Candidates seeking a teaching career must have a sincere desire to teach, show intellectual promise and display personal, professional and academic characteristics indicative of competent teachers.
The School of Education's major goal, according to its conceptual framework, is to create effective practitioners who are committed to scholarship, lifelong inquiry, leadership and social responsibility. These enduring outcomes are developed and nurtured through the curriculum. Educators develop scholarship by acquiring a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field. As scholars, they develop lifelong inquiry by immersing themselves in a process of on-going questioning and reflection that results in informed thinking and decision making. They assume leadership roles in a variety of venues where they can affect change and improve practice. Their leadership is guided by a sense of social responsibility to create fair and equitable environments that support and enhance learning in order to maximize each individual's potential.
As a Special Education major, the student receives a liberal education through courses in mathematics, natural sciences, fine arts, English and social science. Professional preparation includes courses in history and philosophy of education, educational psychology, methods of reading and language arts, and technology for education. Students learn to develop lesson plans, prepare instructional materials, and teach within small and large group settings. In addition, students complete coursework in special education and related disciplines, including courses in learners of diverse abilities, characteristics and methods of children with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, and physical and mental disabilities, as well as classroom management, working with families of children with disabilities and psychological assessment. Benedictine University is committed to developing dedicated, competent, and educated teachers, who are well versed in the principles and skills for successful teaching. Students also receive a solid foundation in methodologies through the following experiences:
As candidates progress through their program, they will develop an understanding of the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and the Content-Area Standards for Educators. In addition to successful completion of their coursework, they will also develop a professional portfolio that demonstrates their growth in teaching and service to education as well as their understanding of the Illinois standards. Their preparedness to teach will also be demonstrated through passage of the Test of Academic Performance, Content-Area Test, General Curriculum Test and Assessment of Professional Teaching Test.
The Special Education program at Benedictine University offers the student an opportunity to earn licensure as a Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I). Coursework in the major is organized in a manner that entitles certification in a variety of special education settings.