the state before the endorsement is given. This endorsement allows the endorsement holder to teach Special Education students within the age and grade limits of the new ISBE grade level regulations established in 2014. It is recommended that students take and pass the LBS1 test prior to beginning Practicum 1. Note: successful completion of the MA in Special Education provides an LBS1 endorsement which matches the grade level on the student’s existing Professional Educator’s License (PEL).

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*