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Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education

Concentration: Early Childhood Special Education (BA)

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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).

School of Education and Counseling

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.

You can currently complete this degree at PNW’s Hammond campus or Westville branch campus.

Start with an introduction to field-based classes and the fundamentals of working with children under age three.

Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • 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.

Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

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.

Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • 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.

Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • 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.

PNW Lion Statue with a brick wall in the background Two students pose in commencement regalia in front of the Nils Building

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:

See All CHESS Scholarships

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).

Samantha "Emily" Feliciano

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.

Samantha “Emily” Feliciano, Special Education

Faith Norem headshot

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!

Faith Norem, Elementary Education

Meet the Faculty

Amanda Passmore

Amanda H. Passmore, Ph.D.

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

Geoff Schultz, Ed.D.

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.

LaVada Taylor Brandon Headshot

LaVada Taylor, Ph.D.

Professor of Education

LaVada Taylor is a Professor of Education in the School of Education and Counseling. Her teaching and research interest are grounded in post colonialism and culturally relevant pedagogy.

Meet Professor Taylor

A student sits on a couch and smiles. There is a laptop and notebook on the couch next to them and many students sitting and walking around in the background of the photo

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!

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