Special Education

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The School of Education offers programs leading to a Graduate Certificate in Special Education, Master's Degree in Education in Special Education, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a Concentration in Special Education.

Graduate Certificate in Special Education

The faculty, staff and students in the special education program are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of their students with disabilities and their families by increasing their success in school, work, community, and living environments. The graduate certificate plan of study in special education is designed to enhance the applicant's experience and expertise through academic study, research, and clinical opportunities. Program completers with a current Professional Education License (PEL) in Illinois will be eligible for the Illinois State Board of Education endorsement for the Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) in:

  • K–Grade 3 (for educators who already hold an early childhood self-contained general education endorsement)
  • Grade 1–6 (for educators who already hold an elementary education endorsement)
  • Grade 6–12 (for educators who already hold a secondary education endorsement)

The LBS I endorsement also requires a passing score on the LBS I (155) test.

Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in Special Education must meet the criteria for admission to the Graduate School. In addition, candidates must submit a department application form, a letter of application, all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and two letters of reference to the department.

The Special Education Graduate committee will evaluate the application materials and make appropriate recommendations for acceptance or rejection of admission to the program. It is the responsibility of the committee to exercise professional judgement related to the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission to the program. Students will be informed in writing of the Special Education Graduate Committee's decision.

Graduate Certificate Program Admission Criteria

Admission to the Graduate Certificate Program in Special Education will be based upon the following criteria:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in elementary education, secondary education or a related field such as social work or psychology.
  2. Current Professional Education License (PEL) with endorsement in a teaching area in the state of Illinois.
  3. Undergraduate grade point of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  4. A minimum of two letters of recommendation, which on the whole, clearly attest to the professional dispositions of a special education professional as articulated in the CEC Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice, and predict academic success at the graduate level.
  5. A letter of application (approximately 400 words) in which the applicant summarizes his/her professional goals, career objectives, research interests, motivation for graduate work and other pertinent information.
  6. Departmental application form.

All application requirements must be completed before consideration of an applicant for admission. The Graduate Committee evaluates the credentials of each applicant. When an application file is complete, it will be referred to the Graduate Committee to review at their next scheduled meeting.

Students may be required to complete an interview with the Special Education faculty.

Program Requirements

Coursework*

  • SPED 411   Assessment in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 417   Behavior Management for Children and Youth with Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPED 418   Methods and Materials for Teaching a Functional Curriculum (3 credits)
  • SPED 419   Academic Methods and Materials for Student with Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPED 420   Advanced Theories and Practices in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 423   General Procedures in Special Education (3 credits)
  • ELECTIVE   (Based on the applicant's current PEL restrictions) (3 credits)
     Total credits: 21 hours

*Up to 15 hours of coursework for the Graduate Certificate program may count toward the 30-credit-hour requirement for completing the Master's of Education in Special Education degree described below.

Retention Criteria

For a student to be retained in the Graduate Certificate program, students must complete all coursework with a minimum grade of B and demonstrate acceptable professional behaviors which the faculty deem essential for competent and effective educators, and which are articulated in the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice for Special Educators.

Application Procedures

Applicants must submit all of the following items to be considered for admission to the Graduate Certificate program in Special Education:

  1. Graduate School Application.
  2. Official Transcripts. Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate college work at institutions other than SIU should be sent directly to the Graduate Secretary, Department of Counseling, Quantitative Methods, and Special Education, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL  62901-4618.
  3. Department Application Form. This form includes pertinent biographical information and professional experience.
  4. Letter of Application (approximately 400 words) in which the applicant summarizes professional goals, including career objectives, research interests, motivation for graduate work, and other pertinent information.
  5. Copy of All Professional licensures or certificates.
  6. Letters of Recommendation. Applicants must submit at least two letters of reference which attest to your professional competence, academic preparation, and potential for graduate work. Ideally one letter should be from a college or university professor who can discuss you academic abilities, and one should be from an administrator or colleague who can authoritatively describe your professional experience and potential.

Master of Science in Education in Special Education degree (with LBS-I Endorsement)

*Enrollments in Education in Special Education (M.S., Ph.D.) have been suspended indefinitely.

