Course Requirements ​

Social and Cultural Studies Courses: 12 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required

Special Education Core Courses: 32 hours required, grade of B+ or better required

Practicum Courses: 8 hours required, grade of B+ or better required

The program requires two summer practicum experiences. Each practicum involves six full weeks of intensive supervised field experience in a cooperating school that operates an extended school year program. Candidates must apply for each practicum, and upon approval they are placed in appropriate summer practicum sites by the program.  Practicum sites may also screen candidates prior to accepting them for placement. Candidates will assume full teaching responsibility and will have weekly opportunities for feedback and discussion of issues and problems encountered.  A grade of B+ or better is required to participate in each summer practicum.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree Requirements: 4 quarter hours, grade of C or better required

The Master’s Thesis is completed in conjunction with faculty advisement.  Preparation for the writing of the Thesis should begin well in advance of the completion of coursework. Oral examination on Thesis required.  Consult the M.A. Thesis Handbook for additional information. 

Licensure Tests

All individuals licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are required to complete licensure tests specific to their teaching license.  

LBS1 Master’s students must complete the following tests:

  • Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) (test #400) - assesses knowledge of reading comprehension, language arts, writing, and math.  ​*Check with your advisor about qualifying for a waiver with acceptable ACT or SAT test scores.​
  • LBS1 Content Area Test (test #155) – assesses knowledge of working with students with disabilities and special needs. 
  • Special Education General Curriculum Test (test #163) – assesses knowledge of reading & literacy, mathematics, natural science, and social science. 
  • Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) (test #104, grades K-12) – assesses knowledge of teaching practice and classroom scenarios.  

SCG 410

INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH: PURPOSES, ISSUES, AND METHODOLOGIES

(formerly CUG 400) This course will examine the basic questions, issues and theoretical frameworks central to the purpose, conceptualization, conduct, writing, reading and the use of educational research as a means for informing educational theory, practice and policy. Students will be exposed to the multiple frameworks which inform education research, the various methodologies employed in collecting and analyzing data and will examine the advantages, limitations and values implicit in conducting and evaluating research.

SCG 401

ADVANCED DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

Current research and theories in human development relating to motivation, personality, learning and socialization. Case studies and an analysis of various developmental problems.

SCG 402

PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING

Study of the learning-teaching process with specific emphasis on the person as a learner, human capacity and potential, learning theories and materials, motivation, concept formation, and behavior.

SCG 403

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING: ELEMENTARY

This course will focus on the developmental processes of school-age children, kindergarten through middle school, by beginning with the study of the young child's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth and change. The theoretical and observational study of child development will be framed by an examination of culture, gender, and socio-economic factors as they inform assumptions about normative processes. The relationship between development and learning in a social context will be examined with particular attention to children's developing concepts in math, science, and language arts. Attention will also be given to the role of teachers and schools and other institutions in fostering the healthy development and learning of young people.

SCG 406

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING:SECONDARY

This course focuses on the multiple factors that contribute to the period of adolescence, bridging childhood and adulthood. Particular attention is given to the intrapsychic, interpersonal, biological, and socio-cultural processes that are mediated by the meanings that youth give to their identity vis a vis rac, class, and gender formations within the broader society. Students will engage in interdisciplinary study of theories to examine the implications for teaching and learning processes and the role of educational institutions in fostering the healthy development of youth in society. Forms of inquiry will include students' examination of their own lives and assumptions, critique of theory, and observations of young people in a variety of contexts.

SCG 439

PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUTH AND MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATION

This course examines foundational and contemporary theories of youth and adolescent development. It considers how these theoretical ideas relate to contemporary questions of youth and middle level education. The course explores the historical invention of adolescence, changing ideas about the meaning of childhood, as well as some of the broader social, economic, political, and cultural implications of these changing ideas. This course seeks to develop in prospective educators a broader capacity to theorize about youth and schooling, and, hence, to act critically and reflectively in multiple contexts in which youth learn.

SCG 408

EDUCATION AND SOCIETY

A study of social forces that impinge upon the educational enterprise and analysis of the relationship to major social problems in urban education with emphasis on their social, economic, political, historical and philosophical dimensions.

SCG 409

SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION

This course focuses on the relationship between school structures and culture, social relations of race, ethnicity, class, and gender, and ideologies organizing education in the United States. Students will explore a range of theories in the sociology of education atha5t explore linkages between school structures and processes and broader social forces. Readings may examine the political economy of schooling, inequalities in educational practices, and student and teacher identities shaped by schools and the larger society.

SCG 411

PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION

This course examines the relationship of education to the moral and ethical dilemmas or predicaments of the human condition. It will entail issues related to the nature of education's responsiveness, or lack there of, to the concerns of the human condition: for example, human alienation, suffering, success and failure, caring, freedom, responsibility, liberaiton and agency. Special attention will be given to how these concerns influences or have social, cultural and political implications for how teachers address them within the teaching and learning process.

