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Reach Your Professional Potential

In schools across Illinois, teachers are being called upon to meet the needs of all students in an ever-changing classroom. Many students have special learning needs that extend beyond the skills of general classroom teachers, particularly students with disabilities. By earning your endorsement in special education, you have the opportunity to offer a positive, lasting impact on the lives of students with disabilities.

The first step toward a Learning Behavior Specialist I endorsement is to connect with Northeastern's College of Graduate Studies and Research and begin the application process.

Apply Today!

Learning Behavior Specialist I Focus Program

Northeastern Illinois University proudly offers the Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) Focus Program. Designed from the ground up for today’s classroom teacher, the Focus program prepares Illinois-licensed teachers for the pathway toward earning their LBS I state endorsement.

Classes taught by experienced Northeastern faculty are  offered in combination hybrid, campus and on-line courses. The program culminates in a final in-person practicum course at the William Itkin Children's Service Center that provides the opportunity to implement theory and skills into practice. 

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Program Benefits

This 27-credit hour teaching endorsement program:

  • Offers a comprehensive P-21 special education endorsement program from an accredited institution with a long-standing reputation for exemplary special education teacher preparation at a highly competitive cost.
  • Includes a supervised, technology-enhanced practicum experience that bridges the gap between research and practice.
  • Addresses all standards of the Council for Exceptional Children, the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Have you reached your professional potential as a teacher?

View Requirements

Contact Us

If you are interested in the program or have questions, please contact Special Education at (773) 442-5580 or Ebony Jiminez Lee, Program Advisor, at (773) 442-5933 or

You can also fill out our Request for Information form and you will be contacted soon.

Both prospective and current candidates should be aware the Focus program is a non-degree program and therefore, not eligible for most forms of federal and state financial aid. All candidates are encouraged to contact Northeastern Student Financial Aid Office at (773) 442-5016 or Illinois Student Assistance Commission ( to examine financial assistance options. As with any academic program, it is the candidate’s responsibility to secure tuition payment each semester.

Special Education

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T (773) 442-5580

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