Apr 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Special and Early Education


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Chair: Hope (Bess) Wilson, Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Graduate Faculty

Natalie Andzik, associate professor, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Stephanie Baker, associate professor, Ed.D., Illinois State University
Jeffrey Chan, associate professor, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Lydia Gerzel-Short, associate professor, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University
Laura Hedin, professor, Morgridge Endowed Chair, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jesse Johnson, professor, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University
Myoungwhon Jung, associate professor, Ph.D., Indiana University
Gaylen G. Kapperman, professor emeritus, Ed.D., University of Northern Colorado
Stacy Kelly, professor, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University
Lisa Liberty, associate professor, Ph.D., University of Washington
Molly Pasley, assistant professor, Ed.D., Illinois State University
Brandon Perez, assistant professor, Ph.D., University of Florida
Michelle Sands, assistant professor, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Hope (Bess) Wilson, professor, chair, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Natalie Young, assistant professor, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University

The Department of Special and Early Education offers the M.S.Ed. degree in early childhood education and special education. State of Illinois approved programs leading to educator licensure are offered in early childhood education and special education. Viewing teaching both as an art and science, learning as a reciprocal process, and service as a responsibility, the faculty provides curriculum and instruction grounded in theory, research, and best practice.

Master of Science in Education
Early childhood education
Special education

Admission

The Department of Special and Early Education seeks to select the best-qualified applicants for admission to its programs. When the number of applicants to any program exceeds its capacity, even qualified applicants may be denied admission and encouraged to reapply at a later date.

Specific admission requirements for the early childhood and special education programs are described in each respective section.

Decisions about admission to programs in the department are ordinarily made at least once each term. Applicants to the programs are not required to take the GRE or MAT to be assured of consideration. Completed applications containing all required data (application forms, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation) must be received by the Graduate School no later than July 15 for admission for the fall term, December 10 for admission for the spring term, and June 1 for admission for the summer session.

Any applicant who is denied admission to a program may submit to the department chair a written request for reconsideration by the admissions committee that includes information not previously submitted. Final decisions of admissions committees may be appealed to the department’s Academic Appeals Committee. Appeals to this committee must be in writing and must explain the basis for the appeal.

Advisement

A candidate is assigned an advisor when admitted to a department degree or licensure program and develops a program of study in consultation with the advisor. Candidates are responsible for contacting their advisors to develop a program of study and for responding to the periodic posted notices of deadlines for professional semester applications and schedules for advance registration advisement. Courses with the designator TLRN may be counted toward the major in any of the department’s degree programs with advisor approval.

Each candidate also is assigned a faculty mentor who provides guidance throughout the program.

Retention

Candidates must remain in good academic standing in the Graduate School, maintain high ethical standards, and demonstrate evidence of functional competency in fulfilling the professional roles required by the discipline. Specific retention requirements for the early childhood and special education programs are described in each respective section.

Internships

The Department of Special and Early Education offers internships in early childhood education and special education. For further information and internship possibilities, see course descriptions and consult with an advisor.

Student-at-Large, Study-Abroad, and Transfer Credit

Student-at-large, study-abroad, and transfer hours in combination may not exceed 6 semester hours for candidates pursuing the M.S.Ed. degree in early childhood education or special education. The limit on student-at-large hours may be waived in special circumstances with the approval of the department chair.

Deficiency Study/Field Work

In cases in which a candidate’s background in the chosen specialty is limited, the individual may be required to fulfill deficiency requirements. Supervised field work is sometimes required in a given program of study, especially when, in the advisor’s judgment, it is necessary to prepare the candidate in a chosen specialty.

Doctoral Cognate in Special Education

Individuals interested in doctoral level studies in special education may elect a cognate in special education while pursuing the doctorate in educational psychology or curriculum and instruction. (See Department of Curriculum and Instruction.)

Endorsement at the Graduate Level

The special education endorsement consists of a selected group of courses totaling 18-24 semester hours. This group of courses meets the Illinois State Board of Education standards for the endorsement. It is available to licensed teachers. Candidates may apply these hours toward a master’s degree in advanced special education practices. Contact the SEED academic advisor for details.

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