Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Early Childhood Special Education P-3, BAEd
What Is the Study of Early Childhood Special Education?
Early Childhood Special Education is a unique course of study that prepares prospective teachers and early interventionists to work with children from birth through eight years old and their families. Whether working as an early interventionist with infants or as a preschool teacher, early childhood special educators strive to empower families to meet their own needs as well as those of their child with a disability. The area of study is comprehensive and includes topics such as assessment, child development, strategies for working with families, developmentally appropriate practices used with young children, individualized interventions, as well as a the cultural, social, legal, and political contexts guiding the field.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
A considerable amount of research has documented the efficacy of early intervention in facilitating child development and minimizing the impact of disability. Thus, Early Childhood Special Educators are in a unique position to promote significant and positive change in the lives of young children as well as their families. Individuals who complete this major may choose from a variety of vocational options. Many pursue preschool teaching positions, and others work for a variety of agencies providing direct support to families, infants, and young children. Of course the instructional skills gained by majors are sound instructional practices that are useful with children with or without disabilities. If you enjoy working with young children
and their families in a collaborative manner to enhance child development, then consider this major.
How to Declare:
You may declare a major in Early Childhood Special Education upon admission to the Department
of Special Education.
Admission to the Elementary Education Professional Program is required before a student may begin taking
courses in the Professional Sequence. Requirements for consideration of an application include:
- Completion of at least 45 credits
- Cumulative overall, or last 45 credits, GPA of 2.75 or higher
- Satisfaction of the testing requirement: Pass the WEST-B
- English composition course with a grade of B- or higher
Experiences with children, strong interpersonal communication skills, and other skills helpful in teaching are given special emphasis. An essay, to be written on site, is required at the time of application.
Meeting the above criteria makes the applicant eligible for admission, but does not guarantee admission. For further information, visit Teacher Education Admissions, Miller Hall 150, call (360)650-3313 or visit the web site at www.wce.wwu.edu/admiss. See also: Elementary Education Professional Program Guide
Major — Early Childhood Special Education (P-3): 79-81 credits
- One course from:
- ECE 380 - Foundations of Literacy for Early Childhood Education
- ELED 480 - Literacy: Beginning Communicators
- ECE 390 - Infant and Toddler Practicum and Seminar
- ECE 391 - Preschool Practicum and Seminar
- ECE 430 - Creativity & Play in ECE
- ECE 431 - Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education
- ECE 432 - Social Studies for Early Childhood Education
- One course from:
- ECE 434 - Environments for Early Learning
- ECE 497 - Child Guidance Principles and Practices
- SPED 360 - Introduction to Special Education
- SPED 443 - Early Development Variations
- SPED 444 - Assessment and Intervention in Early Childhood Special Education
- SPED 460 - Interventions for Classroom Management
- SPED 466 - Assessment, Evaluation and Iep
- SPED 467 - Curriculum-Based Evaluation
- SPED 468 - Effective Collaboration with Families, Professionals and Community
- SPED 474 - Students With Complex Needs
- SPED 480 - Practicum II: Literacy I
- SPED 483 - Reading Instruction for Students With Special Needs
- SPED 484 - Designing Written Expression Interventions
- SPED 485 - Designing Math Interventions
- SPED 486 - Case Study Applications in Special Education
- One course from:
- CSD 251 - Introduction to Communication Disorders
- CSD 354 - Speech and Language Development in Children Professional Studies Core: 31 credits
- ECE 435 - Child Abuse and Neglect
- EDUC 301 - Educational Psychology I: Development and Individual Differences
- EDUC 302 - Educational Psychology II: Motivation, Learning and Assessment
- EDUC 310 - Education, Culture, and Equity
- IT 443 - Classroom Use of Instructional Technology (Special Education)
- MATH 381 - Teaching K-8 Mathematics I
- SPED 420 - Effective Teaching
- SPED 440 - School Practicum
Public School Practica and Internship — Special Education: 22 credits
- SPED 481 - Practicum III: Literacy 2
- SPED 482 - Practicum IV: Math
- SPED 496 - Internship - Exceptional Children/Early Childhood
The courses below satisfy GUR requirements and may also be used to fulfill major requirements.
There are no courses offered within this major that also satisfy GUR requirements.
- Special Education Pre-School Teacher
- Early Interventionist
- Inclusive Classroom Teacher
- Family Resource Coordinator
- Behavior Interventions Specialist