Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations - NIU - College of Education

Director of Special Education Certificate of Graduate Study

The Department of Special and Early Education and the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations at NIU offer a standards-based preparatory program leading to an endorsement on the Professional Educator License and a Certificate of Graduate Study in Director of Special Education.

The program is comprised of six three-semester-hour courses, with two semester hours of internship experience associated with the program. This will be a total of 20 semester hours of coursework. Typically, courses are held from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays or Mondays and Wednesdays. The location of the cohort starting Fall 2018 is NIU Hoffman Estates. TThe coursework will be offered in the hybrid fashion a copy of the fall schedule is available upon request.

Candidates will enroll in these courses in cohort groups in which the courses will be offered are as follows:

  • SESE 747 or SESE 592 Seminar in Special Education (3) and LEEA 577 Administration and Supervision of Special Education (3)
  • SESE 760 The Special Education Director (3) and SESE 765 Seminar: Professional Collaboration in Schools (3)
  • LEEA 726 Special Education: Leadership and the Law (3), SESE 575X (or LEEA 575) Special Education Finance (3), and SESE 786 Internship (2) will be offered in conjunction with the last semester of coursework.

Options for the Director of Special Education Certificate of Graduate Study

New for Fall 2018

Candidates who hold an administrative endorsement may request a transcript evaluation through Special and Early Education advising.


Perspective students must:

  • Hold a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution. If you do not hold a master's degree, a course of study can be developed to obtain the master's degree.
  • Have a professional education license
  • Two years full-time special education teaching or serving as a school social worker, school psychologist, or speech language pathologist on a valid professional educator license.
  • Have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA in most recent degree program.


Students must be accepted to the Graduate School as students-at-large or graduate students pursuing degrees at NIU.

The Office of the Bursar has current tuition information.

To apply, contact the Academic Advisor before submitting the entire application packet to SEED. The application packet is located at  the Director of Special Education Information application packet (checklist, application, application essay, course checklist). Applications are due August 1, 2018.


Leslie Hecht
Academic Advisor
(815) 753-0381

Application Packets are due August 1, 2018.