The Master of Arts in Multicategorical Special Education prepares experienced teachers to work across the full continuum of educational services. The program emphasizes the individual approach to the education of the exceptional learner.

Outstanding Preparation

The MCSE program prepares you to work in the special education categorical areas covered by the Illinois Learning Behavior Specialist I Unlimited endorsement on a Professional Educator License including: learning disabilities, behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities, mental impairments, traumatic brain injury and autism. Additionally, the program provides preparation in psychological diagnosis, authentic assessments, case study development, IEP development and implementation, applied behavior analysis, instructional methodologies, adaptations and modifications, collaboration, consultation, technology, special education law, due process safeguards, evaluation of student progress and effectiveness and much more.

In this program, you will explore categorical areas and display proficiency in a variety of disciplines. You will be exposed to the continuum of educational alternatives for exceptional children, and their right to be placed in the least restrictive environment in which they can succeed. Graduates of the program work as classroom teachers, resource personnel, and collaborators/consultants to educators, administrators, staff, and parents. The program is fully approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children and NCATE.

Option I: Licensed Candidates

Certification/Endorsement

The program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and prepares candidates for the Learning Behavior Specialist I Unlimited endorsment on a Professional Educator License and is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children. To be recommended for licensure, the student must

present evidence of having passed the Basic Skills/TAP and any other examinations required by the Illinois State Board of Education.

 

Option I: Students Holding a Professional Educator License

Students holding a teaching certificate are not required to complete additional clinical hours in those areas in which they have previously had supervised experience. Such students are not required to repeat student teaching if they provide documentation from the institution at which they completed student teaching, and have successfully taught at appropriate experiential levels. Students who have an Illinois Professional Educator License do not need to complete additional general education requirements.

I. Required Courses

SPED 8619 Psychological Diagnosis of Learners with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 8805 Administration and Supervision of Special Education (3)
SPED 8200 Learning Characteristics of Learners.with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 8310 Behavioral Characteristics of Learners with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 8350 Methods for Teaching Learners with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 8400 Special Education Practicum I (1)
SPED 8500 Special Education Practicum II (1)
SPED 8600 Collaboration Skills for Teachers and Support Personnel (3)
SPED 8963 Special Education Practicum III (1)
SPED 8999 Graduate Seminar in Multicategorical Special Education (4)
EDUC 6320 Teaching Mathematics to Low Achieving Students (3)
EDUC 8114 Teacher as Researcher (3)
EDUC 8463 Reading Remediation in the Classroom (3)

EDCP 7370 Educational Applications of the Microcomputer: Special Education (3)


II. Total - 37 Hours

Option II: Non-Licensed Candidates

Certification/Endorsement

The program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and prepares candidates for the Learning Behavior Specialist I Unlimited endorsement on a Professional Educator License and is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children. To be recommended for certification, the student must present evidence of having passed the Basic Skills/TAP and any other examinations required by the Illinois State Board of Education.


Option II: Students Without a Professional Educator License

Students who do not hold a valid Illinois or comparable out-of-state license must complete SPED6999: Student Teaching, in addition to the course work listed below. Depending on their previous course work, they may be required to complete additional undergraduate general education course work, including the completion of a teaching specialization area. Please see an education advisor for further details. Candidates who do not hold an early childhood, elementary, or secondary education license take 46 Hours, plus the general education requirements, if necessary.

I. Required Courses

SPED 8619 Psychological Diagnosis of Learners with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 8805 Administration and Supervision of Special Education (3)
SPED 8200 Learning Characteristics of Learners with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 8310 Behavioral Characteristics of Learners with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 8350 Methods for Teaching Learners with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 8400 Special Education Practicum I (1)
SPED 8500 Special Education Practicum II (1)
SPED 8600 Collaboration Skills for Teachers and Support Personnel (3)
SPED 8963 Special Education Practicum III (1)
SPED 8999 Graduate Seminar in Multicategorical Special Education (4)
EDUC 6320 Teaching Mathematics to Low Achieving Students (3)
EDUC 8114 Educational Research (3)
EDUC 8463 Reading Remediation in the Classroom (3)
EDCP 7370 Educational Applications of the Microcomputer: Special Education (3)

SPED 6999 Special Education Student Teaching (9)


II. Total - 46 Hours

General Program Requirements

Program Requirements

After meeting the university admission requirements and before completing nine hours of course work including SPED8200 and SPED8619, students must complete the following requirements in order to continue in the program. Submit to the College of Education a supplemental application packet containing:

 
• Transcripts showing a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted and all grades in graduate course work at a grade of “B” or better.
• Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE General Test); including a score of “4” or higher on
the Writing Subtest.
• For Option I: A valid Illinois or comparable out-of-state Professional Educator License.
• Evidence of having passed the Basic Skills Test/TAP of the Illinois Certification Testing System or evidence of possessing an Illinois license that required passing this test.

• For Option I: Evidence of two years teaching prior to completion of program. Experiences will be evaluated by program faculty for appropriateness.

After the student has completed SPED8200 and SPED8619, the faculty will review this information and recommend that the student be permitted to continue in the program, continue in the program conditionally, or be dismissed from the program. To receive a recommendation to continue, the student must earn a grade of “B” or better in SPED8200 and SPED8619 which must be taken at Governors State University.

For Option II: Approval for Student Teaching

Students required to student teach must:

  1. Complete all professional education requirements maintaining a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in a graduate level SPED course, and a grade of “C” or better in all other coursework.
  2. Have no more than a total of nine general education hours outstanding.

To continue in the program, the student must be accepted as a candidate for the M.A. in Multicategorical Special Education degree after completing SPED8200, SPED8619, and two additional courses on the approved study plan. Students must submit to the Division of Education Graduate Advising Office an application for candidacy in the semester that they expect to have completed the courses required for candidacy: September 30 for Fall semester, January 31 for Spring semester, or May 31 for Summer session. Application forms are available in the student portal.

To qualify for candidacy, a student must:

  1. Complete all undergraduate prerequisites for courses on the study plan.
  2. Complete all course work applicable to the degree with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in SPED8200 and SPED8619 and with a grade of “C” or better in all other courses.
  3. Display, or be judged as developing, the dispositions expected of graduate students as listed in the section "Teacher Education and Licensure" in the GSU catalog.
  4. Be recommended for candidacy by the M.A. in Multicategorical Special Education program faculty.

Further information about candidacy is available in the M.A. Special Education Student Handbook. Students admitted to candidacy will be assigned to a faculty advisor.

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a Master’s degree. In addition, students must:
1. Maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in SPED8200 and SPED8619 and a grade of “C” or better in all other courses.
2. Complete all course work, including transfer credits, within six calendar years.
3. Pass written comprehensive exams covering all course work.

 

 Students may apply for a maximum of six hours of course credit from other accredited institutions toward the degree requirements, subject to approval by the faculty advisor and the coordinator of the Multicategorical Special Education program.

Academic Advising

The Division of Education provides professional Academic Advisors to serve the needs of all of its candidates. The program Academic Advisor is the ideal first contact for individuals considering transfer into this degree program, newly admitted candidates who need to develop a plan of study, including evaluation of transfer credits, and continuing candidates who have questions or comments on program policies, procedures and requirements.

The Academic Advisor who works with the M.A. Multicategorical Special Education program faculty and candidates is Mr. Terrance Felker. Mr. Felker's office is located in the Division of Education Advising area, Room D34035C. He can be reached via phone: (708) 534-4569 or email: tfelker@govst.edu