Elementary Education: Early Childhood Special Education
Bachelor of Arts
You’ll develop specialized knowledge and skills for working with young children and their families, gaining hands-on expertise needed to launch a career in a variety of settings. Early childhood special education prepares you to work with both typically developing children and those with exceptionalities (birth through third grade).
Our program is responsive to the growing need for highly qualified early-childhood professionals in Indiana and beyond. PNW faculty actively promote the professionalization of early-childhood education and have strong connections with the regional network of child care centers, Head Start and school districts.
The Educator Preparation Program (EPP) at PNW follows both inTASC and CAEP accreditation standards, and early childhood courses align with CEC standards. Our curriculum includes courses in child development, literacy and special needs as well as hands-on classroom experience.
Start with an introduction to field-based classes and the fundamentals of working with children under age three.
- EDPS 27600 Young Children with Exceptional Needs
Interview for full admission into the Educator Preparation Program and expand your knowledge of the method and practice of teaching.
EDCI 30500 Curriculum and Programming for Young Children with Developmental Needs
EDCI 27600 Child, Family, School and Community Partnerships
Explore strategies for literacy and the development of creative learning activities in early childhood practicum.
- EDCI 36201 Literacy Instruction in K-3
- EDPS 40300 Early Intervention for Young Children with Developmental Needs
Conclude your studies with hands-on teaching experience. In your seventh semester, you’ll spend three days each week in the classroom before going on to a full-time student-teaching assignment during your final term.
- EDPS 40100 Professional Year Early Childhood Special Education
- EDCI 49700 Practicum in Early Childhood Special Education
Studying early childhood education with a special education concentration at PNW means you will be immersed in diverse early-learning settings right away. You’ll gain valuable experience, practice a variety of teaching strategies, observe young children and nurture their development. You will graduate eligible for the Indiana Initial Teaching License: PreK – Grade 3.
Because of the high demand for teachers who are qualified to meet the individual needs of exceptional students, our graduates are offered a broad variety of career opportunities. You can choose to teach in child care centers, K-3 primary grades or resource rooms in school districts across the country.
Funding opportunities available to Elementary Education students with an Early Childhood Special Education concentration include:
Beyond the Classroom
We encourage you to get involved in activities like:
- PEL Fellows
- Library Sprouts
- PNW Aspiring Educators
You’ll find many opportunities to make a difference for students in careers such as:
- Primary grade (K-3) teacher
- Head Start lead teacher
- Child care center director
- Developmental therapist
Our alumni are thriving in:
- La Porte Community Schools
- School City of Hobart
- Duneland School Corporation
All of the Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) at Purdue University Northwest are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Being a part of the School of Education has opened up other opportunities for me. I was able to become a student ambassador, which allowed me to help others in my community.
Meet the Faculty
Assistant Professor, Special Education/Early Childhood
Passmore teaches classes in early childhood special education and advocates for practices that promote the inclusion of young children with disabilities across all educational settings. Her research interests include supporting young children, teachers, and families through play-based social-emotional and behavioral supports within early childhood education.
Professor of Psychology and Special Education
Geoff Schultz is a professor in undergraduate teacher preparation, SOEC program chair, special education, SOEC faculty senate and budget chair CAEP board examiner.
Associate Professor of Education
LaVada Taylor is an Associate Professor of Education in the School of Education and Counseling. Her teaching and research interest are grounded in post colonialism and culturally relevant pedagogy.