Major in Special Education for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

The major in Special Education is designed to meet state teacher licensure requirements by training students to be knowledgeable and skilled regarding the education of all school aged children and adolescents with disabilities. Majors are selected during October to begin studies during the following Spring semester. Majors progress through the program as a cohort. Most coursework is offered during daytime hours.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students apply for admission during Fall semester and must be fully admitted to the University at that time. Minimum admission requirements include:

1) Minimum GPA of 2.75 based on all undergraduate work. New students must have successfully completed 12 credit hours at NEIU with a 2.75 or greater GPA if their previous work falls below 2.75.

2) One of the following: A passing score on the ILTS- Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), or a composite ACT Plus Writing score of 22 and a minimum 19 in combined English/writing, or a composite SAT score of 1030 and a minimum 450 in writing.

3) A spontaneous writing sample and/or interview required at the discretion of the Department.

4) A minimum of 20 hours working, volunteering or observing students with disabilities.
    Documentation must be on agency letterhead

Within one semester of admission, students must be admitted to the College of Education. See College of Education admission requirements in that section of the catalog. No more than two grades of “C” or less in professional sequence coursework is allowed. A grade of “D” in any required Special Education course will not be accepted toward the Special Education major. The student may repeat a “D” course once, dependent on departmental review (see program maintenance criteria). If a student fails to get a “C” or better, the student will be dropped as a Special Education major.

All students must maintain a 2.75 GPA. To be entitled for licensure a student must earn a grade of “B” or better in Student Teaching. A 2.75 cumulative G.P.A. is required for graduation.

Program Maintenance Criteria

Students must maintain a minimum 2.75 grade point average every semester. Should the candidate’s GPA fall below 2.75 in any semester or the cumulative GPA falls below 2.75, the student is allowed one semester to raise the GPA back to 2.75 or will be dismissed from the program. Education courses completed with a grade less than a “C” must be repeated and the candidate must earn a grade of “C” or above. Education courses refers to any NEIU courses with the following prefixes: EDFN, SPED, ELED, SCED, BLBC, or LTCY.

The candidate must obtain permission from the department’s Professional Standards Committee to retake the education course for which a grade lower than “C” was earned.

No more than two grades of “C” are acceptable in professional sequence courses (i.e., any course required for the special education major). If the student earns more than two grades of “C” in professional sequences courses, the student must re-take those courses, no more than once, until grades of “B” or better are earned, or leave the program. The candidate must obtain permission from the department’s Professional Standards Committee in order to retake these professional sequence courses.

Students may only repeat a course one time.

All coursework including the removal of incompletes must take place prior to student teaching.

Any course that has been repeated with a final (second) grade of “C,” may not be repeated again.

Students must maintain acceptable ratings on all key program assessments in order to progress without interruption through their program. Students who do not meet an acceptable or above rating on any key program assessment must obtain permission from the Program Facilitator 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.

Students must receive acceptable evaluations of their dispositions and professional behaviors in order to progress without interruption through their program. Failing to demonstrate acceptable dispositions and professional behaviors may be grounds for program removal.

Transfer Students

Students transferring to Northeastern Illinois University must have a minimum 2.75 GPA based on a 4.0 system. If the transfer student’s GPA is below 2.75, the student must establish a minimum Northeastern Illinois University GPA of 2.75 based upon 12 credit hours. All majors progress through the program within a cohort. The cohort model fosters professional development. For this reason transfer students must begin the major in January as part of an entering cohort. Advanced standing within the major is not provided.

General Education - Distributive Learning Requirements

General Education Distribution Area Cr. Hrs.
Fine Arts (FA)*
2 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: Art, CMT (Mass Media or Theatre), Music (includes Dance).
6
Humanities (HU)*
3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: CMT (Communication), English, Linguistics. Philosophy, Women's and Gender Studies, World Languages and Cultures, (Note: No more than two foreign language courses may be used to fulfill this requirement.)
9

Behavioral/Social Sciences (SB)*

3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: African & African American Studies, Anthropology, Computer Science, Economics, Geography & Environmental Studies, History, Justice Studies, Latino & Latin American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work

9

Natural Sciences (NS and NSL)**

3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study; one course must have a laboratory component (NSL): Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics (Note: If an FYE ANTH that counts as Natural Science is taken, only one Biology course may be used for Natural Science).

9

Math/Quantitative Reasoning (MA)

1 Math course, that has intermediate Algebra as prerequisite OR is a course listed on the General Education Distributive Learning List of Approved Courses. Any 3 hour college level math course, beyond Intermediate Algebra, meets this requirement.

At least 3
*

Majors in Fine Arts, Humanities or Social/Behavioral Sciences, may waive up to 6 credit hours of General Education requirements in the corresponding distribution area.

**

 Majors in Natural Sciences may waive up to 9 credit hours of General Education requirements in the Natural Sciences distribution area.

 

Students should also be aware of all other university requirements to obtain a degree - NEIU requirements

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Special Education:

The program is divided into three levels. Progress through each level is contingent upon the successful completion of both prescribed coursework and program benchmarks.

