Certificate-Only Requirements (40 hours)
Special Education Core Courses: 32 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 who will be admitted to the practicum 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 for eligibility to participate in each summer practicum.
Practicum Courses: 8 hours required, grade of B+ or better required
All individuals certified by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are required to complete certification tests specific to their teaching certificate.
LBS1 Certification students must complete the following tests:
- Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) (test #400) - assesses knowledge of reading comprehension, language arts, writing, and math. Test is required to qualify for Advanced Standing.
- LBS1 Content Area Test (test #155) – assesses knowledge of working with students with disabilities and special needs. Test is required before Student Teaching (deadlines apply)
- Special Education General Curriculum Test (test #163) – assesses knowledge of reading & literacy, mathematics, natural science, and social science. Test is required for admission to Student Teaching.
- Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) (test #104, grades K-12) – assesses knowledge of teaching practice and classroom scenarios.
Registration, testing schedules, and fees for ISBE certification tests are available on the ISBE website.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).