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Special Education (Focus Program - Learning Behavior Specialist I) Online Educator, Endorsement

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The online Focus LBS I Program offered at Northeastern 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.

Program courses focus on critical special education pedagogy and skills, including positive behavior supports, response to intervention, and working with students from diverse backgrounds. Designed to meet the scheduling needs of current classroom educators, all content courses are delivered exclusively online with a final in-person practicum course conveniently hosted at the William Itkin Children's Service Center on the Northeastern main campus. Additionally, enrolled educators living 50 miles outside the University radius may complete the in-person practicum course at a school of their arrangement. See Educator Internship description below.*

Upon completion of the Focus LBS I Program, candidates are eligible for the LBS I Endorsement (P-21) on an existing Professional Educator License (PEL).

Department Website

Admission to the Program 

  • Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
  • Submit evidence of Illinois Professional Educator License (Types 03, 04, 09, or 10).
  • Provide evidence of cleared federal criminal background check as required by the University and cooperating school districts, including Chicago Public Schools.
  • Once admission requirements are successfully met, contact the Program Advisor for program entry information and an appropriate sequence plan.


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

Educator Internship

In the final semester of the Focus LBS I program, enrolled educators perform a required internship placement (SPED 514B - Internship III: Applied Teaching in Special Education) in the William Itkin Children's Service Center on the Northeastern main campus. Candidates who currently reside beyond a 50 mile radius from the University may have the option of completing the practicum experience at their present school site. The practicum provides educators the opportunity to design and implement principles of special education services, including formal assessment, designing diagnostic instruction, instructional/assistive technology, and summative reporting, all under the guidance of Northeastern faculty.

Course Schedule

Students enter the Focus LBS I program as a cohort; the program can be completed in one year and one semester. Contact the program's advisor to discuss a schedule that fits your needs.




SPED 501 SPED 504 SPED 509
SPED 503 SPED 506 SPED 510



SPED 511


SPED 520    

Licensing Requirements 

In addition to the aforementioned courses, enrolled educators must successfully pass requisite state exams for full endorsement, including the Special Education General Curriculum Test (#163), Learning Behavior Specialist (#155), and Assessment of Professional Teaching (#188). Additional state exams may be required depending on individual educator's valid credentials.

Careers & Employment 

Graduates of the Focus LBS I program will be prepared to work with P-21 students with exceptionalities across various disability categories within the state of Illinois. 

Program Contact Information 

Ebony Jiminez Lee, M.A., L.P.C., N.C.C.
Program Advisor
Phone: (773) 442-5933


Prospective applicants should note that the Focus LBS I program is a non-degree program, therefore may not be eligible for some federal and state financial aid. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for complete information.


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