Roosevelt’s program in special education is a PreK–age 21 program leading to an Illinois teaching license with an LBS1 endorsement. Completion of the program qualifies graduates to teach children with all areas of special education needs, with the exception of sensory impairments and communication disorders. The LBS1 classification includes the former categories of learning disabilities, mental retardation, severe emotional and behavior disorders, other health impairments, traumatic brain injury, autism, and physical disabilities.
Current teachers who hold an early childhood elementary or secondary teaching license and endorsement and who wish to receive the state endorsement to teach students with special needs may complete the requirements described at the end of this page. The LBS1 endorsement provides specialized training with respect to learning disabilities, mental retardation, severe emotional and behavior disorders, other health impairments, traumatic brain injury, autism, and physical disabilities.
Applicants to this program must have earned a 120 semester hour bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale and have a passing score on the Illinois Basic Skills Test or Test of Academic Proficiency.
At the time of admission, advisors review transcripts and evaluate all course work completed at other colleges or universities. Advising plans are developed and any deficiencies related to licensure requirements are noted. If additional course work is needed, the student’s advisor will indicate the course work needed. Each student must confer with his/her assigned advisor before enrolling in the program and during each advising period to ensure that all requirements are being successfully completed.
Students who have failed content exams in other teacher preparation programs may apply to change their program of study to special education. However, prior to application, students need to have taken one special education class in addition to SPED 319/419, and need to have passed the ILTS Special Education General Curriculum Test.
To earn the MA in special education, students must complete 12 courses (40 semester hours). All graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their graduate courses, and no grade below C is acceptable for licensure or the MA degree (C- grades are unacceptable). No more than two grades of C or C+ may be applied toward licensure or the degree.
The following courses are required to earn licensure and complete the MA in special education. SPED 405 and SPED 407 are prerequisites for the program, and may be completed in addition to the 11 required courses, or may be fulfilled at the time of admission through the evaluation of undergraduate or graduate transcripts.
SPED 419, SPED 442, SPED 443, SPED 445, and SPED 446 have field experience components that provide important first-hand experience in the classroom. Students enrolled in field experience courses participate in the classroom as observers and participants in individual, small group, and large group activities. Field experiences are planned to include experiences with diverse learners in early childhood, elementary, middle school, and secondary settings. In addition, placements are carefully arranged in order to insure that students have experience in inclusion settings, resource, and self-contained special education classrooms.
Practicum in special education is divided into two experiences during the same 15-week term: a five-week internship and a ten-week student teaching placement. It is arranged in this way in order to provide an intensive experience for teacher candidates at the preschool, elementary, middle school, and secondary school levels.
Internship and student teaching are planned with consideration for each student’s needs and interests. It is open only to students who have successfully completed all of the appropriate general education and academic major requirements, the Basic Skills Test or Test of Academic Proficiency, the Special Education General Curriculum Test and LBS1 Content Test, the required field experiences, and other requirements for admission to student teaching. Formal application two semesters prior to student teaching is required. Applicants are expected to be in good physical health and prepared in content knowledge, professional and pedagogical skills, and professional dispositions. Each student is supervised by a member of the College of Education faculty and by a resident experienced teacher. No other courses may be taken while student teaching without approval of the advisor.
To earn the Illinois teaching license, students must complete the Assessment of Professional Teaching, in addition to the approved student teaching and internship experience.
Students graduating and applying for the special education endorsement must meet the general education requirements listed below. If their bachelor's degree program has deficiencies in the general education requirements, they may complete this work concurrently with the master’s degree requirements.
General education requirements for state licensure in special education:
The Nonwestern/Third World cultures course may be selected from humanities or social science courses.
This program is intended for currently licensed teachers who hold an early childhood elementary or secondary teaching endorsement and who wish to receive state approval to teach students with special needs at their level of existing endorsement.
Licensed teachers may enroll in the series of courses leading to the LBS1 endorsement as either a student at large or as a student in the MA degree in Teaching and Learning. The courses count as elective course work within the Teaching and Learning program.
The State requirements for a special education endorsement (LBS1) on an existing license include four courses and a total of 14 semester hours. The two courses below are required.
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