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Multicategorical Special Education


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 kindergarten 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 vary 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.

Learning Behavior Specialist I (for non-licensed graduate candidates)

Graduate students who do not hold an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) and are seeking to complete the program requirements for Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS) I must successfully complete the following leveling courses as additional 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 documentation of previous completion of equivalent coursework is provided.

And the following professional education courses required for licensure and the Master of Arts degree (39 credit hours):

  • EDGSP 403: Introduction to the Special Education edTPA (1)
  • EDUGL 470: SOE Orientation (0)
  • 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)

Additionally, one of the following two-course options must be selected:

  • EDGSP 531: Behavior Management (3), and
  • EDGSP 532: Individualized Positive Behavior Support Plans (3)

OR

  • EDGSP 533: Curriculum Development for Special Educators (3), and
  • EDGSP 534: Curriculum Evaluation and Collaborative Assessment for Special Educators (3)

Candidates may elect alternative courses for the two-course options by consultation with and approval by the program chair.

Requirements in this program are subject to change within the time span of one's University career due to changing requirements at national, state, and local levels.

Non-licensed graduate students in multicategorical special education are required to:

  • Pass the Test of Basic Skills or the Test of Academic Proficiency (or its equivalent) by the time 12 credit hours of program coursework have been completed.
  • Pass the Special Education General Curriculum Test (# 163) prior to beginning EDGSP 525: Methods of Teaching Students with Disabilities.
  • Pass Content Area Test, LBS I (# 155) prior to student teaching.
  • Pass the edTPA Special Education licensure exam to obtain the PEL entitlement.

Learning Behavior Specialist I (for licensed graduate candidates)

Graduate students who already hold an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) and are seeking to complete the program requirements for Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS) I must successfully complete the following leveling courses or provide documentation of previous completion of equivalent coursework:

  • EDGSE 507: Advanced Educational Psychology (3)
  • EDGEL 418: Methods of Teaching Reading (3)
  • EDGEL 421: Methods of Teaching Mathematics (3)

And the following professional education courses required for licensure and the Master of Arts degree (34 credit hours):

  • EDGSP 403: Introduction to the Special Education edTPA (1)
  • EDUGL 470: SOE Orientation (0)
  • 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 526: Practicum: Students with Disabilities (for educators already licensed) (3)

Additionally, one of the following two-course options must be selected:

  • EDGSP 531: Behavior Management (3), and
  • EDGSP 532: Individualized Positive Behavior Support Plans (3)

OR

  • EDGSP 533: Curriculum Development for Special Educators (3), and
  • EDGSP 534: Curriculum Evaluation and Collaborative Assessment for Special Educators (3)

Candidates may elect alternative courses for the two-course options by consultation with and approval by the program chair.

Successful completion of one of these options satisfies requirements for a Master of Arts degree.

Requirements in this program are subject to change within the time span of one's University career due to changing requirements at national, state, and local levels.

Licensed graduate students in multicategorical special education are required to:

  • Pass the Test of Basic Skills or the Test of Academic Proficiency (or its equivalent) by the time 12 credit hours of program coursework have been completed.
  • Pass the Special Education General Curriculum Test (# 163) prior to beginning EDGSP 525: Methods of Teaching Students with Disabilities.
  • Pass Content Area Test, LBS I (# 155) prior to practicum.

Learning Behavior Specialist Endorsement

At this time, the Illinois State Board of Education allows teachers who already hold a Professional Educator License (PEL) to earn an endorsement in special education (LBS I) on that license. In order to be eligible for the LBS I endorsement, teachers must earn credit in the courses listed below and pass the Learning Behavior Specialist I (#155) test.

  • EDGSP 413: Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)
  • EDGSP 520: Characteristics of Students with Disabilities (3)
  • EDGSP 524: Diagnostic Assessment for Educational Decision Making (3)
  • EDGSP 525: Methods of Teaching Students with Disabilities (6)

A significant difference between LBS I licensure and LBS I endorsement is that endorsements are only possible for the grades that the individual's PEL includes while LBS I licensure is PreK-age 21.

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.