The MA in Special Education (SPED) prepares teacher candidates to address the learning and socio-emotional needs of children and adolescents with learning and intellectual disabilities, severe emotional and behavior disorders, and other disabilities. This intensive, field-based program prepares every candidate to work democratically at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. It leads to the Illinois LBS1 teaching credential.
The program is a part of Roosevelt's New Deal Teacher Academy. Each program in the NDTA fulfills the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by fostering inclusive and engaging relationships among teacher candidates, faculty, school practitioners, and learners; immersing teacher candidates intensively in diverse school and community cultures; nurturing social justice leadership skills and dispositions; and coaching candidates toward career success.
Teaching is an immensely rewarding profession, but requires a lot of time and effort. Students can expect focused and practical assignments, engaging discussion and small group projects, and intensive field experiences in diverse schools and classrooms. During the final semester, students complete a 15 week student teaching experience under the guidance of a mentor teacher and a university supervisor.
The program has a 100% pass rate on the edTPA--the capstone assessment required for teacher licensure in Illinois. It also is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children.
Typically, graduates are employed as special education teachers serving disabled and special needs children in K-12 public and private schools. Occasionally, graduates choose to work in community agencies and organizations committed to serving children with special needs.
"Assistive technologies are developing at a rapid pace. I bring these technologies into my classrooms, and show my students how to use them to improve communication and learning for all students, regardless of abilities."