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Candidate working with client in the William Itkin Children's Service Center.
Candidate working with client in the William Itkin Children's Service Center.

Every child should have the optimal academic and social experience, particularly a child with special needs. Therefore, educators must be fully prepared to plan, collaborate, and address the diverse needs of children with special needs. 

Northeastern is proud to offer the first online endorsement program offered by an Illinois public institution.

The online Focus LBS I Program is designed for educators who hold current Illinois state teaching credentials and would like to obtain a full Illinois LBS I teaching endorsement. This comprehensive and rigorous pathway allows educators to earn LBS I endorsement without committing to a degree program.

The Focus LBS I course sequence provides educators with formal instruction on critical special education topics and skills, including positive behavior supports, response to intervention, and working with students from diverse backgrounds. All content courses are offered exclusively online with exception to the final practicum course.

Admission procedures and requirements

  • Contact the Program Advisor for program entry
  • Provide evidence of Illinois Professional Educator License (Types 03, 04, 09, or 10)
  • Provide evidence of clearance of federal criminal background check as required by the University and cooperating school districts
  • Apply for admission as a Graduate Student for students not currently enrolled in a Northeastern program

Required coursework (*27 credit hours)

  • SPED 501: Development and Characteristics of Children and Youth with Disabilities (3 credits) - Online
  • SPED 503: Historical, Philosophical, & Legal Foundations of Special Education (3 credits) - Online
  • SPED 504: Principles of Education Assessment in Special Education (4 credits) - Online
  • SPED 506: Technology in Special Education (3 credits) - Online
  • SPED 509: Methods I: Specialized Curriculum and Methods in Special Education (3 credits) - Online
  • SPED 510: Methods III: Strategies of Behavior Management (3 credits) - Online
  • SPED 511: Alternative Programming and Curriculum in Special Education (3 credits) - Online
  • SPED 520: Assessment Lab: Applied Diagnostic Assessment (2 credits) - Online
  • SPED 514B: Internship III: Applied Teaching in Special Education (3 credits) - In-person practicum. See Educator Internship.

*Please note, the LBS I Focus Program Committee may require additional courses based on the evaluation of the candidate’s program entry.


In the final semester of the Focus LBS I program, enrolled educators perform a required internship placement (Special Education 514B: Applied Teaching in Special Education) in the William Itkin Children's Service Center on the Northeastern main campus. This placement provides educators the opportunity to design and implement principles of special education services, including formal assessment, designing diagnostic instruction, instructional technology, and summative reporting, all under the guidance of Northeastern faculty.

Program Maintenance Criteria

Candidates must complete all requisitie course and field work and meet acceptable evaluations of dispositions and professional behaviors

Illinois state endorsement

In addition to the aforementioned courses, enrolled educators must successfully pass requisite state exams for full endorsement, including Special Education General Curriculum Test (#163), Learning Behavior Specialist (#155), and Assessment of Professional Test (#104). Note, effective September 2014, the Assessment of Professional Test (#104) requirement will be changed to #188, which replaces all four levels (#101-104). Additional state exams may be required depending on individual educator's valid credentials.

Contact Information

Ebony Jiminez Lee, MA LPC NCC (Focus Program Advisor)
(773) 442-5933

Program Overview Flyer | Download

Special Education

Main Office Contact

T 773 442-5580

Main Office Contact

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