M.Ed. or C.A.S. in Special Education (LBS1 certification)
National Louis University’s graduate degree in special education is designed specifically for individuals who already have a teaching certificate. NLU’s special education graduate program prepares candidates for a variety of roles working with children and adolescents with exceptional learning needs. This program will lead you to your Illinois Learning Behavioral Specialist (LBS 1, Type 10) certification by entitlement.
Consider getting your graduate degree in special education at NLU if you:
- Already hold a valid teaching certificate
- Would like to build a career in special education
- Want to study at a well-established teaching institution
Why NLU for a Graduate Degree in Special Education
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 special education graduate program has an updated curriculum that 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 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
- General Education 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 certified 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.**
Master of Education (M.Ed.): The M.Ed. degree is designed for certified professional teachers seeking advanced preparation for higher levels of professional competence in the classroom.
Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.): The C.A.S. is designed for those seeking to add a new career dimension to his or her current professional competencies. Applicants for the C.A.S. must have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and, if required by the program, a valid teaching certificate.
Prepare for the TAP with an NLU Workshop
The ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) is one of the most important tests on the road to building a career in special education. NLU offers a series of TAP workshops in critical content areas. All workshops are FREE to NLU applicants and students and open to everyone else for a fee.*** Get fully prepared for the TAP and register for a workshop today!
In order to be certified in special education, you must complete the general education requirements, the professional education coursework and clinical experiences.
All applicants must meet NLU’s general admission requirements. Refer to the appropriate Application Checklist available online at www.nl.edu/applyonline.
In addition to NLU’s general admission requirements, applicants to the Special Education program must also satisfy the following:
- Pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)1, APT and LBS1.
- Have a valid teaching certificate in an area other than special education
Get more information today about enrolling in NLU’s graduate program in special education. Talk to your enrollment specialist or call 888.NLU.TODAY (888.658.8632).
* Bureau of Labor Statistics and US News University Directory
** Director of teacher quality at the National Education Association
***You must be an applicant or student at the time of registration for the workshops to be free. If you pay for a workshop and become an applicant afterward, we can’t provide a refund.
1 As of February 1, 2012, the Illinois Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) has been replaced by the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). Teacher candidates who have passed the ITBS do not have to take the TAP if they apply for certification within 5 years of successfully passing the ITBS. Teacher candidates who have not successfully completed the ITBS must take and pass the TAP prior to admission. Teacher candidates who are not certified within 5 years of taking and passing the ITBS or the TAP will need to repeat the TAP if they have not reached the maximum 5 attempts.
Per ISBE policy, an individual may attempt to pass the TAP a maximum of 5 times. Previous attempts to pass the ITBS do not count toward the limit of 5 attempts to pass the TAP.
Please note: The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may change the state certification and endorsement requirements at any time and without prior notice. Teacher candidates will be bound by the requirements in place when applying for certification, not by the certification 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 certification under different regulations.