Special Education Subsequent Teaching Endorsement

Teachers who have an Illinois Professional Educator License endorsed for early childhood education, elementary education or secondary education may add a subsequent teaching endorsement in special education through this standards-based sequence. Teachers who have only a teaching credential from another state or who have only a temporary, substitute or other specialized teaching credential are not eligible for this program. Candidates for subsequent teaching endorsement must be admitted to NLU.

Eligible candidates begin by completing SPE 569 which includes the development of a college-approved electronic portfolio as a self-assessment of the extent to which they have met the state standards for special education endorsement. A faculty team from the new endorsement area reviews the portfolio and determines additional requirements for endorsement. Candidates then meet with an advisor from special education to plan a personalized program.

At the conclusion of this personalized program, candidates complete a practicum experience, SPE 575, the extent of which is determined by the faculty team, taking into account candidates' previous experience and state standards. At the conclusion of the practicum, candidates may apply for state endorsement in special education.

In addition to National College of Education Graduate Admission Requirements, program requires: 

  • Professional resume  
  • Valid and current Illinois Professional Educator License
  • Two years of classroom experience is recommended, within the last five years, prior to beginning of the program
  • Written verification of classroom experience from a previous or current employer
  • Interview with a faculty advisor
  • General Education coursework as determined by transcript evaluation completed before the beginning of Practicum 
  • Note: Applicants who were certified originally out-of-state or before 1994 need to pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or ISBE approved alternative
  • Note: Candidates may be eligible for financial aid. Contact the Financial Aid office for more information.

Required Courses

SPE 569Portfolio Development Subsequent Teaching Endorsement


SPE 575Practicum for Subsequent Teaching Endorsement

4 TO 6

Note: Additional program content and general education courses are selected with the program area advisor to help candidates meet the licensure requirements. Study plans documenting selected courses are created at the completion of SPE 569.