Bachelor of Arts
The special education major with an endorsement in ESL/Bilingual seeks to prepare candidates to utilize a variety of theoretical and research-based practices to enable students with disabilities to reach their full potential. Moreover, candidates will gain experience in the varied settings and roles of the special educator, including expanding consulting and collaborative roles in the inclusive classroom. The major will allow candidates to complete all coursework for Illinois State Board of Education Professional Educator Licensure as a Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) Ages 5-21 and earn an endorsement in ESL/Bilingual.
Licensure requires teachers to build a knowledge base to identify and intervene with students who exhibit a wide range of disabilities, including learning disabilities, cognitive impairments (intellectual disabilities and traumatic brain injury), autism, social/emotional disabilities, and physical disabilities/other health impaired. In addition, teacher candidates will have opportunities to work with K-12 students who are ESL and or bilingual speakers. Moreover, although the license will cover grades K–12 (or age 21 for some students), candidates will have a working knowledge of issues and strategies appropriate for the grades P–12. Furthermore, varied clinical practice and field experiences are considered an integral part of all courses so that the candidate can apply theory to practice and practice to theoretical conceptualizations. The field experiences culminate in a semester-long student teaching experience in special education.
In addition to the coursework, students will need to complete the following state tests to receive licensure as an LBS I Age 5-21: Learning Behavior Specialist I (#155 content area) and Special Education General Curriculum Test (#163 content area). Please note, the state requires two content area tests due to the K–12 span of curriculum covered by the licensure. A more recently added Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requirement is passage of the edTPA during the student teaching experience; passage of this assessment is now required for licensure in the state of Illinois. Please note, this assessment requires all students to pay a significant fee to take the assessment, therefore students should plan accordingly. Due to state requirements, this is a particularly challenging major, requiring significant coursework to cover all disability types and levels. While it is possible to complete the coursework in the four-year experience at Aurora University, timely completion will necessitate careful planning. During the freshman and sophomore years, candidates generally focus on completing their General Education requirements and begin their major by taking the introductory special education courses. The junior and senior years are devoted to upper-level special education courses that demonstrate the breadth of the Ages 5 to 21 years teaching experience and to allow the special educator to collaborate with the regular education teacher. While there is some flexibility in when university-wide General Education courses are taken, the order in which the special education courses must be taken is less flexible due to the fact that discipline knowledge builds over the span of the special education coursework. Additionally, some special education courses are offered only once per year. Again, candidates should keep in close contact with an advisor in the Center for Student Success and the Department Chair of Special Education in order to complete this major on schedule.
Admission to the Major
Admission to Aurora University does not guarantee admission to a major in the School of Education. Admission to the major requires that the student first be accepted into the School of Education.
To be accepted into the School of Education, teacher candidates are required to have completed a Criminal Background Check (CBC), TB Test, sign the Statement of Understanding for Initial Licensure Requirements, School of Education Application, and set up their ELIS (Educator Licensure Information System for Illinois). Please note that a cumulative major GPA of 3.0 and passing the ISBE Content area tests are prerequisites to student teaching and are required to be met one semester prior to student teaching.
Acceptance into the special education program requires a 3.0 average; the same guidelines for probationary status apply. If probationary status is granted, a formal review will be conducted by the Program Chair after completion of the first three courses, where progress toward a 3.0 average must be noted or the applicant will not be able to continue the program. This may necessitate retaking courses where the grade was less than a “B.”
|EDU-2110||Foundations of ESL and Bilingual Education||2|
|EDU-2140||Assessment of English Learners||4|
|EDU-3120||Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL||4|
|EDU-3150||Linguistics for Teaching English Language Learners||4|
|EDU-3170||Methods and Materials for Teaching in Bilingual Programs||4|
|SPED-2120||Characteristics and Identification of Disabilities and the Law 1||4|
|SPED/EDU-3510||Diversity Studies for Teaching Ells and Students With Disabilities 1||4|
|SPED-3560||Literacy Learning for Students with Disabilities||4|
|SPED-3750||Prosocial Skills and Challenging Behaviors||4|
|SPED-3815||Strategies and Assistive Technology for Students With Low Incidence Disabilities 1||4|
|SPED-3820||Psychological Assessment of Students with Disabilities 1||4|
|SPED-4500||Mathematics and Science Methods for Students With Disabilities 1||4|
|SPED-4550||Reading Disabilities Theory and Interventions 1||4|
|SPED-4620||Collaboration Models for Inclusion 1||4|
|SPED-4750||Student Teaching in Special Education||13|
|or SPED-4770||Student Teaching in Special and Elementary Education|
|SPED-4760||Seminar for Student Teaching in Special Education||2|
|or SPED-4780||Student Teaching in Special and Elementary Education Seminar|
A 3.0 GPA is required one semester prior to student teaching.
Additional General Education Courses Required for ISBE Licensure
There are general education requirements (beyond university requirements), based on ISBE Licensure requirements, which include:
|A two-course sequence in mathematics:|
|MTH-1210||Mathematics for Elementary Teachers I 1||4|
|MTH-1220||Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II 1||4|
|Three total science courses are required by ISBE, covering biology, physical sciences and earth science, with four-year Aurora University candidates taking the following courses:|
|BIO-1150||Life Science for Educators 2||4|
|NSM-1400||Earth and Space Science 2||4|
|NSM-2500||Integrated Mathematics and Science for Teachers (or a physical science, such as chemistry or physics from another institution) 2,3||4|
|HIS-1200||American History I (to 1877) 2||4|
|or HIS-1210||American History II (since 1877)|
Or their equivalent in upper-level mathematics coursework or passage of a proficiency test. Students who matriculate to Aurora University with advanced background in mathematics should talk with an advisor to ascertain if both or either of the above mathematics classes are required.
Transfers may petition for other equivalencies; students are encouraged to talk with an advisor about science equivalencies.
Or a physical science, such as chemistry or physics from another institution.
Teacher candidates should be aware that continuation in the special education major requires that candidates maintain a 3.0 grade point average in the major. Candidates will not be able to proceed to upper-level special education courses (those with prerequisites) if this grade point average is not sustained. Again, a probationary period may be extended, based on the recommendation of the candidate’s advisor and the program chair. In order to enroll in student teaching, a teacher candidate must be fully admitted to the School of Education. Candidates must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in the major; pass the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Content Area Test and have no outstanding dispositions issues.
The School of Education is continuously redesigning its programs based on current research, ISBE mandates, state law and the university’s conceptual framework. All teacher candidates must be cognizant of the possibility that a redesign may alter requirements listed in the catalog and the program of study could be subjected to new required program changes.
- Candidates will demonstrate content knowledge in their program.
- Candidates will demonstrate the ability to plan instruction.
- Candidates will demonstrate success in Clinical Placements.
- Candidates will demonstrate ability to impact student learning.
Outcomes with sources of documentation that are more qualitative and will be used as indirect measures include:
- Candidates will demonstrate the dispositions necessary for professional educators.
- Programs will demonstrate ability to produce educators deemed by self and others (e.g., cooperating teachers) as effective based on survey queries.