Special Education Endorsement

Online Special Education Endorsement

Additional Program Offerings

The Special Education endorsement program at Aurora University Online is designed for teachers who already hold an existing Illinois teaching certificate/license (type 03 or 09). The endorsement will enable you to seek employment in Illinois as a special educator at the same grade level as your original certificate/license. Special education is a highly marketable area in today’s education environment. The program will prepare you to identify and intervene with students who exhibit a wide range of disabilities, including learning disabilities, cognitive disabilities, autism, social/emotional disabilities, physical disabilities and other health impairments. It also will prepare you to facilitate collaboration with students, families, colleagues and the community.

Program Requirements

The special education endorsement requires 18 semester hours. The endorsement classes are based on four broad areas of knowledge required by the Illinois State Board of Education. These courses also meet the requirements for the first half of the full certification/licensure program, which AU offers in a traditional setting at its Aurora, Illinois campus. The endorsement does not require student teaching.

Admission Requirements

  • Current Illinois teaching certificate/license
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college and/or university (minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale)—if your undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0, you may be admitted on a probationary status and will be required to earn a 3.0 or higher in your first three courses
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your professional potential related to the special education field
  • Transcripts (official, sealed in envelope) from all previously attended colleges and/or universities
  • Passing grades on the Illinois Basic Skills Test or the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)
  • Must pass a National Background Check after admission


The U.S. Department of Labor projects that the demand for special education teachers will increase by 17 percent in the next decade. The special education endorsement program will prepare you to fill this need as an effective special educator and helps you take the next step toward earning a Master of Arts in Special Education. Check out more information about the different special education careers and other careers in education.

Course Details

SPED5510 Characteristics and Identification of Disabilities and the Law – 4 hours
SPED5520 Cognitive Development and Disabilities – 2 hours
SPED5555 Prosocial Skills & Challenging Behaviors – 3 hours
SPED5560 Strategies and Assistive Technology for Students with Low Incidence and Multiple Disabilities – 2 hours
SPED5570 Trends: Collaboration, Differentiating Instruction in the Inclusive Classroom, and Transition – 3 hours
SPED5610 Psychoeducational Assessment of Students with Disabilities – 4 hours

Course details are based on information available at the time of publication. Specific program requirements are subject to change.

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