M.Ed. in Special Education
For answers to more FAQs about the School of Education, see the general FAQs page.
- How long will it take to complete this program?
With a teaching certificate: One year on a full-time basis and two years part-time. Without a teaching certificate: Depends on the prerequisites you need to complete before beginning the courses for the special education program. A timeline will be worked out with your advisor.
- What are the deficiency courses for someone without a teaching certificate?
The courses range from one to seven, depending on previous coursework, experience, and/or Illinois state testing results. The courses are:
- CIEP 450 Educational Psychology
- CIEP 401 Exceptional Child
- CIEP 414 Instructional Methodology OR
CIEP 437: Instructional Strategies for Social Studies and Language Arts
- CIEP 423 Advanced Literacy Instruction in Content Areas
- CIEP 438 Math and Computers Competencies for Elementary Teachers
- CIEP 439 Teaching in Science in Elementary Schools
- What is involved in clinical experiences?
Clinical experiences are designed to give students an opportunity to become involved in off-campus educational experiences. Clinical experiences include guided observations such as tutoring, attending school board meetings, observing classroom activities, conducting small group or whole class instruction and judging academic contests. All clinical experience hours must be documented and are kept in student's file in the Office of Student Academic Services. Students are encouraged to keep a copy of the clinical hours in their portfolio and handbook. Students are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours of clinical experiences prior to student teaching.
- How do I get 100 hours of clinical experience?
The professional education classes provide clinical experience hours for students.
- When should I take the Illinois Content Area Test?
The content area should be taken no later than the semester prior to student teaching. A passing score is required for admission to student teaching.
Registration and study guide materials are available online.
- When should I take the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) Test?
A passing score on the APT is required by the Illinois State Board of Education prior to issuing the LSBI certificate.
- Can I student teach during evenings or weekends, or during the summer?
Student teaching occurs from Monday thru Friday for full school days for 16 weeks during Fall or Spring semester. Candidates with a teaching certificate and current teaching experience may qualify for a summer experience.
- Can international applicants apply for the M.Ed. in Special Education program?
International applicants are welcomed to enroll in the M.Ed., but are not eligible for state certification unless they qualify as a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status.
- What is the student teaching application and where can I get one?
Student teaching is the third phase of the teacher education program. Students must apply for admittance. To complete the application, the student needs to provide:
- General information
- Checklist of classes with completion dates prior to Student Teaching
- Student teaching health certificate
- Personal statement
- Transcript release form
- Passing score on the Illinois Content Area Test
- Recommendation forms to be completed by three faculty members
The applications must be submitted one year in advance of your student teaching assignment.
- What's the purpose of student teaching interviews?
The Director of Student Teaching interviews students to assess their readiness for student teaching and to review their transcripts.
- When applying for student teaching, will I get the school I request?
When you apply for student teaching, it is not guaranteed that you will get the school that you request. The placement decision is the responsibility of the university and is made by the Director of Student Teaching.
- When student teaching, do I abide by Loyola's schedule or my school schedule?
When you are student teaching, you are expected to abide by your school's schedule and not by Loyola's schedule.
- Do I have to attend the seminars while student teaching?
Yes, you must attend all seminars. Seminars serve to provide students with vital information regarding the academic program, certification requirements and an opportunity for professional growth.
- Do I have to register for student teaching as a regular course?
Yes, you must register for your program's specific student teaching.
- How is a student evaluated when he/she is student teaching?
The university supervisor visits the student teacher five times during the semester. The university supervisor and the cooperating teacher submit written evaluations of the student's teaching performance and lesson plans.
- Does completion of the teacher education program automatically qualify me for certification?
No. After you receive your application, signed and sealed by Loyola University Chicago, the Office of Student Academic Services (OSAS) sends your name to the Certification Section of the Illinois State Board of Education. The OSAS is located in Room 1123, Lewis Towers, at the Water Tower Campus. (The student teaching handbook has a checklist guide you can use for the certification process.)
- What grades does my certificate qualify me to teach?
The LSBI qualifies you to teach children and adolescents ages 3-21 with special needs excluding students who are blind or partially sighted and who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- How do I apply for state certification?
Read and follow the procedures for state certification here.
- What if I move to a different state?
The Illinois State Board of Education joined the Interstate Compact Agreement. As a result of this, your certificate allows to receive a compatible initial certificate in most states. But, you must apply to each state in which you are interested in teaching.