Early Childhood Special Education, M.A.

Degree + Endorsements

Increase your versatility as a teaching professional by obtaining three endorsements in one program.

The Early Childhood Special Education with ESL Endorsement graduate program provides working professionals with opportunities to extend their understanding of concepts and develop valuable skills used in increasingly diverse classrooms. Upon graduation, students will understand the unique developmental characteristics and needs of young children, how to evaluate children’s learning and development, and how to communicate and build relationships with families of young children.

Walk Away with Three Full Endorsements on Your License

Lewis University’s M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education with ESL Endorsement is one of the only programs in the state to offer all three endorsements within one degree:
  • Early Childhood Education – Regular education classrooms, birth through 3rd grade
  • Early Childhood Special Education – Special education classrooms, birth through 3rd grade
  • English as a Second Language – Classrooms with students speaking English as a second language, grades Pre-K through 12.
These endorsements are quickly becoming the required qualifications for teachers of preschool and primary children in the state of Illinois. Many schools and districts seek candidates with these three endorsements for teaching positions at lower grade levels.

Letter of Approval Option

More school districts are requiring that individuals with a Professional Educator License (PEL) be licensed to teach early childhood special education (non-categorical) for children up to the age of six. Educators with the Early Childhood Endorsement or those who are endorsed in Special Education can apply for a “Letter of Approval” from Lewis University. This state-approved, standalone endorsement includes coursework that, when completed, qualifies teachers to instruct students with special needs at the pre-K level.

The Early Childhood Special Education Approval course of study focuses on four areas:
  • Methods
  • Assessment
  • Language Development
  • Family & Community Relationships

Note: You may only add the Early Childhood Special Education Approval onto a PEL with an existing early childhood or special education endorsement. This approval does not expire.

The Early Childhood Special Education with ESL Endorsement program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and fully approved by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Scholarship Options

  • Mines-Quinlan Annual Scholarship
  • TEACH Grant
  • Resources for the Education of Adults in the Chicago Area (REACH) Scholarship
  • Lasallian Book Scholarship
Visit the Financial Aid for Educational Studies page for more information on education scholarships.

Sample Courses:

  • Foundations of Early Childhood Education
  • Child, Family, Culture and Community
  • Beginning Linguistics and Development of Speech and Language in Early Childhood
  • Foundations of Bilingual and English Language Learner Education
  • Exceptional Learners in Inclusive Communities
  • Practical Research for Learning Communities

Career Options:

  • Public School Teacher (Regular or Special Education) in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-3
  • Child Care Center Director
  • Head Start Personnel
  • Social Service Agencies serving Children and Families
  • Home Visitation/Parent Education Programs

Admission Requirements

  • Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL)
  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 for the final 60 credit hours of study
  • Official college transcripts from all institutions previously attended
  • Successful completion of the Lewis University College of Education Graduate Writing Examination
  • Submission of a graduate application form with non-refundable application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Meet with the appropriate Department Chair or Program Director for a personal interview to discuss education goals
Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admission for application requirements and specific next steps.

VIEW THE PROGRAM CURRICULUM

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