Nov 27, 2020  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Master of Science in Education in Special Education


Specialization in Advanced Special Education Practices
Specialization in Assistive Technology Used by Persons with Visual Impairments
Specialization in Behavior Analysis
Specialization in Learning Behavior Specialist I
Specialization in Orientation and Mobility
Specialization in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy
Specialization in Visual Impairments

The specializations in Advanced Special Education Practices is designed to serve the needs of individuals who are seeking to gain additional competencies and/or endorsements. See the individual program descriptions for information about requirements for these programs.

The specialization in Behavior Analysis leads to the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential with a master’s degree. The BCBA specialization can be combined with the LBSI PEL. Candidates who already hold a master’s degree can apply for admission to doctoral program in Educational Psychology with a Specialization in Behavior Analysis (see Doctoral Program). If accepted, candidates can complete up to 21 credit hours of BCBA coursework as specialization requirements in the doctoral program.  

The specializations in Learning Behavior Specialist I and Visual Impairments are designed to serve the needs of individuals with baccalaureate degrees who wish to obtain an initial Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) with Pre-K through age 21 endorsement in Learning Behavior Specialist I or Teacher of Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. In some cases candidates working toward both the PEL and master’s degree may need to complete additional semester hours will be necessary to meet the requirements for both licensure and the master’s degree.

Candidates seeking licensure must successfully complete any licensure tests mandated by the State of Illinois no later than the semester prior to student teaching. Candidates must also pass the tests required by their licensure field prior to student teaching. See also “Educator Licensure Information.”

The Specializations in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy and Orientation and Mobility are designed to serve individuals who have previously earned baccalaureate degrees and wish to obtain national certification as a vision rehabilitation therapist or orientation and mobility specialist from the Academy for Certification of Vision, Rehabilitation, and Education Professionals (ACVREP).

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at SLO

Admission


From among the applicants satisfying the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the faculty select those most qualified, ordinarily requiring a GPA of 3.00 or higher for the last two years of undergraduate work.

Each prospective candidate must have two letters of recommendation from employers, supervisors, or professors and a personal statement describing his or her reasons for applying to the program and his or her goals related to special education.

Retention


To be retained in the M.S.Ed. program, a candidate must demonstrate acquisition and application of specific competencies, through practical experiences, that are requisite in the candidate’s specialization.

Candidates must earn a B- or better in the course work listed in the Graduate Catalog required for the specialization in order to take the comprehensive evaluation and/or enroll in the graduate practicum. Candidates receiving lower than a B- in any of these professional courses must retake the course. In concert with the university policy, candidates may retake a course only once. If this required grade is not achieved on the second attempt, the candidate may be dropped from the program. Candidates must maintain a cumulative overall GPA of 3.00 to remain in good standing in the Graduate School. 

Candidates in the LBS I and Visual Impairments specializations must pass the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) content area test and General Education Curriculum test before enrolling in student teaching or internship courses. Candidates in the LBS I specialization take the Learning Behavior Specialist I content test and candidates in the Visual Impairment emphasis take the content test on Teacher of Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.. Candidates in other specializations or who are seeking endorsement also may be required to complete content area tests before enrolling in student teaching or internship courses. Candidates in the BCBA specialization must pass the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination after completing all required course work. The graduate advising staff will assist candidates in identifying required tests for each area of specialization. Advising staff review course grades at the end of each semester and verify passing scores on the content area and general education curriculum test prior to student teaching. In addition to meeting all Graduate School and College of Education standards for retention, candidates must meet the Council for Exceptional Children Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice for Special Educators.

All other rules regarding academic regulations follow those described by the Graduate School.

Advisement


A candidate is assigned a graduate adviser when admitted to the program. The candidate also is assigned to a faculty mentor. Candidates are strongly encouraged to contact their faculty mentors early in their degree program. Courses of study are developed for each candidate in consultation with the graduate adviser. It is always the responsibility of the candidate to be aware of university policies and regulations affecting his or her program. Candidates should, therefore, familiarize themselves with the Graduate Catalog early in the program.

Requirements


Each candidate must select a specialization. Each specialization requires a minimum of 30-36 semester hours of study which must include a research course approved by the adviser. Specific courses required for each specialization are listed below. Elective courses are selected with the approval of the candidate’s adviser. A candidate wishing to write a thesis may, with the approval of the adviser, include 3-6 semester hours of credit in SESE 699 in the elective portion of the program.

For a candidate whose undergraduate major was in special education, course work in other appropriate fields may be substituted for a portion of the special education course work, with the approval of the candidate’s adviser. However, in all cases, at least 50 percent of the semester hours required for the degree must be in special education. For candidates whose undergraduate major was not in special education or who have limited background in their chosen specialization, deficiency requirements may be established by the department. Deficiency course hours will not be counted toward the minimum 30-36 semester hours of the master’s degree program.

