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

  • 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

Course Title Units
SPED 6425 Psychology and Methods of Teaching the Exceptional Learner* 3
SPED 6350 Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Academic and Physical Challenges* 3
SPED 6355 Instructional Strategies for Students with Academic and Physical Challenges* 3
SPED 6360 Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Learning and Behavior Disorders* 3
SPED 6365 Instructional Strategies for Student with Learning and Behavior Disorders* 3
SPED 6370 Curriculum Based and Educational Measurement of Exceptional Learners* 3
EDT 6230 Assistive Technology Principles and Practices 3
(Capstone) SPED 6890 Practicum 1: Content Area Learning and School Collaboration 3
(Capstone) SPED 6895 Practicum 2: Content Area Learning and Community Collaboration 3
RES 6600 Research in Education 3
  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*