College of Education > Academics > Graduate Programs > Licensure Programs & Endorsements > Special Education LBSI licensure

Special Education LBSI licensure

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 two-year Special Education (LBSI) licensure 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 5-21 in a variety of settings. It is designed for those who want to be excellent teachers, strong collaborators and advocates for students with disabilities.

Educators who earn a LBSI license 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 (LBSI) licensure program are a subset of courses in the Special Education for Teachers concentration in the Literacy and Specialized Instruction master's degree program. Students who complete the licensure program have the option to continue coursework in Special Education if they want to eventually earn a full master's degree in this area.

Interested in enrolling in this program? Learn more about its admission requirements, and find out how to apply​.


The Special Education (LBSI) Licensure program leads to an LBSI license which can be added to an Illinois teaching license.

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, all classes in the Special Education (LBSI) Licensure program meet in the evening at DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus or 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 Special Education (LBSI) Licensure program includes 32 quarter hours of coursework in Literacy and Specialized Instruction, as well as two summer practicum experiences (8 quarter hours.) Each practicum involves six full weeks of intensive, supervised clinical experience in a cooperating school that operates an extended school year program.

Want to learn more? For detailed information about program requirements, see the official DePaul University Graduate Catalog.

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