Early Childhood Education/Special Education Dual Major

Certifications: Elementary Education: Early Childhood/Special Education Pre-K-Grade 8

Degree BS, Early Childhood Education 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. The certificate in special education is Special Education Pre-K through Grade 8. The program leads to two teaching certificates (Instructional I Pre-K-Grade 4 and Instructional Special Education Pre-K to Grade 8) valid in Pennsylvania and transferable to many other states.

Pre-service teachers in ECE/SPED must successfully complete the liberal arts core curriculum, a series of teacher education department courses and field experiences, and the courses and experiences required by the two TED specializations – Pre-K to Grade 4 and special education.

ECE/SPED majors must satisfactorily complete a series of field experiences that begin during the first year and continue every semester until graduation. By graduation, our pre-service teachers will have spent approximately 700 hours in community classrooms. During students' final semesters, they must complete a 15-week student teaching assignment (two separate placements). One placement is in Pre-K-Grade 4 and the other is in SPED setting.

Students who successfully complete the ECE/SPED program are eligible for recommendation by the university to the Pennsylvania Department of Education 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 the state on the required battery of PAPA, PRAXIS AND PECT tests qualify graduates for "Instructional I" certificates. Once certified in Pennsylvania, our graduates usually have no difficulty becoming certified in other states.