Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
Concentration: Early Childhood Special Education (BA)
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Overview
Purdue University Northwest’s bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in early childhood special education allows you to 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.
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Curriculum
As a student in the early childhood special education concentration, you’ll take a balance of general education courses, College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences core courses and early education courses. 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
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Highlights
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.
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Outcomes
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.
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Career Paths
An early childhood special education concentration from PNW prepares you for a number of careers in the field, including:
- Primary grade (K-3) teacher
- Head Start lead teacher
- Child care center director
- Developmental therapist
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Beyond the Classroom
You’ll have many opportunities to get involved in on- and off-campus activities, including:
- PEL Fellows
- Library Sprouts
- PNW Aspiring Educators
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Employers
Graduates of this program are employed in organizations and companies like:
- La Porte Community Schools
- School City of Hobart
- Duneland School Corporation
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Scholarships
In addition to the scholarships available to all PNW applicants, students seeking an early childhood special education concentration may also apply for program-specific scholarship awards, such as:
- Diane Nicole Huntington Memorial Scholarship
- Meredith and Helen Tom Scholarship
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Accreditation
All of the Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) at Purdue University Northwest are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Whether through friendships, professors, field experience or campus organizations, PNW has provided me the opportunity to make connections, enabling me to achieve my goals while providing opportunities I would not have had otherwise.
Purdue University Northwest has provided me with the experiences and professors that I needed to be prepared for my own classroom. I loved the small class sizes and how personable my professors were. Overall, I loved my college experience!
Purdue University Northwest recognized among top education programs for literacy preparation in teaching
Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) undergraduate program in Elementary Education received recognition from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) for its rigorous preparation of future educators in how to teach reading.
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.
Geoff Schultz served as a professor and department head in undergraduate teacher preparation. He taught for nineteen years at PNW before his retirement in 2022, and he is also a trained CAEP board examiner.
Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Education with a Concentration in Early Childhood Special Education at PNW
Purdue University Northwest’s early childhood special education concentration enables you to engage in experiences and coursework that prepare you for the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s classrooms.
To see how a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in special education from PNW opens doors, from classrooms to leadership, take the next step today!