The program in Literacy and Specialized Instruction fosters leadership in three areas of specialized instruction:
- Special and Elementary Education (Licensure) - Special Education combined with Elementary Education
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education for Teachers
The Special and Elementary Education (Licensure) concentration in Special Education (Special K-12) and Elementary Education (K-9) prepares candidates to teach both special and regular education and leads to initial teacher licensure in two areas. Coursework focuses on a theoretical understanding of both regular education and special education as well as on strategies for working with children in a wide variety of classroom settings.
The Reading Specialist program combines developmental and remedial reading content with course work in understanding individuals who exhibit learning challenges and those with identified disabilities. It provides candidates with a well-rounded and in-depth understanding of issues related to teaching literacy to a wide variety of students, with a particular focus on students in urban environments. The program also prepares candidates to assume leadership roles within schools, including the coordination of school-wide assessment, instructional coaching, and professional development.
The Special Education for Teachers (Learning & Behavior Specialist 1) program prepares currently licensed general education teachers to work in special education, and results in a LBS1 license (either K-12 or grade levels of existing licensure). Students in the Special Education for Teachers program may work with individuals with special needs in a variety of settings.
Students are eligible for licensure with an Elementary (K-9) teaching endorsement and a LBS1 endorsement (pre-K-21) upon completion of the Special and Elementary Education (Licensure) Master’s program and the required licensure tests.
Students are eligible for a LBS1 license (pre-K-21) upon completion of the Special Education for Teachers (Learning Behavior Specialist 1) Master’s program and the required licensure tests. Endorsement only options are available. Note: Courses in the Special Education for Teachers concentration are designed for practicing educators and are not open to students seeking a first teaching license (Teaching and Learning).
Students are eligible for a Reading Specialist endorsement (K-12) upon completion of the Reading Specialist Master’s program, the required licensure tests, and the required employment experience (2-years of full-time teaching experience on an Illinois license in the State of Illinois). Endorsement only options are available for individuals who already hold a Master's degree. Note: Courses in the Reading Specialist program are designed for practicing educators and are not open to students seeking a first teaching license (Teaching and Learning).