Early Childhood Education/Special Education Dual Major

Certifications: Grades Pre-K-4 and Special Education Grades Pre-K-8

Degree BS, Early Childhood and Special Education

Department Co-Chairs Susan R. Tomascik, PhD, and Molly S. Vitale, DEd

The dual Early Childhood Education/Special Education (ECE/SPED) program is designed to prepare teachers to work with all children, including those with disabilities, from preschool through grade 4 and students with disabilities through Grade 8. Students who successfully complete the ECE/SPED program are eligible for recommendation by the University to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for two teacher certifications. The University's recommendation and the successful completion of other requirements established by the state, including meeting the pass scores specified by PDE on the required battery of certification tests, qualify graduates for PA Instructional I certificates. Pennsylvania has signed an Interstate Agreement through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification which facilitates certification in other states. States’ requirements vary; graduates should determine what they have to do to become certified in a state other than Pennsylvania.

Pre-service teachers in ECE/SPED must successfully complete the University’s liberal arts Core Curriculum, a series of Teacher Education Department courses and field/practicum experiences, and the courses and experiences required by the two TED specializations – Grades Pre K - 4 and Special Education Grades PreK-8. ECE/SPED majors must satisfactorily complete a series of field/practicum experiences that begin during the first year and continue every semester until graduation. By graduation, our pre-service teachers will have spent approximately 750 hours in community classrooms. During students' final semesters, they must complete two seven week student teaching assignments (two separate placements). One placement is in a Pre-K-Grade 4 setting and the other is in Special Education.