Department of Language, Literacy and Special Populations

Acting Chair: Melinda Miller (936) 294-1357

Assistant Chair: Diana Nabors

Faculty: Burcu Ates, Helen Berg, Amanda BoschLeonard Breen, Corinna Cole, Alma Contreras-VenegasDonna Cox, Patricia Durham, Catherine GeorgeHannah Gerber, Barbara GreybeckCarlene Henderson, Elizabeth LasleySharon Lynch, Joyce McCauley, Melinda Miller, Diana Nabors, Mary Petron, Debra Price, Michael SkivingtonNancy Stockall, Phillip Swicegood, Baburhan Uzum, Kristina VargoNancy Votteler, Joan Williams

Academic Programs  


  • Close working relationship with faculty
  • Wide offering of field-based classes
  • Field experience in a variety of diverse settings
  • High pass rate on the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES)
  • Courses taught on-campus and, at the University Center and online

Suggested Minors

  • Special Education can be designated as a minor for other degree programs
  • SPE Minor requires SPED 2301, SPED 3302, SPED 3305, SPED 3304, SPED 3303, SPED 3301
  • Early Childhood many be designated as a minor for the Interdisciplinary Studies degree. This route may be of interest to candidates who wish to work in various early childhood settings.  This minor does not lead to Texas teacher certification.

Career Opportunities

  • Bilingual Education and Special Education are both high-need areas
  • The state of Texas emphasizes the need for highly qualified teachers in these areas.

Student Organizations

  • Bilingual Education Student Organization (BESO)
  • Sam Houston Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Sam Houston Student Council for Exceptional Children


  • Alberto Sandoval Bilingual Education Scholarship
  • Bess Osburn Reading Scholarship
  • Counihan Family Endowment
  • Frances Elmer Scholarship for Special Education
  • Jessie Lewis Scholarship for Reading
  • Laverne Warner Early Childhood Scholarship
  • TEACH Grants available for Bilingual Education and Special Education
  • Woman's Club of Houston Early Education Scholarship


Internships in public schools are permitted only for candidates who already have a baccalaureate degree. Undergraduate teaching candidates participate in the student teaching block as the capstone of their professional program sequence.

Program Specific Requirements

Required Field Experiences
Candidates for any teaching certificate participate in field experiences in the public schools. Requirements for these activities vary by course and are coordinated by the Field Experience office.

Admission to the Educator Preparation Program
Students seeking initial Teacher Certification will apply for admission to the Educator Preparation Program in their first Education class. Subsequent program specific requirements are explained below.

Admission to the Literacy Methods
All candidates for certification in grades EC-6 or 4-8, must participate in a one-semester Literacy Methods block, during the semester prior to the IDS Content Methods block. Application for placement in EC-6 or 4-8 Literacy Methods takes place one semester prior to anticipated enrollment in the Literacy Block. Each candidate’s eligibility for placement is evaluated by the Department of Language, Literacy and Special Populations (LLSP). Eligibility at this transition point in the program is based on criteria which include full admission to the Educator Preparation Program, completion of all 1000 and 2000 level coursework and evidence of appropriate dispositions.  Attention to prerequisites as shown in the course descriptions is essential to progress toward completion.  Candidates in the EC6 program must take TESL 3303 concurrently with Literacy Methods (READ 3370, READ 3371, READ 3372).  EC-6 students must complete BESL 3301 before Literacy Methods.

Admission to the Special Education Block
Candidates seeking special education certification must apply for the 6-hour Special Education Block (SPED 4301 / SPED 4302).  Application for placement in the Special Education Block takes place one semester prior to anticipated enrollment. Each candidate’s eligibility for placement is evaluated by the Department of Language, Literacy and Special Populations (LLSP). This block of classes is usually taken the semester prior to IDS Content Methods. Prerequisites include SPED 2301, SPED 3302, and SPED 3304. Students can take SPED Block with Literacy Methods or the semester after Literacy Methods.

Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test
Candidates seeking certification in Bilingual Education must demonstrate Spanish language proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking on the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT).

Admission to Student Teaching
Student teaching is the culminating experience in a candidate’s preparation to become a teacher. Candidates should enroll in student teaching the final semester of their preparation program ( For candidates who seek certification in Special Education or Bilingual Education, specific student teaching courses and placements are required. Candidates registered for nine hours during the student teaching semester are considered by SHSU to be full-time students.

Sam Houston State Logo

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866)BEARKAT Member TSUS
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | Contact Web Editor | Last Modified:Language, Literacy and Special Populations | Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2016 - Sam Houston State University