College of Education > Academics > Counseling & Special Education > Licensure & Endorsements > Learning Behavior Specialist 1 (LBS1) Endorsement

Learning Behavior Specialist 1 (LBS1) Endorsement

Special educators are exceptional teachers who have a deep understanding of students with disabilities and a repertoire of effective instructional strategies that enable them to help students reach their maximum potential. Special educators also mentor other teachers, manage teams, coach paraprofessionals and work closely with parents.

The nine-month Special Education Learning Behavior Specialist 1 (LBS1) Endorsement program is designed to prepare currently licensed teachers for new roles as collaborators in specialized instruction and as advocates for students with disabilities. The program addresses the essential knowledge, skills and dispositions required to work with students with both high-incidence and low-incidence disabilities from ages five to 21 in a variety of settings, with an emphasis on helping them succeed in the general education curriculum.

Educators who earn a LBSI endorsement may work as special education teachers in urban and suburban, public and private schools, and private practice and private learning centers provide other career options. A critical shortage of special education teachers makes job opportunities plentiful.

Courses in the Special Education Learning Behavior Specialist 1 (LBS1) Endorsement program are a subset of courses in the Special Education for Teachers concentration in the Special Education master’s degree program. Students who complete the endorsement program have the option to continue coursework in Special Education if they want to eventually earn an LBSI license or an LBSI license and a full master’s degree in this area.

Are you interested in enrolling in this program? View its admission requirements and application instructions here or contact the College of Education’s Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-4405.


The Special Education (LBSI) Endorsement program leads to a LBSI endorsement from the Illinois State Board of Education, which can be added to an Illinois teaching license (PEL).

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, the Special Education (LBSI) endorsement program can be completed fully online. In addition, the program’s schedule is flexible, allowing students to enroll full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.

Program Requirements

The full Special Education (LBSI) endorsement program includes four courses (16 quarter hours) in Literacy and Specialized Instruction; however, students may apply to the Illinois State Board of Education for the LBSI endorsement (usually prior to beginning the program) and then take only the courses for which the state determines they are deficient (this may be fewer than the full number listed as the program’s requirements.)

Each course in this program requires 10 hours of field experience that can be completed in the candidates own school or classroom. Candidates who are not currently employed in a school will need to make arrangements to have access to a classroom where they can practice newly learned skills.

This program is typically eligible for financial aid. Please see this document and consult your advisor in the COE.

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