Study Format

  • Online

Program Length

  • 18 Credit Hours

Application Deadlines

Aug, 19

Domestic Students

Fall 2020 Completed File Due. Classes start August 24, 2020.

Jul, 06

International Students

Fall 2020 Completed File Due. Classes start August 24, 2020.


Concordia University Chicago's LBS 1 Endorsement Program is designed for licensed educators (Type 03, 09, 10, or 29 certificates) with two or more years of teaching experience interested in working with a special education population or developing the skills necessary to work with students with specific learning needs within their current teaching situation. This may include candidates who are interested in transferring into a special education classroom setting or want to bring special education skills to their current teaching area of expertise. These educators are those looking to develop and refine competencies in research-proven theory and instructional practice in meeting the diverse, specialized needs of all learners in a variety of school settings. This course of study builds and strengthens a theoretical understanding of the foundations of special education while expanding the practical skills necessary to be successful as teacher of students receiving special education services.

This program provides an LBS1 endorsement that matches the grade level on the student’s existing Professional Educator’s License (PEL). This endorsement prepares candidates to take the LBS1 examination. 

As part of the course of study, candidates will be required to complete 100 field work hours (divided between your courses) at a school or other suitable location. Observations and field work with exceptional learners in special and general education settings provide an opportunity to apply and reflect on knowledge and skills learned through coursework.

This program will enable candidates to:

  • Build and strengthen a theoretical understanding of the foundations of special education;
  • Increase knowledge and skills in evidence-based specialized assessment methods, curriculum, and instructional design and practice;
  • Examine issues of the continuum of placements, inclusion and least restrictive environment, special education systems, and special education policy and law;
  • Participate in the required 100 hours of fieldwork.

Program Requirements

  •  Admission into the Special Education Endorsement program
  •  Hold a valid initial or existing Professional Educator’s License (PEL)
  •  Completion of 18 credit hours of course work
  •  Completion of ISBE Content Test #155 – Learning Behavioral Specialist 1

Areas of Study – 18 hours

All courses are sequential and customarily taken in the order listed below:

  • SPED 6425  Psychology and Methods of Teaching the Exceptional Learner
  • SPED 6350  Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Academic and Physical Challenges
  • SPED 6355  Instructional Strategies for Students with Academic and Physical Challenges
  • SPED 6360  Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Learning and Behavior Disabilities
  • SPED 6365  Instructional Strategies for Student with Learning and Behavior Disabilities
  • SPED 6370  Curriculum Based and Educational Measurement of Exceptional Learners

These courses fulfill the State of Illinois requirement for Special Education endorsement.


Program Information

Psychology and Methods of Teaching the Exceptional Learner

This course is designed to identify the characteristics of exceptional learners. Applicable laws and policies, response to intervention, educational program development based on empirically-supported instructional techniques, assessment and IEP procedures, and transition planning will be examined.

Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Academic and Physical Challenges

This course is designed to identify the characteristics of individuals ages 3-21 with moderate and severe developmental, physical, and multiple disabilities. The course will examine the impact of language disorders, processing deficits, behavioral/emotional and sensory disabilities on the development of individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities. The course will examine opportunities to support learning, social, personal daily living, and vocational needs of students.

Instructional Strategies for Students with Academic and Physical Challenges

This course is designed to examine the curriculum, instruction, and materials for teaching students with moderate and severe developmental disabilities and students with physical disabilities. The course will also examine strategies for activities of daily living and the use adaptive technology.

Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Specific Learning Disabilities and Emotional Disabilities

This course is designed to identify the characteristics of individuals ages 3-21 with specific learning disabilities and emotional disabilities. The impact of characteristics on the cognitive, academic, language, and social development of individuals will be examined.

Instructional Strategies for Students with Specific Learning Disabilities and Emotional Disabilities

This course is designed to examine the organization and implementation of curriculum, materials and management to facilitate acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of skills for students with learning disabilities. The course also examines the organization of the classroom and school environment for teaching and facilitating social, behavioral and emotional needs of students with emotional disorders. Also included are instructional planning and design, instructional and community goals.

Curriculum-Based and Educational Measurement of Exceptional Learners

This course is designed to examine the diagnostic procedures that guide instruction of exceptional learners within the least restrictive environment. The course will also include use and analysis of standardized and curriculum based assessment and assessment techniques to support the learning of students.


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