Students must fulfill the requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

All applicants are required to have two letters of recommendation submitted in support of their applications. These letters should be addressed directly to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research. The recommendations should be made by persons who have had a supervisory relationship with the applicant in a teaching situation. For applicants to the Master of Arts in Special Education with little or no prior teaching experience, letters will be accepted from student teaching supervisors or from professors of education who have observed the applicant’s potential as a teacher in the area of Special Education.

For the Master of Arts in Gifted Education and Master of Science in Special Education letters from school administrators and professional colleagues will be accepted.

Advisement

All students will be assigned an advisor. Students will plan their programs in consultation with their advisors.

Course Requirements for Master of Arts in Special Education, First License

Student Requirements

Graduate students seeking their initial teaching license must complete the following 47-hour entitlement sequence as part of the requirement for the Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) endorsement. In this program, students will be required to complete two field-based clinical experiences arranged by the College of Education's Clinical Experience and Student Teaching (CEST) Office, in addition to a full-time sixteen week student teaching experience in an approved school setting or an on campus site practicum for licensed teachers.

Admission Requirements

  1. Prospective students apply for admission to the program through the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
  2. Graduate students are admitted for Fall and Spring semesters.

  3. Bachelor's degree (within or outside of education)

  4. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (4-point scale). Previous graduate credit is also taken into consideration, when appropriate.

  5. One of the following current within ten years: A passing score on the ILTS-Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), or a composite ACT Plus Writing score of 22, or a composite SAT score of 1030. For candidates who have not yet taken one of these exams, the ACT is recommended.

  6. Spontaneous writing sample and/or interview at the discretion of the Department.

NOTE: Prospective students who miss the deadline for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research may apply for Graduate Student-at-Large (SAL) status. As SAL, students are allowed to take up to nine (9) credit hours of graduate coursework which may transfer to their program upon full acceptance and advisor approval.

MA-LBS I Program Maintenance Criteria

  • Candidates must maintain acceptable ratings on all key program assessments in order to progress without interruption through their program. Candidates who do not meet an acceptable or above rating on any key program assessment must obtain permission from the Department of Special Education's Professional Standards Committee to retake the course in which a key program assessment is embedded or to revise the assessment, no more than one time, in order to meet an acceptable rating.

  • Candidates must earn acceptable evaluations of their dispositions and professional behaviors in order to progress without interruption through their program.

  • Candidates must maintain a GPA of 3.00 or above throughout the program. Earning a GPA below 3.00 in any semester will result in recommendation for dismissal from the program.

  • A maximum of 2 grades of “C” is accepted. Earning a third grade of “C” or below will result in recommendation for dismissal from the program.

  • Candidates must continue to meet the expectations set forth by the College of Graduate Studies and Research and College of Education.

Master of Arts in Special Education (LBS I) Program Sequence

Block I
SPED-500Research I:Special Education3
SPED-501Characteristics Of Disabilities3
SPED-502Language, Learning And Cognition3
SPED-503Foundations Of Special Education3
SPED-504Assessment I:Principles Of Educational Assessment In Special Education4
Block II
LTCY-402Issues In Literacy Instruction3
SPED-506Instructional & Assistive Technology In Special Education3
SPED-507Internship I:Fundamentals Of Teaching2
SPED-509Methods I:Specialized Curriculum & Methods In Special Education3
Block III
SPED-505Consultation & Collaboration3
SPED-508Methods II: General Curriculum & Methods In Special Education 13
SPED-511Methods IV:Alternative Programming And Curriculum In Special Education3
SPED-512Internship II: Intermediate Teaching 22
Block IV
SPED-510Methods III: Strategies Of Behavior Management3
SPED-520Assessment Lab-Applied Diagnostic Assessment 32
SPED-516Professional Development Of The Special Educator 31
SPED-514Student Teaching In Special Education 43
Total Hours47
1

Prerequisite: SPED-509, LTCY-402, SPED-506

2

Prerequisites: SPED-507, SPED-509

3

 Prerequisite: Block I, II, and III

4

(Prerequisites: All other LBS I coursework must be completed prior to student teaching. ICTS exams #155 and #163 must be passed prior to student teaching.) Key program assessments including ILTS Content-area tests [i.e., ILTS Content-area test: LBS I (#155), Special Education General Curriculum (Test#163)] must be passed prior to student teaching.

