Early Childhood Special Education Credential
In combination with the early childhood education MA, this program prepares students to work in early intervention and preschool special education settings with infants and young children who have developmental disabilities. Graduates learn that working with families, caregivers, and communities is integral to the education and care of young children with special needs.
Graduates are prepared to apply for a credential in early childhood special education, which certifies them to work with children ages zero to five with special needs. This credential may be combined with an MA in child life in hospitals.
- Prepare reflective and critical thinkers who examine issues about the development of infants and young children and their relationships in various contexts: school, hospital, family, community, and with an understanding of culture
- Provide students with many different theoretical perspectives and scientific and practical knowledge to understand and support human development and learning
- Prepare students to participate as a member of a multidisciplinary team
- Prepare students to interact with children with developmental disabilities and their families in a family-centered manner guided by theories of human growth and development
- Prepare students to provide early intervention strategies across all developmental domains.
- Mills College Children's School: Students have the opportunity to connect theory and practice by working in the Mills College Children's School, where they are closely mentored by experienced and knowledgeable early childhood professionals.
- Social justice and equity: Graduates leave our program inspired to use teaching and leadership to improve the lives of young children and families, deepen student learning, increase their own knowledge, transform schools, and increase educational equity.
- Strength-based approach: The program teaches students to approach early childhood with an appreciation of the diverse resources that children and families bring to the education and care of infants and young children with developmental disabilities.
Course work integrates theory and practice to prepare students to teach in urban settings and is guided by an overarching concern for social justice.
The curriculum meets the state of California's credential requirements for a preliminary education specialist credential with the specialty area of early childhood special education and added authorizations in autism spectrum disorder and emotional disturbance disorder. See the Requirements page for a list of courses required for this program; see the Course Descriptions page for paragraph-length descriptions of individual courses.
During the two years of study, students have four field placements. The first two placements are at the Mills College Children's School during a student's two initial semesters, with at least one semester in the Infant-Toddler Program. During the second year, students have one early childhood special education preschool placement and one early intervention placement.
Student teaching in early childhood special education is an essential feature of the program. In their field placements, students have an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of effective early intervention and preschool special education. The field placements challenge students to evaluate their teaching, to reflect on their teaching practice, and to enhance their skills as professional and special-needs educators. The program faculty work with the teaching placement staff to form a team that facilitates students' entrance into the special education profession.
Upon completion of the program, students may apply to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for a preliminary education specialist credential with the specialty area of early childhood special education, and they may be eligible to add authorizations in autism spectrum disorder and emotional disturbance disorder. The credential allows graduates to work with children with special needs in early intervention programs and preschool education classrooms. Graduates work in schools and early intervention settings with children with special needs from ages zero to five.
Master of Arts in Education with an Emphasis in Early Childhood Education with Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential (MA/ECE/ECSE)
Minimum of 40 semester course credits
This curriculum is approved to meet the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) requirements for a Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential with the specialty area of Early Childhood Special Education and added authorization of Emotional Disturbance. This credential allows the holder to work with children with special needs in early intervention programs and preschool special education classrooms. In compliance with the CCTC's requirement and in consideration of the logistics involved in internship placements, all students must pass the CBEST before being accepted to the program.
The following course sequence included in our early childhood special education program are approved by the CCTC and are required for students in the MA, Education with Emphasis in Early Childhood Education program who wish to obtain the ECSE Credential. Students will plan their course schedule with a faculty advisor. The following core courses represent a typical student’s movement through the program:
|EDUC 251||Cultivating Critical Consciousness in Practice||3|
|EDUC 206||Legal Aspects and Program Design of Special Education||3|
|EDUC 255||Children with Special Needs: Infants and Young Children||3|
|EDUC 214||Family Systems and Cultural Diversity: Connections with Schools, Communities, and Hospital Setting||3|
|EDUC 231||Assessment and Intervention for Children with Special Needs||3|
|EDUC 108 |
or EDUC 208
|Positive Behavior Supports and Intervention |
or Positive Behavior Supports and Intervention
|EDUC 291B||Theory and Practice of ECE: Curriculum & Instruction for Infants and Preschoolers with Special Needs||3|
|EDUC 275A||Field Experience in Early Childhood Special Ed and Infant Mental Health||3|
|EDUC 294A||Graduate Seminar: Research in Education—ECE||3|
|EDUC 275B||Field Experience in Early Childhood Special Ed and Infant Mental Health||3|
|EDUC 294B||Research Seminar—ECE||3|
|EDUC 276||Leadership and Administration in Early Childhood Programs||3|
|EDUC 237||Language Development: Literacy, Communication, and Multilingualism||3|
- Multiple Subject Credential
- Single Subject Credential in Humanities (Art, English, Social Science, or Spanish or French as world languages)
- Single Subject Credential in Mathematics or Science
- MA in Education (MEET)
- Language, Culture, and Trauma Certificate in Teaching
Early Childhood Education
- MA in Early Childhood Education—MA/ECE
- MA in Child Life—MA/ECE/CL
- MA in Early Childhood Leadership—MA/ECL
- MA in Educational Leadership
- MA in Educational Leadership (online)
- Joint MBA/MA in Educational Leadership
- Doctorate (EdD) in Educational Leadership
- Administrative Services Credential
Accelerated Degree Programs
- BA/MA Child Development & Elementary Education
- BA/MA Early Childhood Education
- BA/MA Early Childhood Special Education/Teaching Credential
- BA/MA Education/Teaching Credential