To be eligible for the Special Education for Teachers (Learning Behavior Specialist 1) licensure program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a valid Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).
To apply, please submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Admission:
- A completed College of Education graduate application
- Application fee ($40)
- Copy of a valid Illinois teaching license
- A bachelor’s degree conferred by an accredited, recognized institution
- A previous grade point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale
- Two letters of reference, one of which must be from persons familiar with your academic work
- One official transcript from each college or university attended
- Personal statement (see below)*
- Resume or curriculum vitae showing evidence of adequate background for the program.
- The admission process also may include an interview with program faculty.
Write a personal statement that discusses your future goals and your thoughts about your career as a special educator. As part of your statement please consider the following: the possible tasks/roles of a special education teacher are multiple and include inclusion specialist, team teacher with general educators, specialized instruction for exceptional students, advocate for exceptional students, response to intervention (RTI) coordinator, case manager or provider of staff development. From your perspective, rank order the tasks/roles and discuss your rationale for the top ranked roles.
LBS1 PreK-21 Endorsement 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 licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are required to complete licensure tests specific to their teaching license.
LBS1 PreK-21 Endorsement 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. *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. 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.
Candidates who are conditionally admitted with an out-of-state (OOS) teaching license are required to transfer their license into Illinois, and therefore may also be required to take additional licensure tests. Students should work directly with ISBE to fulfill outstanding test requirements. These additional licensure tests may include the following:
- Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) (test #400) - assesses knowledge of reading comprehension, language arts, writing, and math.
- EdTPA – an electronic portfolio that includes video clips of instruction, lesson plans, student work samples, analysis of student learning and reflective commentaries. Usually completed during pre-service student teaching experience.
Registration, testing schedules, and fees for ISBE licensure tests are available on the ISBE website.
Note that the LBS1 Licensure program listed above does not lead to a degree.