A Master of Arts (M.A.) degree with a concentration in education can by earned by completing a program of study in the following programs: Multicategorial Special Education; Secondary Education or Special PK-12; and Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL). Elementary Education and alternative licensure candidates earn a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).
Individual program descriptions and requirements are described below:
- Completion of the number of credit hours of graduate credit as required by each graduate program of study (see specific program requirements)
- Completion and approval of the required research study in EDGCC 514. (Candidates enrolled in the secondary education and the individualized program may, after consultation with the program chair, elect a two-course option in lieu of EDGCC 514 to complete graduate requirements).
- Completion of specific program requirements, including field or clinical experiences.
- Completion of general education requirements and courses in the teaching field, when applicable.
- Completion of all required coursework with a minimum grade of C and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0.
- Successful completion of benchmark and program requirements approved by the faculty.
State of Illinois Licensure Requirements
Upon completion of their graduate programs, candidates who wish to apply for a state of Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) in teaching will communicate with the Education Department Licensure Officer.
Each person applying for an elementary, secondary, special education, or alternative license programs must meet the following requirements:
- The Illinois Licensure Testing System's (ILTS) content area test must be taken and passed prior to the start of student teaching. (Note: In special education, two content area tests are required).
- Candidates who are not already licensed teachers who will be applying for a teaching license are required to pass Educative Teaching Performance Assessment (edTPA) before they will be eligible for a professional educator license.
Complete information on the testing program is found on the Illinois Licensure Testing System website.
Programs offered through the Education Department provide opportunities for candidates to apply the knowledge, skills and dispositions required for effective professional practice through planned, sequenced and assessed field experiences. The transfer of pedagogical knowledge and skill to professional practice is accomplished through pre-student teaching field experiences and student teaching at the initial licensure level, and through internship and practicum experiences at the advanced licensure levels.
Field experiences are intended to provide candidates with opportunities to broaden and deepen their understanding of educational theory and integrate this theory with educational practice. Therefore, these experiences:
- connect candidates with the community and provide them with learning experiences in a variety of educational environments with exposure to diverse cultures, encouraging candidates to embrace and celebrate the diversity of students in American schools;
- are connected with professional courses and are designed to sequentially complement and expand upon University course content;
- are assigned by the Coordinator of Field Experiences and take place in selected educational settings that have written contracts with the University, which serve to develop a professional relationship;
- typically take place during daytime school hours;
- recognize CAEP/NCATE standards and follow Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Education Department policies.
The field experiences associated with each program are noted as part of the course descriptions. Field experiences completed at other institutions cannot be transferred to the professional program of study at Saint Xavier University. A minimum number of clock hours of field experiences are required of all candidates prior to clinical practice (student teaching).
Criminal Background Investigations
State law (Illinois School Code 5/10-21.9) prohibits a school board from employing a person convicted of certain felony, sex, narcotics and drug convictions. The Education Department has made a commitment to local area schools to require fingerprinting/criminal background investigations for all candidates in programs with field experience.
Progression through the program will be suspended for failure to comply with the background check requirements. It is the responsibility of the candidate to refer to the Illinois School Code and/or seek legal counsel if it is suspected that his/her criminal history may bar licensure or employment in a school district or agency.
Graduate Students and CLEP Credit
Graduate students applying for Illinois state licensure may elect to take the college level examination program (CLEP) examinations. If a passing score is attained, these courses and the credit hours earned will be listed on the Saint Xavier University transcript. This policy applies only to graduate students seeking licensure in Illinois (CLEP credit may be earned only to fulfill general education requirements for licensure).
Approved Programs Leading to Licensure
The Education Department operates the following programs approved by the Illinois State Board of Education, through which graduates are licensed in the state of Illinois:
- Elementary Education, 1-6;
- Secondary Education,
- Art PK-12
- Biology 9-12
- English 9-12
- Mathematics 9-12
- Social Science 9-12
- Music PK-12
- Spanish PK-12
- Multicategorical Special Education; LBS I K-age 21
- Alternative licensure in,
- Early Childhood Education, Birth to grade 2
- Elementary Education, 1-6
- Middle Level Education,
- Language Arts, 5-8
- Mathematics, 5-8
- Sciences, 5-8
- Social Science, 5-8
- Secondary Education,
- Art, PK-12
- Biology, 9-12
- Chemistry, 9-12
- Computer Science, 9-12
- English/language arts, 9-12
- History, 9-12
- Mathematics, 9-12
- Music, PK-12
- Physics, 9-12
- Political science, 9-12
- Spanish, PK-12
Approved Non-Licensure Programs
- Technology Specialist
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Bilingual Education (BE)
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Approved Endorsement/Approval Programs
- Learning Behavior Specialist I
- ESL Education
- Bilingual Education
- Early Childhood Special Education (preK)
Please note that some programs not leading to licensure can/do include endorsements for the State of Illinois.
Change of Program
Candidates whose professional goals change and who subsequently decide to switch to another program must formally request a change of program. This request must be in written form and be addressed to the Chair of the Education Department. Upon approval from the Department Chair of the Education Department, the candidate may change to a new education program.