The Early Childhood Special Education program at [university name] is designed to prepare you for a teaching position in the field of early childhood special education. The program leads to the award of a master’s degree and New York state initial teacher certification in childhood (grades 1-6) and students with disabilities (birth-grade 6).
As an early childhood special educator, you will work with young children, birth through age 6, who have mild to severe disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. You will be eligible for careers in public schools as well as private schools, agencies, and other settings that serve children from birth through age 6.
Becoming an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher is a big responsibility, and it is also a rewarding career. This degree will help you develop close relationships with children, their parents, and community agencies as you work to give them the best care possible while they learn new skills.
The majority of this program centers on education courses that are designed to give you a solid foundation in the theory and practice of teaching. You’ll spend lots of time in our Erikson Institute classrooms observing and practicing what you have learned. In addition to classroom interaction, you will also be placed in the field for real-life experience with children who have special needs. You will continue to build your knowledge of how to respond to children with special needs as well as gain leadership skills.
The program prepares students for licensure in early childhood special education. It gives students the knowledge and skills to develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for children with special needs. IEPs are written plans that describe a child’s needs, outline goals for the child, and detail how to meet those goals.
The program gives students hands-on experience through practicums in classrooms and observation of children’s development in the university’s Child Development Laboratory. Courses cover topics like working with families of children with disabilities, curriculum planning for young children with disabilities, and functional assessment and intervention programming for young children with disabilities.
Studies show that the earlier a child’s developmental needs are met, the greater chance that child has for success throughout his or her lifetime. This is why it is important to have professionals in place who understand the needs of children with disabilities and how to help them achieve their full potential.
Students who take this degree program will become well-versed in various aspects of early childhood development, including child behavior and social skills, child health and safety, child nutrition, language acquisition and instruction, literacy and math. Students will also be able to apply these skills in the classroom by using appropriate methods of teaching and instruction. Students will be able to work one-on-one with children who have special needs in order to help them reach their full potential.
The Early Childhood Special Education degree program is a two-year program that builds upon the General Special Education degree. Students will complete 60 total credit hours of coursework and a student teaching internship in an early childhood special education classroom that serves children from birth through age eight.
In this online program, you’ll gain a strong foundation in child development, early childhood education, and special education. You’ll learn how to teach young children with disabilities while learning to differentiate instruction and build relationships with families and other early childhood educators.
When you graduate, you will have the skills needed to create and implement individualized plans that are tailored to your students’ needs—whether they’re working on cognitive development or functional living skills. You’ll also be prepared for the state-mandated exams required for certification as an early childhood special educator.
In the early childhood degree, you will learn how to develop and implement developmentally appropriate activities for young children with special needs. You’ll also be trained in the use of informal assessments, observation and documentation of child progress, data-based decision making, and collaboration with families. We use a hands-on approach to teaching that emphasizes active learning and collaboration between students and faculty.