Applicants for the Master of Science in Education in special education degree must meet the criteria for admission to the Graduate School. In addition, candidates must submit a department application form, a letter of application, all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and two letters of reference to the department. The Special Education Graduate Committee will evaluate the application materials and make appropriate recommendations for acceptance or rejection of admission to the program. It is the responsibility of the committee to exercise professional judgment related to the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission to the program. Students will be informed in writing of the Special Education Graduate Committee's decision. Upon admission to the program, the student will be assigned an adviser with whom he/she will design a Graduate Degree Plan.

Master's Program Admission Criteria

Admission to the Masters Program in Special Education will be based upon the following criteria:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in elementary education, secondary education or a related field such as social work or psychology.
  2. Current Professional Education License (PEL) with endorsement in a teaching area in the state of Illinois.
  3. Undergraduate grade point of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  4. A minimum of two letters of recommendation, which on the whole, clearly attest to the professional dispositions of a special education professional as articulated in the CEC Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice, and predict academic success at the graduate level.
  5. A letter of application (approximately 400 words) in which the applicant summarizes his/her professional goals, career objectives, research interests, motivation for graduate work and other pertinent information.
  6. Departmental application form.

All applications requirements must be completed before consideration of an applicant for admission. The Graduate Committee evaluates the credentials of each applicant. When an application file is complete, it will be referred to the Graduate Committee to review at their next scheduled meeting. Students may be required to complete an interview with the Special Education faculty.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Education degree in Special Education requires a minimum of 30 semester hours. Program requirements include the following courses:

Coursework

  • SPED 411   Assessment in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 417   Behavior Management for Children and Youth with Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPED 418   Methods and Materials for Teaching a Functional Curriculum (3 credits)
  • SPED 419   Academic Methods and Materials for Student with Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPED 420   Advanced Theories and Practices in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 423   General Procedures in Special Education (3 credits)
  • ELECTIVE   (Based on the applicant's current PEL restrictions) (3 credits)
  • SPED 500   Research Issues in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 578   Legal Framework for Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 591   Independent Investigation (3 credits)
     Total credits: 30 hours

Master of Science in Education in Special Education degree (No LBS-I Endorsement)

*Enrollments in Education in Special Education (M.S., Ph.D.) have been suspended indefinitely.

Applicants for the Master of Science in Education in special education degree who are not seeking the LBS-I endorsement must meet the criteria for admission to the Graduate School. In addition, candidates must submit a department application form, a letter of application, all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and two letters of reference to the department. The Special Education Graduate Committee will evaluate the application materials and make appropriate recommendations for acceptance or rejection of admission to the program. It is the responsibility of the committee to exercise professional judgement related to the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission to the program. Students will be informed in writing of the Special Education Graduate Committee's decision. Upon admission to the program, the student will be assigned an advisor with whom he/she will design a Graduate Degree Plan.

Master's Program Admission Criteria

Admission to the Masters Program in Special Education will be based upon the following criteria:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in special education, elementary education, secondary education or a related field such as social work or psychology.
  2. Undergraduate grade point of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  3. A minimum of two letters of recommendation, which on the whole, clearly attest to the professional dispositions of a special education professional as articulated in the CEC Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice, and predict academic success at the graduate level.
  4. A letter of application (approximately 400 words) in which the applicant summarizes his/her professional goals, career objectives, research interests, motivation for graduate work and other pertinent information.
  5. Departmental application form.

All application requirements must be complete before consideration of an applicant for admission. The Graduate Committee evaluates the credentials of each applicant. When an application file is complete, it will be referred to the Graduate Committee to review at their next scheduled meeting. Students may be required to complete an interview with the Special Education faculty.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Education degree in Special Education requires a minimum of 30 semester hours. Program requirements include the following courses:

Core Coursework

  • SPED 500   Research Issues in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 515   Collaboration-Based Delivery Systems in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 550   Behavior Management of Exceptional Children and Youth (3 credits)
  • SPED 578   Legal Framework for Special Education (3 credits)
  • ELECTIVE (3 credits)
  • ELECTIVE (3 credits)
  • ELECTIVE (3 credits)
  • SPED 591   Independent Investigation (3 credits)
     Total credits: 30 hours

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

*Enrollments in Education in Special Education (M.S., Ph.D.) have been suspended indefinitely.

The Department of Counseling, Quantitative Methods, and Special Education offers a program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree with a Major in Education and Concentration in Special Education. See the description of the Ph.D. degree major in education.