All M.S.Ed. program candidates are required to pass a comprehensive examination. Information about this exam will be provided by the graduate adviser and faculty mentor.

Candidates must pass the Safety Tutorial and Mandated Reporter training prior to the first early field experience. Additionally, candidates must pass the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) prior to receiving an initial Professional Educator License with endorsement in Teacher of Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired or Learning Behavior Specialist I. The edTPA is completed during student teaching.

Field Work


In cases in which candidates’ backgrounds in their chosen specialties are limited, they may be required to fulfill deficiency requirements established by the department. Deficiency course hours are not counted toward the minimum semester hours of the master’s degree program.

The LBS I endorsement is a cross-categorical endorsement that encompasses all categories of disability from Pre-K through age 21. As a result, early clinical experiences and student teaching practicum involve working with students with mild- and moderate disabilities in both elementary and secondary settings. Student teaching in the LBS I endorsement, SESE 609 and SESE 610, consists of two eight-week (Monday - Friday) full-day placements, one at the elementary level and one at the secondary level. Candidates fulfill various instructional and assessment responsibilities as well as complete the edTPA during student teaching practicum. These placements range from full-inclusion classrooms to residential schools and serve a diverse student population in in urban, rural, and suburban settings. Candidates who seek to add the LBS I endorsement to an existing teacher educator license may have some early clinical and student teaching requirements waived. This will be determined by the candidate’s graduate advisor and faculty mentor.

Internship Program


The Department of Special and Early Education currently utilizes internship programs in some areas of special education. All internship placements are arranged and supervised by the department. For further information and internship possibilities, see course descriptions.

Specialization in Advanced Special Education Practices


This specialization focuses on a program of study to strengthen the professional development of candidates. Candidates may choose from several options or develop a unique plan of study that meets their professional development needs.

Required courses in this specialization:


Specialization in Assistive Technology Used by Persons with Visual Impairments


This specialization prepares candidates to instruct individuals with visual impairments in the concepts and skills related to assistive technology for persons with visual impairments and to obtain national certification as assistive technology instructional specialists for people with visual impairments from the certification body of the Academy for Certification of Vision, Rehabilitation, and Education Professionals. Candidates may combine this specialization with the specialization for Orientation and Mobility, Vision Rehabilitation Therapy, and/or Visual Impairments. 

Specialization in Behavior Analysis


This specialization is designed for educators and other professionals who wish to gain expertise in behavior analysis. Candidates who complete this specialization will gain the necessary skills to solve problems and address concerns related to individuals with learning and behavioral challenges in school and community settings in combination with a master’s degree. The Association for the Behavior Analysis International has approved the listed courses as meeting coursework requirements to sit for the BCBA examination. Individuals will need to meet additional requirements to become eligible for the BCBA examination. 

 

Specialization in Learning Behavior Specialist I


This specialization prepares candidates to obtain an initial Illinois Professional Educator License with the crosscategorical Learning Behavior Specialist I endorsement. Candidates who successfully complete the program requirements and pass the state mandated Teacher Performance Assessment will have completed all required ISBE and CAEP standards for receiving university recommendation for licensure and special education endorsement in Learning Behavior Specialist I. This includes completing the Safety Tutorial prior to the first early clinical course, passing the Learning Behavior Specialist I content test and the General Education Curriculum test prior to student teaching, and passing the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) during student teaching. Candidates who do not receive a passing score on the edTPA may opt to receive a degree without university recommendation for licensure or defer graduation until the edTPA is passed.

Candidates who already have a Professional Educator License may have courses and program requirements waived based on prior course work and experience. This will be determined by the candidate’s graduate adviser and faculty mentor. A minimum of 36 hours of graduate course work is required for the master’s degree. Required courses for this specialization include:

Specialization in Orientation and Mobility


This specialization prepares candidates to instruct individuals with visual impairments in the concepts and skills related to independent travel, and to obtain national certification as orientation and mobility specialists from the certification body of the Academy for Certification of Vision, Rehabilitation, and Education Professionals. Candidates may combine this specialization with the specialization for Vision Rehabilitation Therapy and/or Visual Impairments.

Specialization in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy


This specialization prepares candidates to instruct individuals with visual impairments in independent living skills and to obtain national licensure as rehabilitation teachers from the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Specialization in Visual Impairments


This specialization prepares candidates to obtain an Illinois teacher license with endorsement in vision impairments. Candidates may combine this specialization with the specialization for Orientation and Mobility and/or Vision Rehabilitation Therapy. Candidates who successfully complete the program requirements and pass the state mandated Teacher Performance Assessment will have completed all required ISBE and CAEP standards for receiving university recommendation for licensure and special education endorsement in Visual Impairments. Candidates who do not receive a passing score on the edTPA may opt to receive a degree without university recommendation for licensure or defer graduation until the edTPA is passed. Candidates who already have an educator license may have courses and program requirements waived based on prior course work and experience. This will be determined by the candidate’s graduate adviser and faculty mentor.