Special Education, B.A.

Learn How to Promote Students' Maximum Academic Learning and Social-Emotional Growth

Our program is grounded in a disability studies/inclusive education perspective. We believe all students irrespective of ability, class, gender identity, or race/ethnicity should have access to a rich quality general education curriculum. Through coursework and field experiences, you will learn how to teach students in light of their individual skills and interests as well as their family backgrounds/cultures.

Along with personalized learning through your general education courses, you will learn ways of thinking about and approaching education as well as specific instructional strategies for students who receive special education supports and services.  Our courses include the following topics:

  • Disability Studies in Education
  • Instructional Technology for Teaching and Learning
  • Instructional Planning and Performance-based Assessment
  • Characteristics of Learners who are identified for support under specific disability categories
  • Teaching Methods for Specific Content Areas as well as Across Content Areas

Whether you plan on teaching students who are eligible for Special Education supports and services throughout your career, pursuing graduate studies to become an administrator,, or helping to develop special education curriculum, obtaining your Professional Educator’s License with a Learning Behavior Specialist endorsement for students from Kindergarten through post-secondary transition programs at Lewis is your perfect first step.

Why Lewis?

  • Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
  • Humanistic whole person approach to education, grounded in social justice and transformative educational experiences, guided by the work of St. John Baptist de La Salle.
  • Coursework and fieldwork meet all state, national and professional standards, while establishing strong theoretical knowledge in the discipline.
  • Strong reputation for job placement following graduation.
  • Well-qualified faculty with experience in K-21 settings.
  • Small, personalized learning community-- based on small class size and personal attention.
  • Recognized as a Top Tier University by U.S. News & World Report.

School Districts Are Looking For Special Educators With Particular Skills
Employers are interested in special education professionals who understand how to support students in both general and special education settings. In the special education undergraduate program at Lewis University, you will pursue new ideas and promising practices such as co-teaching and multi-tiered systems of support as well as develop skills in universal design and research-based instructional strategies. You will learn to advocate on behalf of your future students and teach them to do the same.

Market Demand

Currently, there is high demand for special education teachers across the United States and in Illinois. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic Occupational Outlook, employment of special education teachers nationally is projected to grow 6 percent through 2024.

A recent 2016 survey by the Illinois Association of Superintendents of Schools (IARSS) found that districts across Illinois were in need of special educators.

Start customizing your Special Education program curriculum today!

Admission Requirements

To be accepted for admission in the Special Education program at Lewis University, candidates must meet the following credentials:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Completion of an introductory level methods course
  • Completion of the Illinois Basic Skills test, Test of Academic Proficiency or score of 22 on the ACT plus Writing Exam in the last ten years

For additional information, contact the Office of Admission at (815) 836-5250 or admission@lewisu.edu.