Special Education Teacher Programs in Illinois

Individuals can become special education teachers by earning a bachelor's, master's, or PhD degree. Learn more about which schools in Illinois offer these programs and explore undergraduate and graduate special education degree requirements in the article below. Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Becoming a special education teacher can be accomplished by earning a variety of degrees, and students can choose to specialize in K-12 special education or they can choose to work to become a learning and behavioral specialist. These special education programs often prepare potential teachers to pass licensure tests and obtain their teaching credentials through the state of Illinois.

What Should I Know About Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education?

In order for candidates to be accepted into the education coursework for these bachelor's degree programs, they must hold a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.25 or higher. Some schools also require previous work experience with students with disabilities. Students who are enrolled in a bachelor's degree program for special education will need to complete up to 125 total hours of coursework, which can include between around 60 and 90 hours of education coursework, including filed experiences. Some of the potential classes that students can take include psychology, human development, characteristics of disabilities, and strategies for special education. Once their education is completed, students will be prepared to work with students between kindergarten and 12th grade.

Which Schools in Illinois Offer a Bachelor's Degree Program in Special Education?

In Illinois there are quite a few schools that offer bachelor's degree programs in special education, some of which are:

  • Roosevelt University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education.
  • Greenville University awards a Bachelor of Science in Special Education.
  • University of Illinois offers a Bachelor of Science in Special Education.
  • Northern Illinois University awards a Bachelor of Science in Special Education with an emphasis in visual impairments or learning behavior specialist I.

What Are Some Important Facts About Earning a Master's Degree in Special Education?

To gain admission into a master's degree program, students must already hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, submit letters of recommendation, and provide official transcripts from their undergraduate education, with some schools requiring a minimum GPA of 2.75 or 3.0. Some of the many classes that students can take as a part of this program include assessment in special education, technology for special education, and methods of teaching students with disabilities. Before graduation, students often take part in a required student teaching experience under the supervision of a mentor. These programs are available to both currently licensed teachers as well as students seeking their initial teaching credentials. Once students earn their master's degree, they can choose to pursue career options that include special education teacher, remedial skills instructor, pediatric hospital educator, and social and human services assistant.

Which Schools in Illinois Offer a Master's Degree Program in Special Education?

Some of the many schools in the state of Illinois that have a master's degree program in special education include:

  • Lewis University offers a Master of Arts in Special Education.
  • University of Illinois offers both a Master of Education and Master of Science in Special Education.
  • Roosevelt University awards a Master of Arts in Special Education.
  • Greenville University offers a Master of Arts in Education with a special education specialization.

What Should I Know About Earning a PhD in Special Education?

Admission to PhD programs in special education can be competitive. Schools require students to already hold a master's degree from an accredited college or university and typically require a 3.0 GPA or higher in a student's previous coursework. Prior to graduation, students will need to earn between around 60 and 75 credit hours of coursework beyond their master's degree. Students must prepare and present a thesis, which can be worth 15-20 credit hours. To earn the remainder of the required credits, students can take courses like research methods in education, program evaluation in special education, and grant writing in special education.

Which Schools in Illinois Offer a PhD Program in Special Education?

The highest degree that a potential special education teacher can pursue is a PhD. A sample of the schools in Illinois that offer a PhD program include:

  • University of Illinois offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in special education.
  • Illinois State University offers a Doctor of Education in Special Education.
  • Concordia University Chicago offers both a Doctor of Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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