Admission to the major in elementary education and to the major in early childhood education is limited. See “Limited Admissions and Limited Retention Requirements” in this catalog.
The Department of Special and Early Education offers the B.S. degree with a major in early childhood education, the B.S.Ed. degree with a major in special education, and undergraduate course work in early education and special education. State of Illinois approved and CAEP accredited programs leading to professional educator licensure with endorsement in early childhood education and special education (Learning Behavior Specialist and Visual Impairment) are offered. Viewing teaching both as an art and a science, learning as a reciprocal process, and service as a responsibility, the department provides curriculum and instruction grounded in theory, research, and best practice.
The B.S.Ed. degree in special education is designed for those who plan to teach students with disabilities at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels. This program prepares candidates for professional educator licensure with endorsement for teaching individuals with disabilities, either as Emphasis 1. Learning Behavior Specialist I, or Emphasis 2. Vision Impairments.
As part of the licensing process, students must pass the competency examinations required by the Illinois State Board of Education, one in basic skills, one in the subject-matter knowledge that corresponds most closely to the Illinois field for which they are seeking professional educator license and associated endorsement, and, for special educators, one in the general education curriculum. Additional tests may be required before applying for Illinois educator licensure.
Advisement services are provided the student from freshman year through graduation. Students are responsible for utilizing these services by responding to the periodic posted notices of deadlines for professional semester applications and schedules for advance registration advisement.
In those courses in which the S/U grading basis is applicable, the use of S and U will apply to all students registered in any class section in which the S/U grading basis is employed. Individual students may not elect S and U grading. Educator licensure requirements are deemed to be met only by obtaining a grade of C or better in courses using traditional letter grading or an S in those professional or clinical courses in which S/U grading is used. An S is the equivalent to a C or better and a U is equivalent to a D or lower in educator licensure courses using S/U grading.
Special and Early Education Faculty
Greg Conderman, Ed.D., University of Northern Colorado, professor, chair
Natalie Andzik, Ph.D., Ohio State University, assistant professor
Jeffrey Chan, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, associate professor
Stephanie DeSpain, Ed.D., Illinois State University, assistant professor
Laura Hedin, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, associate professor
Jesse W. Johnson, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, associate professor
Sarah Johnston-Rodriguez, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison, associate professor
Myoungwhon Jung, Ph.D., Indiana University, associate professor
Gaylan G. Kapperman, Ed.D., University of Northern Colorado, professor emeritus
Stacy Kelly, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, associate professor
Lisa Liberty, Ph.D., University of Washington, assistant professor
Robin Miller Young, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, assistant professor
William Penrod, Ed.D., University of Louisville, associate professor
Erika Pinter, Ph.D., University of Washington, associate professor
Toni VanLaarhoven, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, Presidential Teaching Professor