Associate in Arts Teaching Degree/Special Education

Curriculum EDU.SPT.AAT (U213P)
(63.5 semester hours required)

The Associate of Arts in Teaching Special Education provides students with the program equivalent of the first two years of most four-year college teacher education programs in special education. Students should check individual school requirements before completing the curriculum as outlined. The degree consists of general education courses, professional education courses and courses in the special education major area. These courses encompass the eleven Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, the Core Technology Standards, the Core Language Arts Standards and all appropriate Special Education Standards. Students must also pass the Illinois Basic Skills test to earn the AAT in Special Education and develop a portfolio reflecting the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards. AAT students are advised to complete the degree prior to transfer. Transfer students obtaining the AAT Special Education degree will be on "equal footing" with native four-year institution students when seeking admission to an upper-division Special Education degree program. Admission into baccalaureate degree programs is competitive and most senior institutions require a GPA of 2.5 or higher. A "C" or better is required in all coursework at Triton College and senior institutions. Completion of these courses alone does not guarantee admission into the senior institution.

Degree Requirements:

  • Successful completion of the Illinois Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). It is recommended that students take the Basic Skills Test prior to their accumulation of 45 semester hours of credit. A student must pass the ITBS prior to being awarded an AAT degree. Official Illinois Test of Basic Skills test results must be submitted to the college prior to graduation.
  • Initiation of standards-based professional portfolio. A standards-based professional portfolio is an outcome of our EDU 207◊, Introduction to Education class. A passing grade on this portfolio is a requirement to successfully complete this class. This portfolio addresses all IPTS so that the student will continue to collect, after EDU 207◊, all artifacts that represent successful completion of IPTS, throughout the degree. This will be viewed with the student and education counselor or chairperson at their semester meetings.
  • Students must complete a "C" or better in all coursework in the AAT Special Education Degree.
  • Evidence of appropriate professional dispositions. (attached "Assessment of Dispositions" evaluation form will be completed and enter into student’s portfolio for each class and lab placement and reviewed by the Education Department chairperson and Education counselor on a semester basis.
  • All courses in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and Physical and Life Sciences must be IAI approved as designated in the course catalog description. At least one of the Social and Behavioral Science courses must meet the states Human Diversity requirement. These courses are designated by (*) in the college catalog.

Last Update Effective: 8/25/13

AAT Degree Prerequisite Courses:

General Education/Communications (nine semester credits)


RHT 101

Freshman Rhetoric and Composition I



RHT 102

Freshman Rhetoric and Composition II



SPE 101

Principles of Effective Speaking


Note: Grade of "C" or better is an IAI requirement for RHT 101 and RHT 102

Remaining General Education:

General Education/Humanities & Fine Arts1 (nine semester credits)

(at least one course from Humanities and one course from Fine Arts (a Non-Western course is required) Courses selected must be IAI approved.)

General Education/Social & Behavioral Sciences1 (nine semester credits)

(courses must be selected from at least two disciplines. Courses selected must be IAI approved.)

Suggested course:


PSC 150

American National Politics


General Education/Mathematics (seven semester credits)


MAT 117

Math for Elementary School Teachers II



MAT 170

Elementary Statistics


General Education/Physical & Life Sciences (eight semester credits)

(at least one course selected from Life Sciences and one lab course from Physical Sciences. Both courses must be IAI approved.)

(refer to NOTE under AAT Science Core Courses)

AAT Special Education Required Core Courses (21.5 semester credits)


EDU 105

Technology for Educators



EDU 200

Introduction to Special Education



EDU 206

Human Growth and Development



EDU 207

Introduction to Education



EDU 215

Educational Psychology


Select two of the following:


EDU 110

Diversity of Schools and Society



EDU 208

Introduction to the Foundations of Reading



EDU 209

Language Development


Total semester hours required for AAT in Special Education degree


See EDU course descriptions and IAI codes; MAT course descriptions and IAI codes.


  • IAI approved general education courses are clearly indicated in the description section of the college catalog.
  • A college may require a greater number of general education hours than the model suggests, but consideration should be given to the total number of hours in the degree and the possibility that additional hours may not be accepted in transfer.
  • A Foreign Language is a requirement at some institutions. Consult advising staff.

1Human Diversity is required; student needs to take one course with an asterisk, from Humanities & Fine Arts or Social & Behavioral Sciences as noted in the Associate in Arts degree.

Chairperson: Mary Ann Olson, Ext. 3978