Specialized Teaching Endorsements - Master's Degree

M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements

National Louis University offers a unique opportunity for practicing teachers to obtain a master’s degree while gaining specializations in designated teacher shortage areas as they progress through their program. Candidates choose endorsement preparation from two of six areas: ESL, ESL/Bilingual Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Reading, Special Education and Middle Level Mathematics. This innovative new program allows you to enhance your employability via graduate-level studies that prepare you to impact schools and student learning outcomes.

NLU prepares you to earn multiple endorsements while getting your Master of Education. Choose 2 from the following:

  • ESL endorsement (on campus or online)
  • ESL/Bilingual Education endorsement (on campus or online)
  • Early Childhood Special Education Approval (online only)
  • Special Education (on campus or online)
  • Reading endorsement (on campus or online)
  • Middle Level Mathematics (on campus or online)

Consider getting a specialized endorsements master's degree at NLU if you:

  • Want to earn endorsements in two of six in-demand areas:
    • ESL
    • ESL/Bilingual Education
    • Early Childhood Special Education (online only)
    • Reading
    • Middle Level Mathematics
    • Special Education
  • Want to improve learning outcomes in your school
  • Seek a professional learning experience to develop work-related knowledge and skills
  • Wish to increase your employability by expanding your expertise with multiple endorsements in addition to the overall credibility of a high quality master’s degree
  • Are looking for a unique program to help you stand out from others in the job market with a general master’s degrees

Learn more about licensures and teaching endorsement programs at NLU >>

  • Deeper skills — Candidates enjoy professional development from a full master’s program, enabling them to make an impact on student learning outcomes and overall school performance.
  • Real-world applications — Faculty-directed field activities show candidates how to apply what they’ve studied to learning environments.
  • Integrated approach — The program’s capstone project helps candidates bring together everything they’ve learned in an effective approach to the classroom.
  • In-demand specializations — Candidates earn endorsements in two teacher shortage areas of education today.
  •  Career development — Throughout their studies, candidates have access to online career development resources, assessments and exercises, to help them move closer to securing a position as an Advanced Placement Teacher, Master Teacher or Teacher Leader.

NLU offers an online course of study in all six endorsements so that you can earn your Master’s and two endorsements completely online.

Two of the six endorsement areas — Special Education and Bilingual Education — offered in the M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements program have been cited by the Illinois State Board of Education and the U.S. Department of Education as having teacher shortages in Illinois. Graduates of the M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements will leave the program with a full master’s and up to three critical endorsements to match these in-demand areas and increase their employability.

Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook has stated that career opportunities for special education teachers are expected to increase by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018 as many districts report problems finding adequate numbers of certified teachers.

Since 1886, NLU has trained thousands of educators and continues to graduate the majority of winners honored by Illinois’ two Golden Apple Foundations with one of the most prestigious teaching and leadership honors in the state. Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), NLU continues to be the innovator in teacher education in Chicagoland through programs like the M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements, which features:

  • Master’s level training — Unlike traditional endorsement programs, candidates analyze school data and design school improvement projects on the way to achieving their master’s.
  • Classroom impact — Candidates get the training needed to help fill in-demand areas, boost student performance and improve their school’s report card.
  • Proven faculty — Instructors are immersed in the education field and driven by improving classroom outcomes.
  • Double Endorsements — No other master’s program in the area allows teachers to earn two endorsements during one course of study.

All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements as well as additional requirements specific to this program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at nl.edu/applyonline.

Get more information today about enrolling at NLU. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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    NLU has a proud history of serving graduate students in southeastern Wisconsin. We currently offer all Wisconsin residents online programs in non-licensure education as well as a variety of business-related degrees.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
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