Specialize in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
Prepare to make a positive difference in the lives of those who require early childhood special education by earning your Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education at Grand Canyon University. This degree program, which leads to initial teacher licensure, is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-education field. With a master’s in early childhood special education, graduates are prepared to successfully transition to a career in education.
This degree is offered by the College of Education. Aspiring ECSE teachers closely examine instructional and assessment methodologies, as well as the psychological, emotional and developmental needs of young children. Candidates will explore field experience opportunities in both inclusive learning environments and special education birth-pre-k and K-3 environments. CGU candidates are trained to serve as effective advocates who positively influence children, families and communities in which they teach.
The ECSE curriculum is aligned with the standards of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
Study Diverse Learning Abilities for Growth and Development
Children with learning differences need extra support to reach their full potential. Graduates of this degree program are prepared to apply evidence-based pedagogical methods that support young learners as they develop crucial academic and life skills. Students earning an early childhood special education degree will acquire the following core competencies:
- Understand instructional methodologies for teaching children STEM subjects, including inquiry-based and hands-on learning activities with an eye toward differentiated learning outcomes
- Use technology to support receptive and expressive language, early literacy development and communication methods
- Use data to assess, monitor and report on the progress of young children in light of their IFSPs and IEPs
- Know how to teach foundational skills to develop proficient readers
- Utilize community resources to advocate for children and their families
In addition, all students are required to complete practicum/field experiences and student teaching experiences in both general education and special education settings.
What’s the Difference Between Licensure and Non-Licensure Programs?
All states have established eligibility criteria for teachers, including educational and credentialing requirements. Students who graduate from an education degree program that leads to licensure are eligible to obtain a state license to teach in any public or private school. Students who graduate from a non-licensure program may still be eligible to teach in limited settings, which may include certain charter, private or early learning school environments.
This early childhood special education degree leads to dual certification teaching credentials in Arizona; the Early Childhood Special Education, Birth through Grade 3, and Early Childhood Education, Birth-Age 8 or Grade 3 certificates. Students who wish to teach in other states are responsible for checking licensure requirements, which can vary from state to state. Students who are not interested in pursuing teaching licensure may consider applying to GCU’s non-licensure Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education.
Advocate and Educate Others with Your Expertise
Early childhood special education is the key for giving every child a solid foundation for lifelong success. This master’s in early childhood special education prepares aspiring ECSE teachers to make a positive impact by working with children from birth through the third grade. Graduates may pursue teaching opportunities in public or private schools.