Special Education

Special Ed

The Special Education Program leads to a Master’s of Science in Education Degree and the Illinois Learning Behavioral Specialist – I Professional Teaching license.

 

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Special Education Learning Behavioral Specialist – I Master’s Degree Program, which is designed to enable candidates to earn their M.S.E.D Degree in Special Education and their Illinois Special Education Professional Teaching Licensure, is to:

  1. Provide a high quality teacher preparation program that: integrates a strong theoretical foundation with current research findings; provides realistic, effective and humanistic pedagogical practices; and inspire candidates to acquire knowledge and skills and encourages their curiosity and creativity;
  2. Prepare educational personnel who are knowledgeable and competent practitioners, dedicated to serving the educational needs of students of widely varying abilities and backgrounds, and, responsible participants in the quest for improvement of the nation’s schools and the teaching profession; and
  3. Prepare highly qualified educators who are professionally and ethically equipped to provide students with disabilities with an education that is designed to enable them to maximize their potentials and assume dignified and productive roles in the society.

Program Options

Concentrations offered under this program consist of:

This option is designed for candidates who are new to the teaching profession and do not possess a professional teaching license.

Completion of all the course work, field experiences, and degree requirements for this program option qualifies candidates for the Illinois Learning Behavioral Specialist I (K-12) Professional Educator licensure, and a Master’s of Science in Education Degree.

This option is designed for candidates who enter the program with valid teaching licensure, usually in the area of general education at the elementary or secondary level.

Completion of all the course work, field experiences, and degree requirements for this program option qualifies candidates for the Illinois Learning Behavioral Specialist I (K-12) Professional Educator licensure, and a Master’s of Science in Education Degree.

This option is designed for  candidates who are already licensed as general education teachers and are only interested in taking, (as graduate students at large), the thirteen (13) credit hours of coursework needed for adding the Special Education Learning Behavioral Specialist – I endorsement to their current/existing professional educator license.

Please contact the Department or the College of Education Licensure Office for more detailed information about the process for applying for admission to this option. 

 

Application Procedure

To apply for admission to this program, candidates should contact: the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at Chicago State University, (773) 995-2404 or visit graduate school and then follow the instructions provided on this homepage in submitting their application online. Official transcripts from all institutions previously attended (except CSU) are required.

Candidates who are interested in the Endorsement in Special Education Option only should contact the Department directly at 773-995-2086 / fluseno@csu.edu or the College of Education Teacher Licensure Office at 773-995-2492 / bbelisle@csu.edu

Candidates interested in admission to the Special Education Learning Behavioral Specialist –I Master’s Degree Program for:

a) Initial Certification or
b) Certified Teachers respectively, are both required to:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Submit transcripts from all Colleges/Universities attended (except CSU). A 3.0 GPA (on a 4-point grading scale) is required for full admission to the program, while a 2.75 GPA is needed for conditional admission.
  3. Provide two letters of recommendation (in the online application system) from school administrators or supervisors/persons familiar with his/her educational background and work experience.
  4. Submit, (in the online application system), their resume and a one-page essay explaining why they are interested in the program and what they expect to learn.
  5. Have an Illinois professional educator license (this only applies to candidates who are interested in admission to the program for certified teachers, or those who are only interested in adding the special education endorsement to their current teaching license).
  6. Be admitted to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (this only applies to candidates who are interested in admission to the program for initial certification or certified teachers).
  7. Be admitted to the College of Education (this only applies to candidates who are interested in admission to the program for initial certification, or those who are only interested in adding the special education endorsement to their current teaching license).

Applicants who are interested in the special education initial certification program but do not have the required 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours can qualify for a master’s plus licensure program by taking 9 hours of graduate-level course work (which must be completed within one year) and earning a grade of  “B or better “ in each of these courses. Grades of “B” or above in graduate course work completed prior to applying to a CSU licensure program can be used towards eligibility.

Applicants who do not qualify after taking 9 hours of course work will be counseled by the College of Education Licensure Office to choose another teacher preparation program to pursue at the license-only level.

  1. A course-by-course transcript evaluation from Education Credentials Evaluators (ECE) or World Educational Services (WES).
  2. Proof of English Proficiency: TOEFL/IELTS Official Score Report or Waiver Application.
  3. International Student Packet: - Bank Statement; and Notarized Financial Statement Form and Certificate of Sponsorship.

