Special Education Endorsement

If you're a teacher with a valid Professional Educator License, you can earn a concurrently valid Special Education endorsement. This allows you to work with students with special needs in the same grade levels covered by your current license.

The state of Illinois identifies four course/content areas:

  • Survey of Special Education
  • Assessment of students with special needs
  • An Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) characteristics course (covers the entire scope of LBS I characteristics)
  • An LBS I methods course (covers the entire scope of LBS I methods)

The endorsement also requires successful completion of the LBS I Content-Area exam (#155).

The endorsement coursework can be completed as part of a master's degree program or as a student-at-large (SAL). As a student-at-large, you can take both undergraduate and graduate courses potentially offered at the DeKalb, Naperville, Rockford and Hoffman Estates campuses in the evenings. Class schedules will be available on MyNIU. Learn more about the Graduate School's tuition and fees.

Check Registration and Records for the current schedule of classes. For additional information, please contact Leslie Hecht at lbhecht@niu.edu.

Requirements for the LBS I endorsement differ based on the grade levels covered by the current PEL.

Courses offered at NIU that cover the standards required by the state for the endorsement are:

Survey: SESE 540 (3 credits), Foundation of Special Education

Assessment: ETR 524 or 434 (3 credits) Assessment of student with special needs (graduate students and students-at-large must take ETR 524 to receive graduate credit).

Characteristics and Methods: NIU does not offer an LBS I characteristics or methods course that covers the entire scope of the LBS I. The material to meet the standards for the characteristics is embedded in the SESE 540 course and each different methods course.

  • SESE 561 (3 credits), Methods for Teaching Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • SESE 601 (4 credits), Methods for Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities
  • SESE 606 (3 credits), Methods for Teach Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Prerequisites include:

  • SESE 554 (3 credits), Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Support in School and Community Settings
  • SESE 603 (3 credits), Functional Analysis for Special Educators

You must complete a total of 22 semester hours.

In addition to the coursework listed above, you must pass the LBS I Contest area test (#155), www.il.nesinc.com

NIU courses that cover the standards required by the state for the endorsement are:

Survey: SESE 540, (3 credits), Foundations of Special Education

Assessment: ETR 524 or 434, (3 credits) Assessment of student with special needs (graduate students and students-at-large must take ETR 524 to receive graduate credit).

Characteristics and Methods: NIU does not offer an LBS I characteristics or methods course that covers the entire scope of the LBS I. The material to meet the standards for the characteristics is embedded in the SESE 540 course and each different methods course.

  • SESE 561 (3 credits), Methods for Teaching Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • SESE 601 (4 credits), Methods for Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities
  • SESE 606 (3 credits), Methods for Teach Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Prerequisites include:

  • SESE 554 (3 credits), Appl Behav Analysis and Positive Behav Support in School and Comm Settings
  • SESE 603 (3 credits), Functional Analysis for Special Educators

You must complete a total of 22 semester hours.

Recommended course: It is strongly suggested that you also complete SESE 559 (3 credits), Transition from School to Empl, Career and Post-Sec Ed for Stds w/ Dis.

In addition to the coursework listed above, you must pass the LBS I Contest area test (#155), www.il.nesinc.com

NIU courses that cover the standards required by the state for the endorsement are:

Survey: SESE 540 (3 credits), Foundations of Special Education

Assessment: ETR 524 or 434 (3 credits) Assessment of student with special needs (graduate students and students-at-large must take ETR 524 to receive graduate credit).

Characteristics and Methods: NIU does not offer an LBS I characteristics or methods course that covers the entire scope of the LBS I. The material to meet the standards for the characteristics is embedded in the SESE 540 course and each different methods course.

  • SESE 561 (3 credits), Methods for Teaching Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • SESE 601 (4 credits), Methods for Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities
  • SESE 602 (3 credits), Methods for Teach Middle and Secondary Students with Mild Dis
  • SESE 606 (3 credits), Methods for Teach Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Prerequisites include:

  • SESE 554, (3 credits), Appl Behav Analysis and Positive Behav Support in School and Comm Settings
  • SESE 603, (3 credits), Functional Analysis for Special Educators

You must complete a total of 25 semester hours.

Recommended course: It is strongly suggested that you also complete SESE 559 (3 credits), Transition from School to Empl, Career and Post-Sec Ed for Stds w/ Dis.

In addition to the coursework listed above, you must pass the LBS I Contest area test (#155), www.il.nesinc.com

NIU courses cover the standards required by the state for the endorsement are:

Survey: SESE 540 (3 credits), Foundation of Special Education

Assessment: ETR 524 or 434 (3 credits), Assessment of student with special needs (graduate students and students-at-large must take ETR 524 to receive graduate credit).

Characteristics and Methods: NIU does not offer an LBS I characteristics or methods course that covers the entire scope of the LBS I. The material to meet the standards for the characteristics is embedded in the SESE 540 course and each different methods course.

  • SESE 561 (3 credits), Methods for Teaching Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • SESE 602 (3 credits), Methods for Teach Middle and Secondary Students with Mild Dis
  • SESE 606 (3 credits), Methods for Teach Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Prerequisites include:

  • SESE 554 (3 credits), Appl Behav Analysis and Positive Behav Support in School and Comm Settings
  • SESE 603 (3 credits), Functional Analysis for Special Educators

You must complete a total of 21 semester hours.

Recommended course: It is strongly suggested that you also complete SESE 559 (3 credits), Transition from School to Empl, Career and Post-Sec Ed for Stds w/ Dis.

In addition to the coursework listed above, you must pass the LBS I Contest area test (#155), www.il.nesinc.com

NIU courses that cover the standards required by the state for the endorsement are:

Survey: SESE 540 (3 credits), Foundation of Special Education

Assessment: ETR 524 or 434 (3 credits) Assessment of student with special needs (graduate students and students-at-large must take ETR 524 to receive graduate credit).

Characteristics and Methods: NIU does not offer an LBS I characteristics or methods course that covers the entire scope of the LBS I. The material to meet the standards for the characteristics is embedded in the SESE 540 course and each different methods course.

  • SESE 561 (3 credits), Methods for Teaching Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • SESE 601 (4 credits), Methods for Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities
  • SESE 602 (3 credits), Methods for Teach Middle and Secondary Students with Mild Dis
  • SESE 606 (3 credits), Methods for Teach Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Prerequisites include:

  • SESE 554 (3 credits), Appl Behav Analysis and Positive Behav Support in School and Comm Settings
  • SESE 603 (3 credits), Functional Analysis for Special Educators

You must complete a total of 25 semester hours.

Recommended course: It is strongly suggested that you also complete SESE 559 (3 credits), Trans from School to Empl, Career and Post-Sec Ed for Stds w/ Dis.

In addition to the coursework listed above, you must pass the LBS I Contest area test (#155), www.il.nesinc.com