Coursework

Level I
Fall I (may be completed prior to acceptance into major)
EDFN-306Education And Individual Differences3
Spring I
EDFN-307Psychology Of Instruction And Learning3
SCED-311Writing Intensive Program: School Curriculum3
SPED-371Writing Intensive Program:Foundations Of Special Education3
SPED-372The Development & Characteristics Of Children And Youth With Exceptional Learning Needs3
Summer I
SPED-382Strategies For Differentiating Instruction For Students With Exceptional Learning Needs3
ELED-302Writing Intensive Program: Foundation Of Teaching The English Language Arts3
Level II
Fall II
SPED-383Informal Assessment And Progress Monitoring3
SPED-374Supervised Field Experience I3
SPED-395Technology And Special Education3
ELED-310Elementary And Middle School Math Methods3
Spring II
SPED-384Instructional Design For Individuals With Exceptional Learning Needs3
SPED-377Supervised Field Experience II3
LTCY-311Fundamentals Of Literacy Instruction3
SPED-379Managing Behaviors In The Classroom3
Summer II
SPED-376Teaching Learners With Moderate To Severe Disabilities3
Level III
Fall III
SPED-323Consultation In Special Education3
BLBC-340Teaching English Learners In Diverse Classrooms3
SPED-385Community Partnership And Advocacy2
SPED-316Professional Development Of The Special Educator1
SCED-303HMethods Of Teaching History In The Secondary School (OR SCED 303R)3
Spring III
SPED-381Student Teaching Sped12
Total Hours72

Undergraduate Special Education Program Benchmarks

Students must complete all benchmarks for each level before allowed to progress to the next level.

Level 1

Successful completion of all coursework at this level and completion of the following:

  1. Minimum overall GPA of 2.75
  2. No more than two grades of “C” or less in professional sequence coursework (see Program Maintenance Criteria)
  3. Acceptable or above ratings on all key program assessments and associated professional standards
  4. Acceptable or above ratings on all diversity proficiencies and technology proficiencies
  5. Acceptable or above evaluations of dispositions and professional behaviors
  6. Professional sequence course retaken once if grade lower than “C” and if approved by department (see Program Maintenance Criteria)
  7. Admission to the College of Education
  8. Meeting all expectations and requirements set forth by the Clinical Experience and Student Teaching (CEST) Office

Level 2

Successful completion of all coursework at this level, all of the Level 1 criteria plus:

  1. Passing score on the Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS) I state exam (#155) and the Special Education General Curriculum exam (#163) prior to student teaching (SPED 381)
  2. Ability to meet standard for acceptable professional writing
  3. Grade of "B" or above in clinical experiences

Level 3

Successful completion of all coursework at this level, all of the Level 1 and 2 criteria plus:

  1. Grade of “B” or above in student teaching
  2. Completion of acceptable program portfolio
  3. Completion of the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) during student teaching

Exit Requirements for Degree Completion

Successful completion of Levels one through three, with exception of passing score on edTPA.
In addition to the successful completion of the Special Education major and cognate, students must complete the general education requirements. Transfer students should meet with an advisor before registering for general education courses.  Students must complete NEIU General Education Program.

Minimum credit hours for degree: 120 credit hours.

Exit Requirements for Program Completion/Entitlement

Successful completion of Levels one through three, with evidence of passing score on edTPA

Notes: Currently, the ISBE requires licensure candidates to pass the APT exam. This regulation is in the process of being changed.  Please check with your advisor or the department chair about the status of the APT exam.

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
ENGL-101Writing I3
Behavioral/Social Science course3
Humanities course3
Math (College Level) course3
 Term Hours12
Term 2
ENGL-102Writing II3
Behavioral/Social Science course3
Humanities course3
Natural Science course3
 Term Hours12
Second Year
Term 1
CMTC-101 or 202Public Speaking3
Behavioral/Social Science course3
Natural Science (Lab)3
Humanities Course3
 Term Hours12
Term 2
Behavioral/Social Science course3
Natural Science course3
Fine Arts course3
Fine Arts course3
 Term Hours12
Third Year
Term 1
EDFN-306Education And Individual Differences3
 Term Hours3
Term 2
EDFN-307Psychology Of Instruction And Learning3
SCED-311Writing Intensive Program: School Curriculum3
SPED-371Writing Intensive Program:Foundations Of Special Education3
SPED-372The Development Characteristics Of Children And Youth With Exceptional Learning Needs3
 Term Hours12
Term 3
SPED-382Strategies For Differentiating Instruction For Students With Exceptional Learning Needs3
ELED-302Writing Intensive Program: Foundation Of Teaching The English Language Arts3
 Term Hours6
Fourth Year
Term 1
SPED-383Informal Assessment And Progress Monitoring3
SPED-374Supervised Field Experience I3
SPED-395Technology And Special Education3
ELED-310Elementary And Middle School Math Methods3
 Term Hours12
Term 2
SPED-384Instructional Design For Individuals With Exceptional Learning Needs3
SPED-377Supervised Field Experience II3
SPED-379Managing Behaviors In The Classroom3
LTCY-311Fundamentals Of Literacy Instruction3
 Term Hours12
Term 3
SPED-376Teaching Learners With Moderate To Severe Disabilities3
 Term Hours3
Fifth Year
Term 1
SPED-323Consultation In Special Education3
SPED-385Community Partnership And Advocacy2
BLBC-340Teaching English Learners In Diverse Classrooms3
SPED-316Professional Development Of The Special Educator1
SCED-303HMethods Of Teaching History In The Secondary School3
OR SCED 303R Materials and Methods for Teaching High School Science 
 Term Hours12
Term 2
SPED-381Student Teaching Sped12
 Term Hours12
 Total Hours: 120