Additional Program Completion/Entitlement Requirements

Candidates must pass the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) for program completion and entitlement.

Note:  The Illinois State Board of Education no longer requires candidates to pass the APT exam.

Program Benchmarks

Students must complete all benchmarks for each level before being allowed to progress to the next level. Students cannot obtain more than two grades of "C" in graduate work as per the College of Graduate Studies and Research Policy.

Level I

  • Successful completion of Block I coursework.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Completion of any deficiencies for those students admitted conditionally
  • Beginning student portfolio
  • Demonstration of appropriate professional teaching behaviors and dispositions
  • Passing key program assessments associated with level I

Level II

  • Successful completion of Block II coursework.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Current student portfolio
  • Grade of "B" or above in SPED-507
  • Demonstration of appropriate professional teaching behaviors and dispositions
  • Passing key program assessments associated with level II

Level III

  • Successful completion of Block III coursework.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Current student portfolio
  • Demonstration of appropriate professional teaching behaviors and dispositions
  • Grade of “B" or above in SPED-512
  • Passing key program assessments associated with level III
  • Passing score on the ILTS Content Area Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS I) exam
  • (#155) and the ILTS Special Education General Curriculum exam (#163)

Level IV

  • Successful completion of Block IV coursework.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Completed student portfolio
  • Demonstration of appropriate professional teaching behaviors and dispositions
  • Passing key program assessments associated with level IV
  • Grade of "B" or above in student teaching
  • Completion of the ILTS Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)

Exit Requirements for Degree Completion

Successful completion of Blocks I-IV and corresponding level requirements, 47 hours, with exception of edTPA. NOTE: Candidates who apply for and graduate the program without passing the edTPA will no longer be eligible for entitlement.

Exit Requirements for Program Completion/Entitlement

Successful completion of Blocks I-IV and corresponding level requirements, 47 hours, and passage of edTPA.

LBS I-Focus Program in Special Education

Program's purpose:

In order to meet the needs of licensed teachers seeking endorsement in Special Education (SPED): Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I), the Department of Special Education is offering the LBS I Focus Program. This program leads to the full Pk-21 LBS I Endorsement.

Admission requirements:

In order to be accepted into the program, candidates must first apply to the College of Graduate Studies and Research (graduate-college). Candidates must meet all conditions of the College of Graduate Studies and Research to be eligible for admission and retention in the program. In addition, candidates must hold a valid Illinois Professional Educator License (with endorsement in any of the following: elementary, early childhood or one content area in secondary education).

Program requirements and sequence:

  • Upon entrance to the program: Candidates must schedule an academic consultation (in­-person or online) with the Focus Program Advisor to develop a course sequence plan. The Focus Program Advisor will determine an appropriate course sequence plan based on the candidate's professional skills, experience, and academic history.

  • Each candidate must complete a minimum of 21 out of 27 hours at Northeastern (including an in­ person practicum course). Courses in the Focus program are delivered either online or in person.  Coursework will include:

    SPED-501Characteristics Of Disabilities3
    SPED-503Foundations Of Special Education3
    SPED-504Assessment I:Principles Of Educational Assessment In Special Education4
    SPED-506Instructional & Assistive Technology In Special Education3
    SPED-509Methods I:Specialized Curriculum & Methods In Special Education3
    SPED-510Methods III: Strategies Of Behavior Management3
    SPED-511Methods IV:Alternative Programming And Curriculum In Special Education3
    SPED-520Assessment Lab-Applied Diagnostic Assessment2
    SPED-514BApplied Diagnostic Teaching In Special Education3
  • SPED-514B Additional courses may be added to the aforementioned sequence to meet any professional deficiencies presented by the candidate as determined by the Focus Program Advisor.