Prerequisite:

  • SED 5301 Characteristics of Exceptional Children*— (3 hours/field 15 hrs.)

Core Course Requirements (34-credit hours):

  • SED 5304 Speech and Language Development and the Classroom Teacher (3 hrs.)
  • SED 5476 Characteristics of Learners with Behavioral, Learning and Cognitive Disabilities (4 hours/field 15 hrs.)
  • SED 5477 Characteristics and Instructional Adaptations for Learners with Physical and Health Disabilities (3 hours/ field 15 hrs.)
  • ED 5960 Fundamentals of Educational Research (3 hrs.)
  • SED 5313 Strategies for Teaching Literacy to Learners with Special Needs (3 hrs.)
  • SED 5481 Adaptive Skills for Learners with Special Needs (3 hrs.)
  • SED 5482 Curricular Adaptations for Learners with Special Needs (3 hrs.)
  • SED 5484 Classroom Management for Learners with Special Needs (3 hrs.)
  • SED 5487 Assessment, Measurement, and Evaluation of Learners with Special Needs (3 hrs.)
  • SED 5488 Internship in Special Education (3 hours/field 70 hrs.)
  • SED 5494 Special Education Law, Collaborative, and Professional Conduct (3 hrs.)

Student Teaching Course (6 hrs.):

  • SED 5475* Student Teaching Experience (6 hrs.)

*NOTE: this course is only completed by candidates enrolled in the Initial certification program. Credit hours earned in this course will not be counted toward the degree.

Candidates enrolled in the Initial Certification Program Option who are new to the teaching profession and who do not possess a teaching license may also be required to take and complete additional prerequisite and professional education courses (pending their transcript evaluation).

  1. Candidates are responsible for meeting the program and College requirements in effect at the time they officially register in a program leading to advanced licensure at Chicago State University, regardless of when they were admitted to the university.
  2. Admission to the program is contingent upon good academic standing and acceptance by the department.
  3. Admission into the College of Education and program is required prior to registration in any professional education courses.
  4. A full academic schedule of courses for graduate students is nine semester credit hours. Exceptions to this policy may be made only with the approval of the department.
  5. Completion of 34 credit hours of special education coursework at the graduate level.
  6. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained in special education with no grades below a C.
  7. Proof of passing the LBS-I State Licensure exam (# 155). This exam is required prior to taking SED 5488 (Internship in Special Education).
  8. Proof of passing the Special Education General Curriculum State Exam (#163). Candidates enrolled in the Initial Certification Program are required to take and pass this exam after taking and successfully completing ELED 5110; ELED 5111; ELED 5112; & READ 5114.

Those enrolled in the Certified Teachers Program are required to take and pass this exam by the time they take and successfully complete SED 5304, SED 5476, SED 5477, & SED 5313.

Any candidate who fails to pass this exam will be required to take and successfully pass it before he/she takes SED 5488.

  1. Completion of a digital educational portfolio that must be uploaded into LiveText during SED 5488 (Internship in Special Education).
  2. All master’s degree requirements must be completed within six years.

Candidates Enrolled in the Initial Certification Program:

  1. Must also successful complete their student teaching experience (SED 5475) before program completion. Credit hours earned in SED 5475 (student teaching experience) will not be counted toward the degree.

Successful completion of all the required Illinois state licensure exams, and general education, professional education, and core program coursework and requirements is needed before student teaching.

  1. May be required to complete additional general education and professional education courses as needed, pending their transcript evaluation.
  2. Must successfully pass their EdTPA. Candidates who fail to pass this exam will receive an incomplete grade for their student teaching experience until they pass this exam.

NOTE: Candidates must abide by all College policies, unless exceptions or adherence to higher expectations are noted in program documentation

Funded by US Department of Education Grant # H325K170158

PEERS Logo

The College of Education /Special Education Master's Degree Program and Department of Occupational Therapy at Chicago State University (CSU) were awarded a five-year grant of $1.2 million from the U.S.  Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Service (OSERS) to implement the Promoting Effective Educational Relationships in Schools (PEERS) project. This project was developed to address the shortage of qualified special education and related service personnel to work with children with disabilities who have high-intensity needs.

