Early Childhood Special Education Certification

The early years of a child’s life are the most critical in their later cognitive, emotional, and physical development. Teachers in early childhood classrooms need a strong grounding in the special skills necessary to ensure development of students to their full potential. Children with special needs are being identified earlier, increasing the need for special education teachers for young children. Early identification is important because early intervention is essential in educating children who have special needs. This program allows practicing early childhood certified teachers to receive an M.A. in Education with certification in Early Childhood Special Education, thereby increasing the breadth of their understanding of the needs and education of special needs children from birth through grade three.

For more information contact: the Graduate Admissions Coordinator, School of Education at (314)529-9542 or by email at hstanwich@maryville.edu.

Program Features

Recognized for Excellence

When you earn your MA in Education from Maryville, you’ll have opportunities for excellence on every level. Our program is nationally accredited and recognized locally for being a leader in early childhood teacher education. You’ll work with outstanding faculty members and exemplary professionals in the field. You’ll enjoy small classes, innovative approaches and plenty of opportunities for professional growth. With a strong foundation of theory and its practical application, you’ll earn the reputation of being one of the most highly respected and best educators in the region.

Strong Preparation for the Changing World of Schools

Maryville’s School of Education will help you develop into a reflective teacher who is committed to democratic education. This degree provides a strong background in issues important to teachers of early childhood students, including an emphasis on curriculum and assessment and the skills to work with all aspects of the development of young children with and without special needs. Maryville’s strong partnerships with area early childhood centers assures you practical knowledge and experiences to build your success.

Professional/Career Opportunities

What’s Next?

Enrollment of special education students in kindergarten, elementary, and middle school grades is expected to grow faster than any other school population. As a result, employment of preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school special education teachers is expected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Along with enrollment growth, continued demand for special education services is expected. More parents are expected to seek special services for children who have difficulty meeting the higher standards required of students. Students will need the services of special education teachers to adapt lessons to their different learning styles and needs. Furthermore, general education teachers will need the help of special education teachers to learn how to present information to students who have learning disabilities. Teachers who earn their master’s degree typically earn a higher salary – at all levels – than those without a graduate degree. Because Maryville’s School of Education has national accreditation, you’ll be qualified for positions in any of the 50 states, or in English-speaking schools abroad. Early Childhood Special Education certification allows you to teach in early childhood special education classrooms at centers (birth through age 5) and public schools with early childhood and special education programs.

Degree Offerings and Requirements

  • Early Childhood Special Education M.A.Ed. (30-35 credits)
    • EDUC 665 Family Systems/Issues (3)
    • EDUC 661 Early Chd Assessment (1st 8 weeks) (3)
    • EDUC 660 Early Chd Curriculum (2nd 8 weeks) (3)
    • EDUC 668 Behavior Management (3)
    • EDUC 669 Communications Disorders (3)
    • EDUC 619 Research (3)
    • EDUC 666 Early Intervention (3)
    • EDUC 667 E.C. Special Ed Process (3)
    • EDUC 535 Health of the Child (2) (unless taken in undergraduate program)
    • EDUC 663 E.C. Internship (3-6)
    • EDUC 699 Master’s Project (3)

Admission Requirements

  • For admission to the master’s program, you must meet the following requirements:
  • Possess early childhood certification
  • Submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. You must have maintained at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA from your undergraduate studies; below 3.0 may apply for provisional acceptance.
  • Complete an application for admission to the program (online).
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from qualified professionals.
  • Submit the application essay to demonstrate that you have the necessary competencies for the program.
  • International students must submit appropriate TOEFL scores