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 special needs 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. There is a strong emphasis on fieldwork and practicum experiences in both regular and special education concentrations. 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 to allow 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 training in:
- language development and disorders
- child growth and development, differences and disorders
- learning approaches with young children
- measurement and evaluation
- multicultural education
- research methods and current issues
- early childhood curriculum and program development for inclusive classrooms
- working collaboratively with parents and families
- program administration/leadership
- screening and assessment of young children
- intervention strategies with infants and preschoolers
- behavior management
- working as a member of the transdisciplinary team
- cognitive and socio-emotional development and disorders
- treatment of children who have neurological impairment and chronic illness
- challenging behaviors and autism
For more information on coursework and plans of study, please contact an 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.