Early Childhood Special Education

M.Ed.

When you decide to become a special education teacher, you choose a life of purpose, impact, and making difference. Special education teachers have the unique opportunity to work closely with students with disabilities and establish meaningful and long-lasting relationships with them.

The NCATE- accredited Master of Education with an Early Childhood Special Education Emphasis offers the knowledge and skills you need to design, implement, and assess learning experiences for an early childhood special education (birth through kindergarten) classroom. The 36-hour program of study includes eligibility for a Nebraska early childhood special education teaching certification for those candidates who hold a valid Nebraska teaching certificate 

Concordia offers the M.Ed. program in a cohort format: a small group takes the same classes at the same time. By learning alongside fellow educators, you will foster life-long, professional relationships and earn invaluable peer support. Classes are offered online. Students will finish the program in two years.

Early Childhood Special Education Program Goals

Understand how disabilities can interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with disabilities.

Be able to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with disabilities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination.

Use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with disabilities.

Use multiple methods of assessment and data-sources in making educational decisions.

Be able to select, adapt, and use repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning of individuals with disabilities.

Use foundational knowledge of the field and their professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to inform special education practice, to engage in lifelong learning, and to advance the profession.

Be able to collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with disabilities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with disabilities across a range of learning experiences.

Get On Your Way

The next start date for Early Childhood Special Education is Monday, Jun 26.