LSI 440

SURVEY OF EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS: PSYCHOLOGY AND EDUCATION

A survey of exceptional learners and characteristics of students with both high- and low-incidence disabilities, with consideration of placements appropriate for children with such disabilities. Emphasis on historical, theoretical, practical and legal implications and issues. The course also addresses the importance of developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with parents and professionals in order to maximize the academic, social, and emotional benefits of all learners.

LSI 443

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS AND METHODS IN DIAGNOSIS

Principles of measurement and test construction including an evaluation of standardized test instruments. Principles of broad-based assessment involving case history, criterion-referenced tests and informal assessment. Emphasis on understanding the strengths and limitations of a wide variety of assessment instruments.

LSI 458

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH HIGH INCIDENCE DISABILITIES I

Introduction to the theoretical and practical approaches to instruction for students with high incidence disabilities across ages and levels of severity. Emphasis on developing an understanding of supportive learning environments, classroom and behavior management; developing collaborative practices with multiple service providers and families to meet the needs of diverse learners with high incidence disabilities. Strategies and materials for improving the social, emotional, and academic adjustment and functioning of students with high incidence disabilities are examined. Includes teaching social and emotional curricula; developing and implementing functional behavioral assessment; and monitoring growth and development in targeted areas. Strategies to increase the individual's self awareness, self-management, self control, self reliance, and self esteem are considered. (Prerequisite: LSI 442).

LSI 462

INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES I: ACCESSING GENERAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM

This course focuses general theories of learning, instructional modifications, accommodations, grouping strategies, technology, and assessments used for helping to provide students with disabilities access to general education curricula. Course topics will focus on the effectiveness of these strategies for working with students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities. Students will begin to articulate a personal philosophy and approaches designed to enhance the educational experiences of children and youth with disabilities and they will begin to examine the relationship between schooling and long term outcomes.

LSI 467

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH HIGH INCIDENCE DISABILITIES II

Continued study of the theoretical and practical approaches to instruction for students with high incidence disabilities across ages and levels of severity. Translation of diagnostic information into teaching strategies and development of an instructional plan (IEP) including transition needs. Emphasis on understanding theoretical models of literacy, literacy development, instructional strategies, and adjusting literacy instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners. Principles of diagnostic teaching will be discussed. Specific teaching techniques and materials will be reviewed, including appropriate uses of technology. (Prerequisite: LSI 442).

LSI 468

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH LOW INCIDENCE DISABILITIES I

Introduction to the theoretical and practical approaches to instruction of children with low incidence disabilities including functional assessment and instructional strategies, curricular options and adaptations, as well as levels of participation and accommodation in the general curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on understanding theoretical models of language development and communication, instructional strategies for language and communication, and adjusting language instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners. Candidates will explore individualized planning (IEPs), transition needs, integration of related services into the instructional program, and strategies and materials for improving the social, emotional, and academic functioning of diverse students with low-incidence disabilities. (Prerequisite: LSI 442).

LSI 469

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH LOW INCIDENCE DISABILITIES II

Continued study of the theoretical and practical approaches to instruction for diverse students with low incidence disabilities. Focuses on addressing the intellectual, educational, physical, motor, health, social, and transitional needs of diverse students with more severe low incidence disabilities. Examination of etiological factors, growth, development, and long-term outcomes. Developing collaborative efforts with family and multiple care and service providers is addressed. Provides strategies to facilitate maintenance and generalization of both academic and non-academic skills across learning environments. Includes experiences with assistive technology, community-based instruction, and designing and implementing a functional curriculum when needed. (Prerequisite: LSI 442).

LSI 457

SEMINAR AND RESEARCH IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

This course examines current research in special education including topics such as the social construction of special education; the assumptions of deficit vs. difference models of educational services; the overrepresentation of students of color and students from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds in special education; placement settings, inclusion, and service delivery models; and issues related to the short and long-term effects of special education on the lives of students with disabilities. Students select and pursue a topic of research interest and complete a professional portfolio. (Prerequisites: LSI 458, LSI 467, LSI 468, LSI 469).

LSI 552

PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE WITH HIGH INCIDENCE DISABILITIES

Six weeks of supervised field experience in a cooperating school working with students with high incidence disabilities, together with structured opportunities for feedback and discussion of issues and problems encountered. (Prerequisites: LSI 458, and LSI 467).

LSI 553

PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE WITH LOW INCIDENCE DISABILITIES

Six weeks of supervised field experience in a cooperating school working with low incidence disabilities, together with structured opportunities for feedback and discussion of issues and problems encountered. (Prerequisites: LSI 468, and LSI 469).

LSI 549

THESIS RESEARCH IN SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTION

A Master of Arts candidate conducts original research, writes a thesis, and presents an oral defense before a committee of faculty members. PREREQUISTE(S): SCG 410 and approved thesis proposal.