Specialized Instruction

The graduate program in Specialized Instruction is designed for educators who want to continue developing their professional commitment to teaching while seeking the opportunity to gain both Reading and Special Education endorsements. This program provides two endorsements to one’s initial licensure. The degree does not lead to an initial licensure as a Reading or Special Education teacher. Students who complete all requirements for this degree have the opportunity to submit an application to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to add the Reading and Special Education endorsements to their current teaching license. Previously taken undergraduate coursework will determine if additional coursework is required to seek the Reading Teacher endorsement. All requirements to receive the Special Education endorsement are included in this program.

Reading Teacher Endorsement

The Reading Teacher endorsement is required for any teacher responsible for teaching reading to students as the primary teaching responsibility. Any teacher who teaches reading other than in a self-contained classroom must have this endorsement or all the requirements for the endorsement. The endorsement may be granted only within the grade range of the license held. The requirements include submission of a passing score on reading teacher content area test as required by the State of Illinois and completion of a minimum of 24 semester hours in reading including a practicum experience, in the following six areas:

•   Foundations of reading

•   Content area reading

•   Assessment and diagnosis of reading problems

•   Developmental and remedial reading instruction and support

•   Developmental and remedial materials and resources

•   Literature appropriate to students across all grade levels

Additional coursework may be required to seek the reading teacher endorsement if these courses were not taken at the undergraduate level.

Special Education Endorsement

The Special Education endorsement emphasizes theoretical and practical implications of identification, assessment, and instruction of students with disabilities. The endorsement is designed for certified elementary and secondary teachers who would like to begin working in the Special Education field. In order to receive an endorsement in Special Education, the following must be met:

1.  Current Illinois Teacher’s License

2.  Passing score on Learning Behavior Specialist I test (LBS1)

3.  Completion of any deficiencies in tests or coursework 

Admission, Tuition & Financial Aid (click for details)

Curriculum Requirements

Course Number

Course Title


EDU 600

Professional Educator Seminar


EDU 610 or
EDU 615

History and Philosophy of Education or
Contemporary Issues in Education


EDU 611

Curriculum Theory and Design


EDU 612

Instructional and Curriculum Design and Evaluation


EDU 641

Educational Research & Statistics


EDU 645

Action Research Planning


EDU 698

Portfolio Review


EDL 620

School   Law


SPE 689

Foundations of Special Education


SPE 690

Characteristics of Students with Disabilities


SPE 692

Diagnostic Assessment for Educational Decision-making


SPE 694

Methods of Teaching Students with Disabilities


SPE 694A

Field Experience III


EDR 601 or
EDR 635

Emergent Literacy or
Survey of Reading Methods and Materials K-12


EDR 610

Adolescent Literature


EDR 621

Classroom Diagnostic Techniques and Testing Procedures
for the Teaching of Reading


EDR 622

Advanced Diagnostic Techniques and Testing Procedures
for the Teaching of Reading


EDR 697

Practicum in Reading



Total credits


The courses below are not required for the degree. The courses below or courses equivalent to these are required by ISBE, along with the Reading Teacher exam offered through ILTS.


EDU 512

Methods of Teaching Reading in the Content Area (Secondary/Special K-12)


EDU 529

Children’s Literature


EDU 530

Methods of Teaching Reading (Elementary)



Class Format

This program is formatted for the working professional. Classes are offered in an eight week format, one night a week (there are a few courses that are in the 16 week format due to the requirement of the courses).


Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission for the locations these classes are offered.

Transfer Credit Restriction

No more than nine (9) semester credits will be accepted in transfer and can not be more than six (6) years old. Transfer credit must be submitted for approval prior to or during the first semester of enrollment.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission or complete the request for additional information form.

Office of Graduate Admission
701 College Road Lebanon, IL 62254
618-537-6576 800-BEARCAT ext. 6576

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