Learning Behavior Specialist I - Special Education (Pre-K - Age 21)

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Dean Cantu
Department Chair

The Degree

Bradley’s Department of Teacher Education offers an undergraduate curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Learning Behavior Specialist I. The purpose of the program is to ensure students have the ability to act as an advocate for children and youth with special needs and programs in special education. Students in the program develop skills to comprehend how disabilities impact the cognitive, physical, emotional, social, and communication development of all students of all ages as well as to motivate individuals and groups to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.  Successful completion of the program leads to the State of Illinois Professional educator’s License (PEL) with an endorsement in LBSI.

National Recognition:

  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

State and National Accreditation:    

  • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) / Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)


Learning Behavioral Specialist majors may begin observing in local classrooms during the first semester of their freshman year and continue working with students in the school setting throughout their senior year.  This opportunity allows students to gain a better understanding of the teaching process and prepares them for student teaching during their final semester.

Bradley’s teacher education faculty aligns the curriculum with the Illinois Professional Teaching standards and with NCATE/CAEP to ensure that Bradley University coursework, projects, assignments, and experiences prepare students to obtain certification and licensure nationwide. Bradley faculty cultivate special relationships with eight professional development schools where the students may gain experience in the classroom during their field experiences, novice teaching or student teaching. 

Opportunities at Bradley:

Outside of the classroom, Bradley’s Learning Behavior Specialist majors enjoy many co-curricular and cooperative learning experiences, including College Live Text software.

Students are involved in campus chapters of professional organizations, including:

  • Golden Apple
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • National Education Association (NEA)

Students may also be involved in the Best Buddies Program or tutor children through America Reads.  Phi Delta Kappa and Pi Lambda Theta are two education honor societies that have chapters on the Bradley University campus.

Beyond Bradley:

Recent graduates have earned a 100 percent pass rate on the Illinois licensure tests. Bradley teacher education graduates enjoy a high job placement rate and find rewarding careers upon graduation. Graduate school opportunities at Bradley University consist of master’s degree programs in Leadership in Educational Administration, Human Development Counseling and Curriculum and Instruction - with focus areas in Special Education, Reading, and Multidisciplinary.