The early childhood special education (ECSE) program fulfills the Colorado Department of Education program requirements of the ECSE specialist within the state of Colorado. If you do not hold a current teaching license, information about ECSE licensure is available here. 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 program focuses on building and supporting learning and development of all children across inclusive settings in the natural environments where they live, grow and learn. The program emphasizes family-centered practices, culturally sustaining teaching and is inspired by the potential of all children and families. It 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.
The early childhood special education licensure 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
- early childhood curriculum and program development for culturally and linguistically diverse and inclusive classrooms
- collaborative program development including supports for children with families and communities
- 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 identified with disabilities
- classroom supports and instructional strategies to promote social emotional competence
- working as a collaborative member of a transdisciplinary team
- high and low incidence disabilities
- education supports for children identified with disabilities
Classes are listed in recommended order. Please contact your faculty advisor to map out an individual plan of study. Prerequisites: Please note that a recent Child Development course as well as an Initial Practicum are prerequisites, determined on an individual basis at admissions.
|ECED 5010||Curriculum in Early Childhood Education||3|
|ECED 6100||Perspectives of Disability||3|
|ECED 5200||Screening and Assessment of Young Children||3|
|ECED 5080||Language and Literacy in Young Children||3|
|ECED 6200||Early Intervention Strategies||3|
|ECED 5070||Social Competence and Classroom Supports||3|
|Practicum Courses 1||6|
|Total credit hours are divided between three practicum levels|
|Early Childhood Special Education Infancy Practicum|
|Early Childhood Special Education Preschool Practicum|
|Early Childhood Special Education Primary Practicum|
Students must complete ECED 5010, 5070, 5080, 5200, 6100, and 6200 prior to enrolling in any practicum course, or have faculty permission to take their first practicum course concurrent to their final prerequisite course.
Requirements to add a MA
ECSE Endorsement (requirements above) plus MA
|ECED 5060||Working with Families and Communities||3|
|ECED 5040||Administrative Seminar||3|
|RSEM 5080||Research In Schools||3|
|Messing About with STEM|
|Primary Literacy for Diverse Learners, Pre K-Grade 3|
|Dual Language Learners Learning and Development|
|ECSE Endorsement plus MA - 36 credit hours|
Fieldwork and Practicum Requirements
For the ECSE specialist added endorsement, a total of 800 hours of fieldwork/practica is typically required. Approximately 300 hours of fieldwork are associated with course assignments; 500 hours of intense, culminating practica occur toward the end of the second year of study. Depending on previous experience, up to one credit of practicum may be waived in the added endorsement program. Students must pass three required Praxis exams (5691, 5024, & 5205) prior to enrolling in their final practicum. These exams are required by the Colorado Department of Education for ECSE licensing. More information located here.
Program Requirements and Courses
To complete the Early Childhood Education program and earn a master's degree and/or endorsement, students must complete the appropriate course work as outlined. All courses require a grade of B- or better to count to the MA or endorsement and a 3.0 minimum GPA is required for graduation.
Courses are offered in various formats, including hybrid, remote or asynchronous online classes. During the fall and spring semesters, in-person courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening and meet for three hours, eight times over a 16-week semester. In the summer semester, eight week sessions are offered.
For practicing full-time educators, we recommend taking two courses each fall and spring semester, and up to two courses each summer. If you prefer a less intensive course load, we recommend one course each fall and spring semester. Please review your preferred plan with your faculty advisor.
Students must complete their programs within seven years, maintaining a GPA of 3.0. Students typically take four-six courses each calendar year. Failure to enroll over three contiguous semesters will result in a requirement to submit readmission materials.