Education, Special

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Academic Programs

Education, Special - Associate in Arts (690)

Associate in Arts (690)

To teach in Illinois public schools, teachers must be licensed by the state of Illinois. Community college students are strongly encouraged to complete an Associate in Arts degree prior to transfer. Since admission is competitive, completion of the recommended course does not guarantee admission. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale), dependent on the transfer school requirements, is required for program admission.

This program is designed for those who plan to teach exceptional children in the pre-school, elementary, intermediate, or secondary levels. Special education endorsements include Learning Behavior Specialist 1 (LBS 1), teacher of students who are blind or low vision and teacher of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Individualized articulation sheets for some universities are available in Academic Advising.

Information regarding Illinois standards for Professional Educator License is available on the Illinois State Board of Education Website at www.isbe.net.

A Test of Academic Proficiency (reading, writing/grammar and math) is usually required for program admission. Check with your advisor or Education faculty about approved options.

General education in major field requirements vary significantly by transfer institution. Students who have already chosen the university to which they plan to transfer should consult that institution's catalog or department advisor and an SVCC academic advisor in planning their program.


Click here for career information: https://www.svcc.edu/academics/programs/individual/690.html

Criminal History Check Policy

Illinois law requires Illinois school boards to conduct a criminal background investigation on applicants for employment. This law also prohibits the employment of a person who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit any one or more of a number of offenses. At present, offenses include first degree murder; any Class X felony; juvenile pimping; soliciting for a juvenile prostitute; exploitation of a child; obscenity; child pornography; harmful material; criminal sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual assault; offenses set forth in the Cannabis Control Act; and crimes defined in the Illinois Controlled Substance Act. Employment must be denied whether the offenses and/or conviction occurred inside or outside the state of Illinois.

Students who perform classroom observations through coursework at Sauk Valley Community College may be required by the selected school/site to undergo a criminal background check prior to placement. Students may be denied at any observation site based on the results of that check.

Students who feel their criminal background may exclude them from observation or employment should seek counseling with SVCC faculty or advising staff early in their program to determine how it may affect their participation and eligibility.

Program Contacts at Sauk Valley Community College
Academic Advising, 815/835-6354
Janis Jones, Assistant Professor of Education, 815/835-6410
Amanda Eichman, Professor of English and Education, 815/835-6319

Follow this link for career information.

Total Hours Required - 64 Hours

Suggested Program

First Semester - 17 Hours

  • Fine Arts 3 Semester hour(s)
  • EDU102 - Computer Education for Teacher ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to meet the needs of education majors. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals and skills necessary to effectively integrate computers into teaching. This course is designed for the student with minimal computer experience. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • EDU105 - Preparing for Careers in Educa ( 1 Semester Hours)

    This course is required for students pursuing Associate in Arts in Teaching degrees and highly recommended for all students seeking teacher certification in the State of Illinois. This course should be taken during the first semester of college course work as an education major. The course introduces the student to certification standards and the course sequence required for education majors. In addition, students are introduced to cognitive skills needed for teaching, classroom motivation and management skills, portfolios, and strategies for securing entry-level employment in the teaching profession. 1 lec/week Semester hour(s): 1 Lecture/Lab Hours: 2 lab/week

  • ENG101 - Composition I ( 3 Semester Hours)

    A basic course in essay writing with emphasis on exposition, ENG 101 stresses knowledge and application of the rhetorical modes. ENG 101 presupposes competence in grammar, usage, and mechanics. Prerequisite: ACT standard score in English of 22 or above; required scores on the current English placement test, or grade of C or higher in ELA 099. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): C1 900 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • FYE101 - First Year Experience ( 1 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to facilitate the self-development of the student, and introduce students to the expectations of the college community. This course reviews the academic skills that promote success during their college career. Topics will include, but not limited to, identifying campus/community resources, test-taking strategies, career exploration/decision making, problem solving, literacy, and critical thinking. Students will also learn strategies for taking personal responsibility for their academic and career choices. (Students in good standing (GPA of 2.0 or higher), who have accumulated 16 semester hours or more prior to enrolling as a degree seeking student at Sauk are not required to take this class). Semester hour(s): 1 Lecture/Lab Hours: 1 lec/week

  • MAT110 - Math for Elementary Teachers I ( 3 Semester Hours)

