Program Purpose

The Master of Education in Diverse Learning (MEd/DL) is an advanced course of study for licensed teachers who are seeking to become more effective in helping all learners find success in the general education curriculum. Recognizing the variety of learner differences in the inclusive American 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 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.

Program Outcomes:

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

  • identify the diverse needs of each of their students
  • modify their instructional methods to differentiate for the diverse needs of their students
  • modify their assessments to differentiate for the diverse needs of their students
  • apply a biblical perspective to their vocation as teachers
  • demonstrate personal and professional sensitivity to their students’ unique cultural backgrounds

Program Objectives

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

  • The 18 hours required by the Illinois Board of Education (ISBE) in order to apply for an endorsement in ESL. 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. Out-of-state teachers should contact their state agency to determine the requirements for special education credentials in their state.

Program Pre/Co-Requisites

In keeping with the mission of the university, it is important for students to have a clear understanding of biblical truths that shape a Christian worldview. Students may choose to fulfill this requirement by taking ED 5001 and ED 5002 before entering the program or during the program. ED 5001 may be waived for graduates of accredited Christian liberal arts or Bible colleges, or for seminary students or graduates. ED 5002 may be waived for seminary students or graduates.

Program of Study

ED 5001Foundations for Integrative Thought in Education3
ED 5002Foundations for Cultural Engagement in Education3
Required Courses33
ED 5500Differentiating Instruction for All Learners3
ED 5580Cultural Diversity in the American Classroom3
ED 5800Characteristics and Identification of Learners with Disabilities3
ED 5830Psychoeducational Assessment of Learners with Disabilities3
ED 5850Methods of Teaching Learners with Disabilities3
ED 6300Differentiating Instruction for Learners who are Gifted3
ED 6400Foundations of Teaching English as a Second Language3
ED 6420Linguistics for the Classroom Teacher3
ED 6450Assessment of Learners who are Bilingual3
ED 6470Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language3
ED 7410Practicum in Teaching English as a Second Language3
Total Hours39