Focus of Study Options
Early Childhood Special Education
Young learners with special needs require knowledgeable guidance to acquire critical foundational skills necessary for future learning. This coursework helps to establish understanding of assessment and intervention practices while building skills in research. By engaging families and communities, young learners are exposed to language as an essential skill for reading. This Focus of Study is designed to meet the Illinois requirements for endorsement.
The ability to build relationships and establish connections across ideas is a function of integration. This Focus of Study provides a foundational understanding of how to think about integration and guides in the development of skills necessary to create critical connections. By establishing principles and demonstrating how to implement them, a framework is created which can be utilized in a variety of circumstances.
Instructional or organizational leaders must be able to assist their schools, organizations, and communities in moving away from less effective traditional views of teaching and learning by embracing a more proactive approach of using formative assessment data to build curriculum, design instructional delivery, and teach with the future in mind instead of solely relying on summative evaluations measuring only what has already been taught in the past. Educational and organizational leaders can then make informed decisions and learner-centered adjustments much earlier in the process, maximize all available resources, and ultimately, foster higher levels of achievement and performance within their schools or organizations.
Learning Behavior Specialist
The Learning Behavior Specialist coursework provides a survey of issues related to working with exceptional children, including characteristics, expected behaviors, and potential methods and materials appropriate for student needs. Through application of assessment protocols, students consider appropriate intervention responses to the diagnosis. This Focus of Study is designed to meet the Illinois requirements for endorsement.
Mathematics and Sciences
The integrated science and mathematics Focus of Study prepares K-16 teachers in pedagogy, andragogy, multiple intelligence theory, social learning theory, exchange theory, and the utilization of digital resources to foster the innovative engagement of diverse learners associated with integrated science programs such as STEM. The courses offer a holistic overview of historical and current issues and trends impacting integrated science education while cultivating research-based strategies to improve student learning. The courses are sequenced to provide the educator of an integrated curriculum with the technological and didactic skill sets required for empowering 21st century learning in a global, digital society.
The Special Education Focus of Study prepares participants to enhance their knowledge and skills to work collaboratively with diverse and struggling learners. This coursework focuses on legal and ethical laws, policies, issues, and strategies to assist students’ access to the general curriculum. It also emphasizes accommodations and modification to meet the diverse needs of students with exceptionalities, gathering and analyzing ongoing data on which educational and instructional decisions are based, and developing collaborative environments designed to positively impact outcomes for students with exceptionalities. The courses are sequenced to provide foundational knowledge and skills, which will allow individuals to compete in the ever-changing and growing global, digital society.