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EIU Department of Special Education

Special education is a rewarding career. Eastern's special education program is a strong one, carrying an excellent state and national reputation. Nationwide, professionals prepared in special education are in high demand.

Eastern’s special education programs are designed to provide a dynamic core of information. This core functions as a base of specialization. Individuals completing one of the courses of study in this department provide professional expertise and leadership in the development and implementation of educational programs.

Why Choose EIU for Special Education

Field Experience

The field experience we offer prepares you for work with the full spectrum of learners with disabilities; this includes:

  • Autism
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Specific Learning Disabilities.

While part of our program, you'll be provided opportunities for field experiences in school and agency settings. You'll see individuals across the severity spectrum with mild to profound disabilities and from a wide age range of 5 to adulthood.

You don't go through these field experiences alone, either. They're supervised on-site by faculty members acting as a “coach” and evaluator. Field experiences are part of your coursework, with a minimum of 400 hours needed prior to student teaching.

Integrated Learning

Everything you'll learn in the classroom is integrated into what you'll experience in professional settings and activities.

Service is a major part of what we do. Our students have the opportunity to work with the Special Olympics, Polar Plunge, bingo nights, food drives, clothing drives, equestrian programs, "Best Buddies" program and many more great organizations.

Volunteer Opportunities

Candidates and faculty engage in volunteer activities and activities of the two student organizations. All candidates must complete 16 volunteer and 30 service learning hours.  In addition, candidates are expected to participate in other varied activities:

  • Participation in SCEC/Sigma Rho Epsilon
  • Dances, bingo and other organized activities with individuals with disabilities
  • Best Buddies/Big Brothers Big Sisters/Natural Ties
  • Polar Plunge and other fundraising events

Teaching Excellence

Faculties have been recognized for their excellence at the university, state and national levels.

Rewarding Career

Special education is a rewarding career. Eastern's special education program is a strong one, carrying an excellent state and national reputation. Nationwide, professionals prepared in special education are in high demand.

In Illinois and across the nation, we have a shortage of special education teachers. Candidates who are geographically flexible generally have no difficulty finding employment, and our most recent alumni survey shows 98 percent of graduates have secured full-time positions. The majority of the remaining 2 percent simply did not seek full-time employment.


Meet our Faculty

Related Pages

Student Council for Exceptional ChildrenSigma Rho EpsilonGraduate StudiesAccreditations

Contact Information

Department of Special Education

Eastern Illinois University
1212 Buzzard Building
Charleston, IL 61920
217-581-5315


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