The Early Childhood Special Education Program (ECSE) is a two year program that offers field and course work for students interested in working with young children (birth – age eight) with special needs and their families. This program is designed to prepare teachers to be leaders in the field, school, and community. Graduates may apply for Washington teacher certification in Special Education and an endorsement in Early Childhood Education (P-3). Download the application checklist here.
Graduates of this program work in a variety of early learning programs, early intervention programs, and public schools, with a diverse groups of students and families. Graduates will have:
- Expertise in evidence based practices for young children with and at risk for disabilities, and their families.
- Skills for supporting and collaborating with families, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
- Effective strategies for providing instruction to young children with disabilities.
- Collaboration skills necessary for working on interdisciplinary teams.
Field experiences are a key component of this program. Students work with a range of children and families in early intervention (birth to three), preschool, and elementary school placements in the Puget Sound area, under the mentorship of cooperating teachers.
There are three degree options for students in the program:
Initial Teaching Certification: Students who are seeking an initial teaching certificate in special education should apply for initial teaching certification. To meet Washington state's upcoming requirement for those holding a special education teaching certificate to get a second endorsement in a content area, our program is set-up to enable you to complete the General Education P-3 Certification at the same time as your initial special education certificate. This program will can be completed in 6 quarters.
2. Special Education Endorsement: Students who already hold a teaching certificate will complete the Master's for the special education endorsement program. This program can be completed within four quarters.
3. Master's Only: Students with a teaching certificate in Washington state and who already hold a special education endorsement may apply for the Master's only program. This program can be completed within 3 to 4 quarters.