Director of Special Education Endorsement

NLU offers coursework suitable for candidates interested in earning the State of Illinois Director of Special Education endorsement.

Candidates for this endorsement must have:

  • An Illinois Professional Education License (PEL) already endorsed in an ISBE-approved administrative field
  • Documentation of a minimum of two years of full time special education teaching (LBSI) on a valid Illinois license as the teacher of record within a Pre K-age 21 (common schools) experience or service as a school social worker, school psychologist or speech language pathologist on a valid IL license
  • A master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution
  • Completed 30 SH of relevant coursework, as described below
  • Passed the TAP or ISBE-approved alternative
  • Passed the Director of Special Education content test (#180)

Required Courses

Four Required Areas of Coursework

In accordance with ISBE requirements, candidates must take one course in each of the following areas:

  • The supervision of programs for children with disabilities
  • Special education law
  • Special education finance
  • Cross-categorical special education methods
The below coursework fulfills ISBE's criteria.
SPE 561Administration and Supervision of Programs for Exceptional Children, Adolescents and Young Adults


SPE 549Legal Aspects of Administration and Supervision of Programs for Exceptional Children, Adolescents


SPE 544School Finance for Special Education Administrators


SPE 527Differentiated and Individualized Curriculum and Instruction


Additional Coursework

ISBE requires that candidates for the Director of Special Education endorsement take the remainder of their 30 semester hours of coursework in any of the following areas:

  • Curricular adaptations/modifications and/or assistive technology
  • Facilitation of the least restrictive environment for all students
  • Characteristics of students with disabilities
  • Collaboration of parents and school personnel
  • Educational and psychological diagnosis and remedial techniques

The below courses are aligned with one or more of these areas.

SPE 500Introduction to and Methods of Teaching Students with Disabilities


SPE 501Educational and Diagnostic Assessment of Exceptional Children and Adolescents


SPE 503Collaborative and Consultative Teaming and Teaching


SPE 506Frameworks, Perspectives, and Collaboration in Special Education


SPE 507Methods of Social/Emotional Support


SPE 508Literacy Across the Curriculum for Students with Disabilities


SPE 509Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners


SPE 523Teaching Students with Math Disabilities


SPE 545Assistive Technology


SPE 572Practicum I

2 OR 3

Note: SPE 572 should be taken for 2 semester hours.