Program Purpose

The Master of Education (MEd) is an advanced course of study for licensed teachers who wish to become more effective in helping all learners find success in the general education curriculum. Recognizing the variety of learner differences in the inclusive classroom, this program helps teachers build upon their existing pedagogical knowledge and expand their knowledge, skills, and dispositions, with a focus on the needs of the diverse learner. Special attention is given to students who are learning English as a second language (ESL), have a disability, or are gifted. After successful completion of the degree coursework, teachers will be able to apply for an endorsement to their Illinois Professional Educator License in both ESL and special education (Learning Behavior Specialist 1) per the guidelines listed below. Evidence-based teaching methods will be implemented in the teacher’s classroom to allow for immediate practice of instructional skills being learned. Assessment of the diverse learner will be conducted in the teacher’s classroom or school.

Note: It is possible for someone to pursue this degree without currently teaching in a classroom; however, due to the practical nature of assignments and course objectives, he or she would need to have access to a classroom setting for the duration of the program.

A student will be recognized as a candidate in the Master of Education program after completion of a minimum of 12 semester hours of graduate study with a minimum program grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and removal of any entrance deficiencies for the program.  In this way, a candidate shows demonstrated proficiency in the area of concentration and demonstrates adequate proof of ability to successfully complete all degree requirements.  Failure to achieve candidacy may result in dismissal from the program. 

Program Outcomes:

Students graduating with a Master of Education degree will be able to:

  • identify the diverse needs of each of their students and plan instruction to meet those needs.
  • modify their assessments to differentiate for the diverse needs of their students.
  • embrace a biblical perspective of their students as individuals who are uniquely created by God, and apply this in their vocation as a motivation for actively differentiating for the needs of their students.
  • demonstrate cultural competence, understanding and responding appropriately to their students' unique cultural backgrounds.

Program Objectives

After successfully finishing the degree coursework, teachers will have completed:

  • The coursework required by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to apply for an endorsement in ESL (English as a second language). Out-of-state candidates should contact their state agency to determine the requirements for ESL credentials in their state.
  • The courses needed to apply for the Illinois Learning & Behavior Specialist (LBS1) endorsement, provided they have previously taken an “Introduction to Special Education” course at the undergraduate or graduate level. In addition, teachers need to pass the Illinois “Learning Behavior Specialist 1” licensure test in order to apply for the LBS1 endorsement. This endorsement will allow educators to teach students with disabilities at the grade levels of their existing license. The Learning Behavior Specialist 1 is a teacher of children and youth with one or more of the following documented disabilities as specified in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): specific learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, mental retardation, autism, traumatic brain injury, orthopedic or other health impairment.   Teachers licensed in other states should contact their state agency to determine the requirements for special education credentials in their state.

Credit from Other Institutions

A maximum of nine (9) hours of education coursework, taken at the graduate level at a regionally accredited institution, may be accepted to fulfill program requirements. Coursework will be evaluated by the program director on a case by case basis; the coursework must fulfill specific requirements of the MEd.

Program of Study

Required Courses
ED 5500Differentiating Instruction for All Learners3
ED 5580Cultural Diversity in the Classroom 13
ED 5800Characteristics and Identification of Learners with Disabilities 23
ED 5830Psychoeducational Assessment of Learners with Disabilities 23
ED 5850Methods of Teaching Learners with Disabilities 23
ED 6300Differentiating Instruction for Learners who are Gifted3
ED 6400Foundations of Teaching English as a Second Language 13
ED 6420Linguistics for the Classroom Teacher 13
ED 6450Assessment of Learners who are Bilingual 13
ED 6470Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language 13
ED 7410Practicum in Teaching English as a Second Language 13
Total Hours33