Early childhood education provides invaluable instruction and support to children during the critical period of three to six years of age. However, during these years, children with special needs, benefit from a level of expertise only an educator with an Early Childhood Special Education Approval can provide.
Our Department at Northeastern Illinois University currently offers the Early Childhood Special Education Approval. While this program is not a licensure program, it is designed to ensure those educators with the approval are well prepared to work with children with special needs. Interested students must hold a valid Illinois Professional Educator License endorsed for either (a) standard early childhood (0 - grade 3) or (b) standard special pre-school - age to 21 endorsed LBS I or standard elementary and standard secondary endorsed LBS I.
Admission procedures and requirements
- Contact the program advisor for course approval/authorization
- Provide evidence of Illinois Professional Educator License (formerly State Certification), endorsed for
- either (a) standard early childhood (0 to grade 3) or
- (b) standard special pre-school to age 21 endorsed LBS I or
- standard elementary and standard secondary endorsed LBS I
- Apply for admission as a graduate student-at-large for students not currently enrolled in a Northeastern Illinois University program
Required coursework (15 credit hours)
- SPED 502 Language and Cognition (3 credits) OR
- ECED 408 Language Acquisition and Intervention Strategies for Teachers of Young Children (3 credits)
- ECED 403 Early Childhood Assessment (3 credits)
- SPED 481 Principles of Diagnosis and Teaching the Child with Special Needs Aged 3 to 6 Years (3 credits)*
- SPED 482 Assessment and Intervention with Infants and Toddlers Who are at Risk or Handicapped (3 credits)*
- SPED 483 Working with Parents of Young Children with Special Needs (3 credits)*
*Offered as online courses
Program Maintenance Criteria
Candidates must meet acceptable evaluations of dispositions and professional behaviors as listed in Department guidelines.