Short-term Emergency Approval in Special Education


Per the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), educators holding this approval are eligible to serve students with the following disabilities in grades K-12, regardless of the teaching license currently held: learning disabilities, mental retardation, physical disabilities, autism, and traumatic brain injuries. The approval is valid for three years, and before it expires, you should obtain the LBS I endorsement. Note: If you already hold an LBS I endorsement or approval, you are not eligible for the short-term emergency approval.

The short-term emergency approval process is available until June 30, 2026.

Application Process

Complete the ISBE application. You must meet the following requirements:

  • Applied to or been accepted into the NIU Special Education M.S.Ed. – LBS I licensure program.
  • Completed SESE 540 (Foundations of Special Education). This class covers the foundations and characteristics of students with disabilities.
  • Completed an assessment course such as ETR 434/524 (Assessing Students with Special Needs).
  • Include a letter outlining your future plans to include a plan of study, courses that you have taken and courses in which you are currently enrolled.
  • Include a note with your documents regarding how you would like them returned once reviewed.

Once the application package is complete, please deliver or mail to our SEED program coordinator:

Jeff Chan
Northern Illinois University
Department of Special and Early Education, Gabel 159
DeKalb, IL 60115

NIU Review Process

  • Once the application packages is received, the documents are checked by the program coordinator for completeness.
  • Once reviewed, a letter from the university is completed and the documents are taken to the university licensure officer and then Registration and Records to receive an official seal.
  • Documents are returned to the applicant to submit to the state.
    • Note: The state wants to see the original seal with the documents. It will not accept any form with photocopied or faxed signatures or seals.

The approval process will take approximately one to two weeks to complete at NIU.