Education, Special

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Academic Programs

Associate in Arts Degree with a Concentration in Education, Special (690)

The special education concentration will prepare students to transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor's degree in special education and teacher licensure (K-21) in the state of Illinois.  

Follow this link for career information.

Transfer Considerations

General education and major field requirements vary significantly by intended 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. Transfer guides for some universities are available at svcc.edu/transfer.

  1. IMPORTANT NOTE ON GENERAL EDUCATION RECOMMENDATIONS: The courses recommended in the suggested program are beyond the minimum requirements necessary for completion of general education courses for an Associate of Arts degree. The general education recommendations listed below are for a student's full licensure requirements. Some of these additional courses may be completed after a student transfers, even with an Associates of Arts degree. Licensure information is based on the Illinois State Board of Education's administrative rules for teacher education preparation.

Competitive Admissions

Since admission is competitive, completing the recommended courses does not by itself guarantee admission.

  1. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale), dependent on the transfer school requirements, is required for program admission.
  2. Students will also need to achieve a C or better grade in all general education coursework.

Special Considerations

  1. 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. Information regarding Illinois standards for Professional Educator License is available on the Illinois State Board of Education Website at isbe.net.
  2. 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
  • Amanda Eichman, Professor of Education and English, 815-835-6319

Minimum Total Credit Hours - 64 Hours

Suggested Course Sequence

First Semester - 18 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 technology into teaching. This course is designed for the student with minimal computer experience. Prerequisite: None 3 Semester hour(s) 3 lec/week

  • EDU105 - Prep for Careers in Education ( 2 Semester Hours)

    This course introduces the student to licensure standards, course sequences, and skills required for education majors. Students will be introduced to the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and will become familiar with the roles and responsibilities of teachers and the dispositions of effective teachers. Students will be exposed through observation activities to varying grade levels/ classrooms with the purpose of aiding in choosing the correct licensure path. Prerequisite: None 2 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 2 lecture/week

  • ENG101 - Composition I ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course (1) develops awareness of the writing process; (2) provides inventional, organizational, and editorial strategies; (3) stresses the variety of uses for writing; and (4) emphasizes critical skills in reading, thinking, and writing. Prerequisite: Required placement score on approved English placement test, high school unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher, or a grade of C or higher in ELA 099. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): C1 900 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • FYE101 - First Year Experience ( 1 Semester Hours)

    The focus of this course is how to be successful in college. Study skills, goal setting, academic planning, time and money management, and information research skills are among the core topics included in this course. Within a supportive environment, students will share their college experiences and develop connections with fellow students and SVCC staff. Prerequisite: None 1 Semester hour(s) 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 school mathematics. Topics include basic problem solving, whole and elementary number theory, fractions, decimals, ratios, proportions and percent, and the real number system. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in MAT 081 (or higher) AND MAT 076 OR appropriate placement (see current placement score prerequisite chart) 3 Semester hour(s) 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 Prerequisite: None 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): S6 900 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

Second Semester - 15 Hours

  • Fine Arts/Humanities 3 Semester hour(s)
  • EDU220 - Educ of the Exceptional Child ( 3 Semester Hours)

    An introductory overview of the field of special education and the educational and evidence-based strategies that support children with exceptional cognitive, social, physical, and emotional needs. Services and interventions will be examined, including federal and state requirements for eligibility. Students will be introduced to the various exceptionality categories that occur in the population including an overview of characteristics of individuals in each category, with emphasis on category-appropriate interventions and teaching strategies. Prerequisite: None 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): ECE 913 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. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): C1 901R Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

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

    This course is a continuation of MAT 110. Topics include algebraic thinking, introductory probability, statistics, measurement, coordinate geometry, and transformations. Prerequisite: MAT 110 with a grade of C or higher. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): M1 903 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. Prerequisite: None 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): S5 900 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)

    The oral communication course combines communication theory with the practice of oral communication skills. The 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. Prerequisite: None 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): C2 900 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

Fourth Semester - 13-14 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)


  • *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.