The Social and Behavioral Sciences Department offers various education courses so that students can begin their program of study to become a teacher, but it offers an Associate of Arts in Teaching in Special Education (A.A.T. SP.ED.) degree for those students who want to transfer into a special education teacher program at a four-year college or university. The A.A.T. SP.ED. degree transfers as a package, but students should work with the education advisers to make sure that their program of study fits with the requirements of the transfer institution.
Students are admitted into the A.A.T. SP.ED. in both fall and spring semesters and can begin their coursework in education before applying to the program as long as they meet necessary prerequisites. The following is the admission procedure for the A.A.T. SP.ED. degree.
- All students must meet the following prerequisites prior to application:
- Complete the online admissions application for JJC. PDF and paper versions are also available.
- Send a copy of high school or GED transcripts to the JJC Admissions Office, Room J-1005.
- Take the COMPASS placement test.
- If indicated as necessary by the placement exam, a candidate must complete all required developmental courses with a C or better.
- Attend a special A.A.T. orientation session online. At this orientation session, the candidate will be assigned an education adviser through the JJC Counseling Department or by the education advisers.
- Each semester, all A.A.T. SP.ED. candidates are required to receive academic advising/counseling from a JJC counselor and/or adviser. At-risk students are identified and monitored so that tutoring and other support systems can be made available if required. Records of student field experiences and service experiences are documented and maintained through electronic portfolios, which the student will use to demonstrate achieved learning and skills when they transfer.
- To facilitate transfer into competitive teacher education programs, students will be required to achieve a GPA of 2.5 or higher to graduate with an A.A.T. SP.ED. Because some baccalaureate degree teacher education programs require a GPA higher than 2.5, candidates will be advised to determine the GPA required by their chosen transfer institution.
- A fingerprint background check is required of all teacher education candidates prior to beginning their field experiences. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older to be fingerprinted. During orientation, students will be informed of the process and provided with the required forms. No observers may be allowed in a K-12 school or other regulated setting unless they have passed a background check. For additional information or forms, candidates should contact an education adviser.
- Candidates must successfully pass the Illinois Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) to be granted an A.A.T. SP.ED. degree. Candidates will be advised to take the ITBS after completing their English and math courses, ideally before the end of a successful third semester. ITBS registration bulletins and reference materials are available on the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department bulletin board, J-Building, fourth floor. Materials with online resources, workshops, and remedial assistance are available to all teacher education candidates.