Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Residence Halls

Master of Arts


A Master of Arts (M.A.) degree with a concentration in education can by earned by completing a program of study in the following programs: Multicategorial Special Education; Reading Specialist; Secondary Education or Special K-12; and Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL). Elementary Education candidates earn a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

Individual program descriptions and requirements are described below:

  • Completion of the number of credit hours of graduate credit as required by each graduate program of study (see specific program requirements)
  • Completion and approval of the required research study in EDGCC 514. (Candidates enrolled in the elementary education, secondary education and the individualized program may, after consultation with the program chair, elect a two-course option in lieu of EDGCC 514 to complete graduate requirements).
  • Completion of specific program requirements, including field or clinical experiences.
  • Completion of general education requirements and courses in the teaching field, when applicable.
  • Completion of all required coursework with a minimum grade of C and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0.
  • Successful completion of benchmark and program requirements approved by the faculty.

State of Illinois Licensure Requirements

Upon completion of their graduate programs, candidates who wish to apply for a state of Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) in teaching, reading or school counseling may secure application materials from the SOE Licensure Officer. Any candidate in the Reading Specialist program must present evidence of two years of successful full-time teaching experience upon completion of the requirement for the degree and for licensure.

Each person applying for an elementary, secondary, special education, or school service personnel license must meet the following requirements:

Meeting the Basic Skills Requirement, a cumulative GPA -- 3.0 or higher and passing State of Illinois Basic Skills Requirement -- the Basic Skills Requirement can be met in one of 7 ways:

  • a passing score on the old Illinois Tests of Basic Skills (096 or 300) -- replaced by the current Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP,) or
  • a passing score on all 4 sections of the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), or
  • a composite score on the ACT Plus Writing of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 19 on the Combined English/Writing on tests taken before 9/1/2015 (scores can be combined from two different score reports), or
  • a composite score on the ACT Plus Writing of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 16 in Writing on tests taken between 9/1/2015 and 9/1/2016 (scores can be combined from two different score reports), or
  • a composite score on the ACT Plus Writing of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 6 in Writing on tests taken after 9/1/2016 (scores can be combined from two different score reports), or
  • a composite score on the SAT of 1030 (critical reading + mathematics = 1030 or higher) and a minimum score of 450 on writing on tests taken before 3/5/2016 (scores can be combined from two different score reports), or
  • a composite score on the SAT of 1110 (Evidence-based Reading and Writing + Mathematics = 1110 or higher) and a minimum score of 26 on Writing and Language Test on tests taken on or after 3/5/2016 (scores can be combined from two different score reports).

The Illinois Licensure Testing System's (ILTS) content area test must be taken and passed prior to the start of student teaching. Candidates applying for a teaching license are required to pass Educative Teaching Performance Assessment (edTPA) before they will be eligible for a professional educator license.

Complete information on the testing program is found at www.il.nesinc.com.

Field Experiences

Programs offered through the School of Education provide opportunities for candidates to apply the knowledge, skills and dispositions required for effective professional practice through planned, sequenced and assessed field experiences. The transfer of pedagogical knowledge and skill to professional practice is accomplished through pre-student teaching field experiences and student teaching at the initial licensure level, and through internship and practicum experiences at the advanced licensure levels.

Field experiences are intended to provide candidates with opportunities to broaden and deepen their understanding of educational theory and integrate this theory with educational practice. Therefore, these experiences:

  • connect candidates with the community and provide them with learning experiences in a variety of educational environments with exposure to diverse cultures, encouraging candidates to embrace and celebrate the diversity of students in American schools;
  • are connected with professional courses and are designed to sequentially complement and expand upon University course content;
  • are assigned by the Director for School Partnerships and take place in selected educational settings that have written contracts with the University, which serve to develop a professional relationship;
  • typically take place during daytime school hours;
  • recognize CAEP/NCATE standards and follow Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the School of Education policies.

The Counseling program chair is responsible for assigning practicum and internship experiences in community agency counseling and school counseling in collaboration with community agencies and schools.

The field experiences associated with each program are noted as part of the course descriptions. Field experiences completed at other institutions cannot be transferred to the professional program of study at Saint Xavier University. A minimum number of clock hours of field experiences are required of all candidates prior to clinical practice (student teaching). Candidates who intend to complete their clinical practice in private schools must complete at least 60 clock hours of field experiences in public school settings.

Criminal Background Investigations

State law (Illinois School Code 5/10-21.9) prohibits a school board from employing a person convicted of certain felony, sex, narcotics and drug convictions. The School of Education has made a commitment to local area schools to require fingerprinting/criminal background investigations for all candidates in programs with field experience.

Progression through the program may be suspended for failure to comply with the background check requirements. It is the responsibility of the candidate to refer to the Illinois School Code and/or seek legal counsel if it is suspected that his/her criminal history may bar licensure or employment in a school district or agency.

Graduate Students and CLEP Credit

Graduate students applying for Illinois state licensure may elect to take the college level examination program (CLEP) examinations. If a passing score is attained, these courses and the credit hours earned will be listed on the Saint Xavier University transcript. This policy applies only to graduate students seeking licensure in Illinois (CLEP credit may be earned only to fulfill general education requirements for licensure).

Approved Programs Leading to Licensure

The School of Education operates the following programs approved by the Illinois State Board of Education, through which graduates are licensed in the state of Illinois:

  • Elementary Education, 1-6;
  • Secondary Education,
    • Art 9-12
    • Biology 9-12
    • English 9-12
    • Mathematics 9-12
    • Social Science 9-12
    • Music K-12
    • Spanish K-12
  • Multicategorical Special Education; LBS I K-12
  • Reading Specialist; K-12

Approved Non-Licensure Programs

  • Technology Specialist
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Bilingual Education (BE)
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Please note that some programs not leading to licensure can/do include endorsements for the State of Illinois.

Change of Program

Candidates whose professional goals change and who subsequently decide to switch to another program must formally request a change of program. This request must be in written form and be addressed to the Dean of the School of Education. Upon approval from the Dean of the School of Education, the candidate may change to a new SOE program.