The multicategorical special education program emphasizes theoretical and practical implications of identification, assessment and instruction of students with disabilities. By observation of and practice with students with disabilities in varied settings and across the age range from preschool to age 21, teacher candidates gain the expertise necessary to provide direct instruction to students with disabilities, monitor students' progress, conduct assessments, employ various methods and materials and collaborate with families, various professionals and paraprofessionals.
Successful completion of this program leads to the Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS) I license. Candidates pursuing the LBS I license may or may not be licensed educators. Requirements for graduate students seeking LBS I licensure varies depending on their previous coursework. Candidates must have coursework in educational psychology, methods of teaching mathematics for elementary school and methods of teaching reading for elementary school. These courses will be included in the program schedule for individuals who need them.
Program Requirements (34 to 39 credit hours, plus necessary credits to fulfill the program requirement)
Graduate students must successfully complete the following courses as program requirements:
- EDGSE 507: Advanced Educational Psychology (3)
- EDGEL 418: Methods of Teaching Reading (3)
- EDGEL 421: Methods of Teaching Mathematics (3)
Candidates will be exempt from these courses if credit for these courses has already been earned.
And the following professional education courses required for licensure and the master of arts degree:
- EDGSP 403: Introduction to the Special Education edTPA (1)
- EDGSP 445: Seminar in Teaching and Learning (2)
- EDGCC 513: Educational Research, Design and Development (3)
- EDGSP 520: Characteristics of Students with Disabilities (3)
- EDGSP 521: Foundations of Special Education (3)
- EDGSP 522: Adaptations and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (3)
- EDGSP 523: Language Disorders and Instruction in Diverse Classrooms (3)
- EDGSP 524: Diagnostic Assessment for Educational Decision Making (3)
- EDGSP 525: Methods of Teaching Students with Disabilities (6)
- EDGSP 530: Student Teaching: Students with Disabilities (6) OR EDGSP 526: Practicum: Students with Disabilities (for educators already licensed) (3)
Additionally, one of the following two-course options must be selected:
- EDGSP 533: Curriculum Development for Special Educators (3)
- EDGSP 534: Curriculum Evaluation and Collaborative Assessment for Special Educators (3)
- EDGSP 531: Behavior Management (3)
- EDGSP 532: Individualized Positive Behavior Support Plans (3)
Candidates may elect alternative courses for the two courses by consultation with and approval by the program chair.
Successful completion of one of these options satisfies requirements for a master of arts degree.
Graduate students in multicategorical special education are required to pass the Test of Basic Skills or the Test of Academic Proficiency (or its equivalent) and the General Curriculum Test (# 163) prior to beginning EDGSP 525: Methods of Teaching Students with Disabilities. Graduate students in multicategorical special education are required to pass the LBS I test prior to student teaching or practicum.
Professional Development Program
Individuals who are interested in pursuing a specialized program to fulfill requirements as outlined in their professional development plan or an ISBE deficiency statement may apply to the graduate program in multicategorical special education. Upon admission, an appropriate plan of study will be developed.