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Early Childhood Special Education

Student and african-american child - LG

Degree: Advanced Certificate
Credits: 15 credits (minimum)
Career Path: Teacher of children with disabilities in early childhood

Start Semester: Fall or Summer
Campus: Lincoln Center
Full-time/Part-Time: Both

Contemporary ideas and current mandates are redefining both teaching and learning. Teachers' responsibilities are changing. Teaching all children requires expertise in theory, practice, and advocacy. Ability, disability, development, reflective practice, family, and the law are included in this program. The early experiences of young children with special needs can have a dramatic impact on their success as learners. The goal of the Early Childhood Special Education program is three-fold:

  • The first is to provide teachers with knowledge of the development and assessment of young children with Special Needs (birth through grade 2).
  • The second is to provide teachers with expertise in intervention strategies, including impromptu modification, adaptation, differentiation, response to intervention (RTl), and guiding positive behavior.
  • The third is to prepare teachers to advocate for children, families and our profession. An eclectic knowledge base with dynamic leadership qualities plays significant roles in preparing special education teachers to meet the needs of all children with disabilities and their families.

This certificate program provides rigorous academic course work to develop the knowledge and skills needed for success as teachers/service providers for young children with disabilities. Coursework is coupled with hands-on practiced field observations and student teaching experiences that put ideas into action.

Scholarship Opportunities

ICO Project Scholarship (Improving Child Outcomes) in Early Childhood Special Education. Deadline: March 1, 2020.

  • Receive 70% tuition support ($14,070) (only pay an application fee, university fees, and 30% of the tuition)

Program Prerequisites

Applicants must have a master's degree and an initial or professional certification in early childhood or childhood education, or the equivalent.

We also offer Early Childhood Special Education MST and MSE programs.

Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

  • Summer (both sessions): April 15
  • Fall: June 30

Browse the Admissions section for more about the application and financial aid processes.

Fieldwork Requirements

Student teaching/practicum is mandatory; requirements are determined during academic advisement. Fieldwork may be embedded into your work schedule. Courses are scheduled in the evening. Current students/teachers are encouraged to apply.

Program Curriculum


GSE Admissions

Program Faculty
Dr. Chun Zhang
Marilyn Bisberg, MS Early Childhood Special Education