Early Childhood Special Education Program
The early childhood special education (ECSE) program leads to a Colorado teacher license or added endorsement in ECSE specialist. The program prepares leaders who will enrich the life experience of young children (ages birth to 8 years) with delays and disabilities and their families through a variety of professional roles.
The ECSE program is interdisciplinary in focus, drawing on university resources and the clinical expertise of various community professionals and partners. There is a strong emphasis on fieldwork and practicum experiences. Field experiences are a part of each course and provide an opportunity for each student to gain knowledge, abilities and dispositions while interacting with children, families, program staff and community agencies. Practicum experiences are designed for students to apply knowledge and practice skills in a closely supervised environment.
Curriculum and Program Requirements
Semester Hour Requirements
ECSE specialist license: 36 semester hours
Master’s degree plus ECSE specialist license: 42 semester hours
Master’s degree plus ECSE specialist added endorsement: 36 semester hours
ECSE specialist added endorsement: 24 semester hours
The early childhood special education program provides specialized preparation in:
- language and literacy development,
- child growth and development,
- teaching and learning approaches with young children,
- learning, development and education grounded in culture, context and identity of young children,
- research methods for education,
- early childhood curriculum and program development for inclusive classrooms,
- collaborative program development and supports for children with families and communities at the center,
- leadership of programs and early childhood professional for practice, advocacy, and social change,
- screening and assessment of young children,
- individualized and systematic supports for children diagnosed with disabilities,
- social emotional competence and classroom supports for challenging behaviors,
- working as a participatory member of a transdisciplinary team,
- high and low incidence disabilities,
- education supports for children diagnosed with disabilities or chronic illness.
For more information on coursework and plans of study, please contact an academic advisor in the School of Education and Human Development.
Fieldwork and Practicum Requirements
For the ECSE specialist initial license, a total of 650 hours of fieldwork/practica is required. Approximately 200 hours of fieldwork are associated with course assignments; 450 hours of intense, culminating practica occur toward the end of the second year of study. Students seeking an added endorsement in ECSE specialist complete 450 hours of practicum experiences.