  • All candidates must perform practicum work (SPED-514B) in the William Itkin Children 's Service Center, located on the Northeastern  main campus. Candidates in the Online Focus LBS I Program who live outside a 50 mile radius from the university may complete the practicum experience at their school. Prior to enrollment in SPED-514B, candidates must successfully pass the Illinois Licensure Testing System content tests, Learning Behavior Specialist I (#155) and Special Education General Curriculum (#163), and satisfactorily complete all requisite coursework for the endorsement prior to program completion.

  • Special note: Candidates holding an Illinois Professional Educator License interested in obtaining an emergency special education approval prior to completing the Focus program must enroll in SPED-404 and either SPED-501 or SPED-504, as this course combination would satisfy two of the four areas required by the State of Illinois for the approval (per 23 ILAC 226.810.b).

  • Candidates must maintain the conditions set forth by the College of Graduate Studies and Research for retention in the program.

  • Candidates must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above throughout the program. Earning a GPA below 3.0 in any semester will result in immediate removal from the program.

  • A maximum of two (2) grades of "C" is accepted. Earning a third grade of "C" or below will result in immediate removal from the program.

  • Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance to the professional disposition standards. Failure to meet professional disposition standards will result in remediation, suspension, or removal from the program as determined by Department of Special Education faculty.

Applying the Focus Program to the LBS II Master's degree:

Candidates who have completed all of the requirements for the LBS I Focus program may complete the appropriate coursework necessary to earn a Learning Behavior Specialist II (LBS II) endorsement. Two LBS II endorsements on the Professional Education License paths are offered in the Department of Special Education. These include (a) Curriculum Adaptation Specialist (CAS) and (b) Behavior Intervention Specialist (BIC). Candidates interested in applying their LBS I Focus program coursework toward a Master's  degree must submit a written statement to the Focus Program Advisor and the College of Graduate Studies and Research indicating their intention to begin LBS II coursework, and submit a change of program form to the Focus Program Advisor. The courses required for the LBS II (in either CAS or BIS) include five (5) courses plus an additional capstone experience course. To obtain an endorsement on the Professional Education License in either CAS or BIS, candidates must also pass the Illinois Licensure Testing System content test for the respective area.

Course Requirements for the Early Childhood Special Education Approval

There are four required courses for the Early Childhood Special Education Approval. These are SPED 502 or ECED 408, SPED 482, SPED 483 and ECED 403.  The approval must be attached to a valid IL Professional Educator License endorsed for either (a) standard early childhood (0 - grade 3) or (b) standard special pre-school - age 21 endorsed LBS I OR standard elementary and standard secondary endorsed LBS I. 

This sample curricular map is provided to guide you in the planning of your progression for this major.  This guide should not replace regular consultations with your program advisor. For specific recommendations of courses not identified, please consult your program advisor.

First Year
Term 1Hours
SPED-500Research I:Special Education3
SPED-501Characteristics Of Disabilities3
SPED-503Foundations Of Special Education3
 Term Hours9
Term 2
SPED-502Language, Learning And Cognition3
SPED-504Assessment I:Principles Of Educational Assessment In Special Education4
LTCY-402Issues In Literacy Instruction3
 Term Hours10
Second Year
Term 1
SPED-506Instructional Assistive Technology In Special Education3
SPED-509Methods I:Specialized Curriculum Methods In Special Education3
SPED-507Internship I:Fundamentals Of Teaching2
 Term Hours8
Term 2
SPED-505Consultation Collaboration3
SPED-508Methods II: General Curriculum Methods In Special Education3
SPED-512Internship II: Intermediate Teaching2
 Term Hours8
Third Year
Term 1
SPED-510Methods III: Strategies Of Behavior Management3
SPED-511Methods IV:Alternative Programming And Curriculum In Special Education3
SPED-520Assessment Lab-Applied Diagnostic Assessment2
SPED-516Professional Development Of The Special Educator1
 Term Hours9
Term 2
SPED-514Student Teaching In Special Education3
 Term Hours3
 Total Hours: 47