Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education
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National Louis University’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education program is for students who have already earned their bachelor’s degree in another discipline and are interested in a career in this specialized area of education. This degree program will lead you to your Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) endorsed for LBS1 (pre-K to age 21) through a focused 47 semester hour course sequence.
The state of Illinois recently changed naming conventions for teaching certification types. To view the complete list of name changes, click here.
Consider getting your special education master's degree at NLU if you:
- Have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline
- Would like to build a career in special education
- Would like to get your degree in as few as 15 months
- Want to study at a well-established teaching institution
Why NLU for a Special Education Master's Degree?
NLU has a long-standing reputation for its education and teacher training programs, and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Since 1886, we’ve trained thousands of Chicago-area teachers, and continue to graduate the majority of Illinois’ Golden Apple Award winners— one of the most prestigious teacher honors in the state.
NLU’s updated curriculum aims to prepare teachers for the changing and increasingly complex professional roles of special educator in today’s schools. The combination and scheduling of coursework and intensive clinical experience enable students to practice what they are learning in the field.
What You Will Learn
Based on the IBSE Special Education Certification Structure and Content Area Standards, our M.A.T. in Special Education curriculum will prepare you to work in a variety of education settings and in different roles in a/an:
- Inclusive classroom as a co-teacher
- Classroom as a collaborative consultant
- Resource room or self-contained classroom as diagnostic teacher
- Alternative setting, such as a special public or private school
The number of students requiring special education services has grown steadily in recent years due to improvements that have allowed learning disabilities to be diagnosed at earlier ages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook, career opportunities for special education teachers is expected to increase by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018 as many districts report problems finding adequate numbers of licensed special education teachers.
Special education teachers at the elementary and pre-school level have the best outlook, with projected growth of 20 percent. Middle school special education teachers are not far behind, at 18 percent. An expected growth for secondary school special education teachers is projected at 13 percent. Many openings will likely derive from turnover and retirements, as well as growth of the school-age population.
Prepare for the TAP at NLU
Want to enroll in a teacher-preparation program at NLU? If so, NLU's National College of Education offers various options to help you get ready for the ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). This includes NEW three-week courses that feature a personalized learning plan and are designed to develop competencies necessary to pass the TAP. These courses will be offered from January to March.
All applicants must meet NLU’s general admission requirements as well as the requirements specific to the M.A.T. in Special Education degree program. Refer to the appropriate Application Checklist available online at www.nl.edu/applyonline.
Get more information today about enrolling in NLU’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education program. Talk to your enrollment advisor or call 888.NLU.TODAY (888.658.8632).
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics and US News University Directory
2 Director of teacher quality at the National Education Association
Please note: The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may change the state licensure and endorsement requirements at any time and without prior notice. Teacher candidates will be bound by the requirements in place when applying for licensure, not by the licensure requirements in place when beginning their program. That is, the state may specify that a new regulation is immediately applicable to all candidates with no provisions made for candidates who began their work on licensure under different regulations.