Special Education: Early Childhood Special Ed (GC)


The program is for an individual seeking an initial teaching license, add-on teaching license, or additional knowledge in early childhood special education. Students work with an advisor to determine a plan of study for all courses needed.

Catalog Year




Major Credits


Total Credits




Career Cluster

Education and Training



Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

This program satisfies licensure-to-practice standards for Minnesota and may satisfy standards for other states or US territories.

Licensure/Certification Disclosure

Program Requirements

Restricted Electives

The Early Childhood Special Education Graduate Certificate is a variable certificate with 12 to 22 credits.

Core Competency Courses - Choose 9 - 18 Credit(s). Core Competency Courses. This certificate is specifically designed to meet MN Board of Teaching (BOT) Licensure Standards. A student admitted to this program must work with an advisor to determine the exact number of credits needed to meet MN BOT licensure standards.

Learners in this course will understand the historical foundations, legal issues and current issues related to the field of education and specifically to early childhood special education as they relate to the educational delivery system. The rights and responsibilities of families, students, teachers and schools within the context of IDEIA will be a focus for this course. Learners will engage in a field experience that exposes them to different educational settings serving young children with developmental needs.

Prerequisites: none

This course will focus on applying current recommended practices with infants and toddlers with developmental needs within the family context. Students will learn how to gather information using the Routines-Based Interview, use assessment information to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)/Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and how to structure home visits to address the family¿s priorities. This class will teach students how to encourage parent-child interactions both during the home visit and on an ongoing basis that will support the child¿s development. In addition, students will learn how to provide services to infants and toddlers using a transdisciplinary approach.

Prerequisites: none

This course emphasizes core skills necessary for early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers to conduct developmental screenings, observe children with special needs for purposes of evaluation, and administer criterion-referenced and norm-referenced assessment tools. Students will understand the referral process and learn how to interpret the results of the evaluation process to determine eligibility for special education. Included will be considerations when evaluating children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse populations and their families. The course will also cover sharing evaluation results with families, using assessment information to develop the IFSP/IEP, and techniques for ongoing monitoring of progress.

Prerequisites: none

In this course students will learn about models of collaboration, communication, and teaming in regular and special education settings, with an emphasis on early childhood special education practice. The roles and responsibilities of regular and special education teachers, paraprofessionals, other service providers such as speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists will be discussed. Interagency collaboration between education agencies, social service agencies, and private agencies will be explored. An emphasis on the family as a critical team member will be integrated throughout the course.

Prerequisites: none

This course will focus on applying current knowledge and recommended practices with preschoolers with developmental needs. Students in this class will learn how to use assessment information to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)/Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and how to structure a preschool classroom. This class will focus on collaboration between teachers and other service providers to meet the developmental needs of preschoolers. Students will learn how to manage a self-contained preschool classroom, co-teach with early childhood educators, and serve as an itinerant ECSE teacher in community preschools.

Prerequisites: none

Licensure Requirements - Choose 3 - 4 Credit(s). Students without an existing special education license are required to take SPED 656

This is an accompanying course for initial licensure Special Education teacher candidates in the areas of ASD, DCD, EBD, LD, and ECSE.

Prerequisites: none

This course is an accompanying course for all advanced licensure Special Education teacher candidates.

Prerequisites: none