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Special Education - Director of Special Education

The program is designed to prepare educational professionals for leadership, organization, and administration of special education programs in Illinois. Completion of this post-Master's, non-degree certificate program enables qualified individuals to meet Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) standards leading to endorsement as a Director of Special Education. Candidates for the endorsement must also pass the State of Illinois DOSE Content Area Test.

This certificate requires 24 credit hours for completion.

See more information on our graduation rates, cost of education, and the median loan debts of students who complete the program.

University Admission Requirements

A student applying to a graduate certificate program must have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year

Additional Program Admission Requirements

A student applying to this program must:

  • have a master's degree, or its equivalent, and a current professional license in one of the following: Special Education, School Psychology, School Social Work, Speech Language Pathology;
  • have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for all graduate level coursework;
  • have two or more years of successful teaching experience or related service provision;
  • have passed the Illinois State Board of Education's Basic Skills requirement (Currently this would be the TAP or ACT with writing component);
  • provide one official copy of transcripts from all institutions in which you completed graduate courses;
  • upload the following to the online application
    • a cover letter outlining professional goals as related to special education administrative leadership;
    • a current resume;
    • a digital image file (jpeg, pdf, etc.) of current professional licenses and endorsements, if any;
    • an official letter from school or district employer documenting a minimum of two years of successful teaching or related service experience with students with disabilities
    • two professional letters of recommendation from an administrator, supervisor or school leader who has knowledge of your professional work and especially your work as a school or district leader

The letters of recommendation must address the following with examples or details: leadership experiences; ability to make a difference in student performance; ability to work with colleagues and staff as a team; oral and written communication skills; and potential to become a special education administrative leader who can motivate and support faculty and families and who can promote learning by students with disabilities.

Applications will be reviewed by the Department of Special Education DOSE Program Coordinator who may ask applicants to submit additional information.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Spring 2018 for 2018-20 Cohort  May 15. Preference given to those who apply by April 1. 

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Carrie Anna Courtad  DeGarmo 543  cacourt@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7524 
2016-08-30T13:46:29.206-05:00 2016