In addition to meeting the need for increased highly qualified school personnel, the PEERS project will also address the need for improved educational services and outcomes for children who have high-intensity needs through interdisciplinary preparation training of special education teachers and occupational therapy related service personnel.

To be eligible to apply for this training grant, teacher applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold an initial or standard Illinois teaching certificate;
  • Provide proof of a passing score on the Illinois Certification Test of Basic Skills/TAP test;
  • Admission to the College of Education & the Special Education Learning Behavioral Specialist–I (LBS-I) Master’s Degree Program;      
  • Good academic standing with at least a minimum overall GPA of 3.0;
  • Completion of the PEERS Grant Application including submission of a personal statement,  transcripts, and a letter of support from the school principal agreeing to let the teacher candidate complete his/her internship experience in the school where he/she works; and
  • Completion of a PEERS interview with grant personnel.

To be eligible to apply for this training grant, Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Admission to the MOT program;
  • Currently in Year II of the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program;
  • Good academic standing with at least a minimum overall GPA of 3.0;
  • Completion of the PEERS Grant Application including submission of a personal statement and transcripts; and
  • Completion of a PEERS interview with grant personnel.

PEERS Scholars will be eligible to receive 1-1/2 years or 4 semesters of support which includes the following:

  • Tuition, fees
  • Books
  • Conference support

The PEERS project will provide a targeted set of shared coursework, assignments, and coordinated practicum experiences that foster collaboration between the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) and the Master of Special Education Learning Behavioral Specialist - I (LBS-I) curriculums.

 In addition to completing the standard LBS-I or MOT curriculum, PEERS recipients will:

  • Complete an interdisciplinary course targeting planning and adapting instruction for children with a variety of special needs.
  • Participate in an induction/mentoring program which includes completing online discussion boards with CSU OT, special education faculty, and project mentors to examine issues related to special education and servicing children with disabilities.
  • Design and disseminate an online seminar (e.g., webinar, podcast) related to evidence-based service delivery for children with disabilities.
  • Complete a collaborative fieldwork/internship placement in a school-based setting.
  • Implement a faculty-mentored research project related to children with disabilities who have high-intensity needs children.
  • Disseminate results of research project at the annual PEERS conference.

For more information, please contact:  

Department of Occupational Therapy

Special Education Program

 

Dr. Regina Smith

Project Director

Department of Occupational Therapy DH132

rsmith31@csu.edu

(773) 995-2531

 

Dr. Florah Luseno

Project Co-director

College of Education ED319

fluseno@csu.edu

(773) 995-2078

This project is supported by US Department of Education Personnel Preparation.

Grant # H325K170158. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS.

Dr. Florah Luseno, Chairperson

Department of Advanced Studies in Education

College of Education Building, Room 319

Telephone: (773) 995-2086

E-mailfluseno@csu.edu

Ms. Barbara Belisle

Director, College of Education Licensure Office

College of Education Building, Room 203

Telephone: (773) 995-2492

E-mailbbelisle@csu.edu

 

FAQs

Fall, Summer, and Spring semester of each year.

Yes. Student may transfer 9 credit hours of graduate credit earned at other accredited colleges and universities that were not used towards degree requirements or applied to a degree program at Chicago State University.

For an evaluation of transfer credit taken prior to admission at CSU, the student must indicate on the application for admission any transfer credit he/she wishes to have considered.

All courses must have been taken within the six-year time limit given for completing the degree program prior to the conferral of the graduate degree. Grades earned must be at least a B or above

Yes, the program is aligned to state standards and the Council for Exceptional Children Initial Practice-Based Professional Preparation Standards for Special Educators.

The degree will take a minimum of four (4) semesters, and a maximum of two (2) years. Students are given a six-year time limit within which to complete their degree

Core coursework consists of a total of 34 credit hours. 

Candidates admitted to the program for initial certification may be required to take additional general and professional education courses, pending their transcript evaluation. 

Yes.  The master’s degree can only be awarded to candidates who have achieved a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better in all required and elective courses applied toward the master’s degree. Students who fall below this standard will be placed on academic probation.

A course in which a grade of D of F was obtained can be repeated once to obtain a grade of C or better.

Once admitted to a degree program, no more than two grades of C can be earned in any graduate or professional course taken within the curriculum offered in that graduate program, whether or not the courses are part of the student’s program. Where a student has two grades of “I” outstanding on the graduate record, the student will be reviewed for probationary status.