Early Childhood Special Education Courses

Early Childhood Special Education

  •  
    EDUC 501 Contemporary Thought in Education
    3
    This course provides an examination of the theoretical and philosophical bases for contemporary educational patterns; and current educational issues. Interests of the participants will determine the areas of application to private and public education.
  •  
    PSY 511 Psychological Foundations of Teaching and Learning
    3
    A study of selected theories of learning and their implications for the classroom setting. Applications of psychological principles and research to instructional situations with an emphasis on those that involve a Christian setting.
  •  
    EDUC 578 Infants and Toddlers: Development, Methods, Curriculum & Assessment (Birth-3)
    3
    Emphasis on linguistic, physical, social, cognitive, moral, emotional, aesthetic development of children from birth to age three; developmentally appropriate methodology, curriculum, and assessment; family partnerships; advocacy; professionalism; resources for families of children from birth to age three. This course will include 10 hours of direct contact with young children, ages birth through three, including those with special developmental and/or learning needs.
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    EDUC 580 Pre-Primary Education: Development, Methods, Curriculum & Assessment (Ages3 through 5)
    3
    Emphasis on linguistic, physical, social, cognitive, moral, emotional, aesthetic development of children from age three to age five; developmentally appropriate methodology, curriculum, and assessment; family partnerships; advocacy; professionalism; resources for families of children age three through five. This course will include 20 hours of direct contact with young children, ages three through kindergarten, including those with special developmental and/or learning needs.
  •  
    EDUC 650 Family and Culture
    3
    Family and culture are integrally connected to children’s healthy growth and development. This course equips candidates to understand the complexity of families and to develop positive reciprocal relationships which support and engage diverse families as partners to support meaningful learning experiences and build effective learning environments. This course will include 20 clock hours assisting families and children with verified disabilities at each of the following levels: birth up to age three, ages three to five, and ages five to seven.
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    EDUC 602 History and Context of Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education
    3
    This course will be an introduction to the educational policies, programs, practices, and services specific to infants, toddlers, preschool, and early elementary children (K-Grade 2) who demonstrate delays and disabilities. Students will acquire an understanding of important theoretical and philosophical foundations upon which early childhood education and early childhood special education are based. Natural settings for early childhood development, cultural sensitivity, activity-based interventions, and individualized developmentally appropriate practices will be emphasized. Instructional strategies and programs as well as inclusive environments for young children with special needs will be explored and discussed. Students will learn how programs differ in providing accessible learning environments, social play experiences, and language-based learning for all young children. Students will learn to apply skills to effectively communicate and interview teachers and administrators in early childhood settings where young children with disabilities participate. Skills in creating a safe and bias-free environment that furthers developmentally appropriate practices for young children will be shared. This course will include best practices for team collaboration that encourages mutual respect and strengthening of school/family partnerships. This course will include 10 hours of direct contact with young children, ages birth through kindergarten, including those with special developmental and/or learning needs.
  •  
    EDUC 655 Inclusive Practices, Family Partnerships, and Differentiation in Early Childhood Education
    3
    This course provides graduate students with an overview of the characteristics in young children with disabilities and how services under federal and state regulations/statutes are determined. Family systems, parent/family advocacy, and the influence of cultural perspectives on the education of young children with disabilities will be covered in this course. Best practice models for inclusive classroom (general education settings) learning will be presented in consideration of educating culturally diverse groups of young children and with an emphasis on differentiation in teaching. In this course, the following learning domains will be discussed: cognitive, communication, social/emotional, motor, and daily living and how these may be addressed in an inclusive environment. Models of Co-teaching will be covered in the course. Team models and planning for instruction will be discussed. Professional and ethical practices will be covered related to the legal, historical, and social foundations for early childhood special education. This course will include 10 hours of direct contact with young children, ages birth through kindergarten, including those with special developmental and/or learning needs.
  •  
    EDUC 657 Teaching Students with Autism and Severe/Profound Disabilities
    3
    This course provides graduate students historical, social, and legal foundations and skills for working within a framework of collaborative partnerships for supporting children with autism or severe disabilities across varied classroom settings. The roles of family members and consideration of diversity and multicultural backgrounds in educating children with severe disabilities and autism will be covered. Students will learn characteristics of severe disabilities, autism, and special health care needs. This course will include a discussion of common core standards, methods of planning individualized instruction, instructional strategies that support students with Autism and Severe/Profound Disabilities that prepare these learners to their highest levels of academic achievement and independence. In addition, technology applications for these populations will be discussed. This course will include 10 hours of direct contact with young children, ages birth through kindergarten, including those with special developmental and/or learning needs.
  •  
    EDUC 692 Observing and Assessing the Young Child with Disabilities
    3
    This course will emphasize student understanding of the role of assessment and evaluation in early childhood settings through observing, recording, analyzing and interpreting the behavior/characteristicsand learning of young children. Practices will engage students in the highest level of learning in preparation of knowledge, skills, and continued growth in the area of assessment. Students will study and use a range of assessments including standardized tests, criterion-based tests, and arena/team assessments, as well as behavioral surveys. The effects of testing and use of standardized tests related to students who are diverse, multicultural, multilingual, high risk, gifted/talented or have disabilities will be discussed in classroom groups. Students will learn to apply skills to effectively communicate and interview teachers and parents of young children, including English language learners and students with disabilities. Skills in creating a safe and bias-free testing environment that furthers the best testing practices will be shared. At the completion of the course, teacher candidates will present their written evaluation of a student, based on student observation, parent/teacher interviews, student assessment, and including recommendations for classroom strategies and modifications. This course will include best practices for team collaboration that encourages mutual respect and strengthening of school/family partnerships. This course will include 10 hours of direct contact with young children, ages birth through kindergarten, including those with special developmental and/or learning needs.
  •  
    EDUC 576 Behavior Management in Inclusive Settings
    3
    This course explores fundamental concepts and issues related to behavior management at the school-wide and classroom level. Emphasis is placed on research-based intervention for behavioral issues. The instructional goals of this course are to provide students with theory, principles and procedures for serving the academic, social and emotional needs of students with emotional and behavior disorders in inclusive settings. To meet the goals, the course will be organized as follows: a) a brief overview of characteristics, b) planning and organizing instruction, c) assessment and educational placement considerations, d) curriculum and programming including scientifically research-based strategies, and e) educational, social and emotional issues across a lifespan. This course will include 10 hours of direct contact with young children, ages birth through kindergarten, including those with special developmental and/or learning needs.
  •  
    EDUC 594 Research Evaluation and Design
    3
    This course emphasizes the development of skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and the evaluation of various forms of existing information, with emphasis on the ability to relate this information to personal professional practice.
  •  
    SOC 565 Serving and Leading in Community and World
    3
    This course provides an in-depth examination of vocation, professional and organizational development and the ways educators, building on their personal beliefs and values, enact authentic service and leadership in a variety of contexts. Using the framework of evangelical Lutheran Christianity, participants explore, analyze and clarify, and apply vocation to their community and to the world.
  • Total Credits 36
  • Total Courses 12
  • Course Length 8 weeks
  • Each course includes 10 hours of direct contact with young children, ages birth through kindergarten, including those with special developmental and/or learning needs, meeting the hours of student contact required for certification.
  • Concordia University, Nebraska’s Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education degree program is a 36 credit hour program.
  • It is also available as an endorsement without a degree with a valid elementary teaching or early childhood education certification (30 hours).

Early Childhood Special Education Similar Programs

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Early Childhood Special Education Delivery Options

We provide you with options so you can earn your degree in the way that works best for you.

On Campus

$425 credit hour
  • Conveniently located five minutes from downtown Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Structured programs/class times—meet once per week
  • Enhance your experience through social interaction with peers
  • Comfortable, professional facilities in which to learn and study
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Hybrid

$425 credit hour
  • Face-to-face access to peers and instructors
  • Convenience of online courses with a flexible on-campus option
  • Variety of learning environments enhances your communication skills
  • Work independently and as part of a group
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Online

$550 credit hour
  • Control your schedule and pace with flexible class options
  • Self-paced—study when it is convenient for you
  • Your classroom is available from the comforts of your home
  • Learn from instructors with diverse backgrounds from around the world
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