    The emphasis of this course is placed on mathematical reasoning and problem-solving as it pertains to modern elementary/middle school mathematics. Topics include: basic problem solving, whole numbers and elementary number theory, fractions, ratios and percents, rational numbers, and real numbers. Prerequisite: MAT 076 with a grade of C or higher or one year of high school geometry with a grade of C or higher and MAT 081 with a grade of C or higher, or two years of high school algebra with grades of C or higher or appropriate placement score. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 2 lec, 2 lab/week

  • PSY103 - Introduction to Psychology ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to introduce the student to major concepts, theories, principles, and research in the field of psychology. This course will survey the scientific study of human and animal characteristics and behavior. Major topics from biological, behavioral, cognitive, personality, developmental, abnormal, and social psychology theory and research will be emphasized. Universal characteristics and individual differences will be explored Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): S6 900 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

Second Semester - 15 Hours

  • Fine Arts/Humanities 3 Semester hour(s)
  • EDU220 - Students/Disabilities School ( 3 Semester Hours)

    An introductory overview of the field of special education in which students will be introduced to the various disability categories that occur in the population including an overview of characteristics of individuals with disabilities and the diversity of the population of people with disabilities. Services and methodologies will be examined, including federal and state requirements for eligibility. Students will be encouraged to develop critical thinking skills in regards to current controversies in the field. ECE 913 Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): ECE 913 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ENG103 - Composition II ( 3 Semester Hours)

    An advanced course in essay writing with emphasis on formal research, ENG 103 serves to develop a proficiency in the collection and selection of data as applied to the completion of a formal research paper. In addition, students receive instruction in logic and reasoning, including the fundamentals of argumentative and persuasive writing. Prerequisite: A grade of C or higher in ENG 101 or its equivalent or consent of instructor. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): C1 901R Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • MAT111 - Math for Elementary Teacher II ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course is a continuation of MAT 110 - Mathematics for Elementary Teachers I. Topics include: real numbers, introductory probability and statistics, geometry measurement, coordinate geometry and transformations. Prerequisite: MAT 110 with a grade of C or higher. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): M1 903 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 2 lec, 2 lab/week

  • PSC163 - Am Government & Politics ( 3 Semester Hours)

    Students will examine American constitutional foundations and democratic values, explore the role of public opinion and the character of the political process, and understand the role of the media and interest groups in policy-making. Students will gain an understanding of how the major branches of the federal government work, and improve skills in evaluating and analyzing current public policy issues. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): S5 900 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

Third Semester - 17-18 Hours

  • Personal Development 2 Semester hour(s)
  • *Physical Science 3-4 Semester hour(s)
  • Humanities 3 Semester hour(s)
  • **Electives 3 Semester hour(s)
  • ***Social/Behavioral Science 3 Semester hour(s)
  • COM131 - Intro to Oral Communication ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course combines communication theory with the practice of oral communication skills. This course: (1) develops awareness of the communication process; (2) provides inventional, organizational, and expressive strategies; (3) promotes understanding of and adaptation to a variety of communication contexts; and (4) emphasizes critical skills in listening, reading, thinking, and speaking. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): C2 900 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

Fourth Semester - 14-15 Hours

  • *Life Science 3-4 Semester hour(s)
  • **Electives 4 Semester hour(s)
  • ***Social & Behavioral Sciences 3 Semester hour(s)
  • **EDU electives 3 Semester hour(s)
  • EDU278 - Clinical Experience in Spec Ed ( 1 Semester Hours)

    This 20-clock-hour experience is offered to help meet the practicum requirement for special education in Illinois. Interns will observe students in a public school special education classroom under the guidance of a cooperating teacher. Emphasis will be on teaching techniques, classroom dynamics and the effects of student developmental status on behavior and learning. A journal noting these factors will be kept by each intern 1 Semester hour Lecture/Lab Hours: 1.5 lab/week Notes: This class contains an observation component and requires an Illinois State Police and FBI background check in order to complete requirements for course credit.


  • *One lab science required.
  • **Recommended Electives include EDU 210, 221, 224, 275, PED 220, additional approved mathematics courses.
  • ***Choose from GEO 122, ECO 211 or 212, PSY 200 or 214, HIS 221 or 222.