Special Needs Option
In addition to the requirements for the M.Ed. in Early Childhood, students choosing this option will take coursework relating to young children with atypical development. This additional coursework emphasizes an understanding of the role of the family, community, and social policy in early development and intervention. The program is non-categorical in its approach to assessment and educational planning. The total number of credit hours required to complete the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Needs is 42. These program requirements are subject to modification in order to reflect changes in New Hampshire state certification requirements for general special education. Students who enroll in this program may seek certification in Early Childhood Special Education (Birth - 8 yr.). See Teacher Certification.
The Early Childhood Special Education Assistive Technology Project is a Federally funded US Department of Education Office of Special Education grant to prepare Early Childhood Special Educators with an expertise in assistive technology. Stipends of up to $20,000 are available to support educational expenses (e.g., tuition, fees, and books) is available for qualified students. Applications are currently being accepted for Scholars in the program. For more information click here
Graduates of the Early Childhood Special Needs program will be capable of acting as:
♦ Diagnostic specialists, early childhood special educators
♦ Early intervention program planners, administrators and consultants
♦ Primary-level special education teachers, staff development instructors
♦ Parent support personnel, parent and child advocates
♦ Case managers in multidisciplinary team settings
♦ Early Interventionists
Suggested Course Sequences
M.Ed. Early Childhood Special Needs Option (42 cr.)
Core Requirements (16 cr)
EDUC 941 Diversity and Child Development
EDUC 942 Sociocultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning
EDUC 861 Inclusive Curriculum for Young Children
EDUC 948 Leadership and Advocacy for Early Childhood Education
Special Needs Core (12 cr) Candidates take all courses:
EDUC 860 Introduction to Young Children with Special Needs
EDUC 856 Supporting Families of Individuals with Exceptionalities.
EDUC 862 Curriculum for Young Children with Special Needs: Evaluation & Program Design
Internship (6 cr)
EDUC 900B Internship and Seminar in Early Childhood Education
EDUC 901B Internship and Seminar in Early Childhood Education
Electives (8 cr)
Students will elect a minimum of eight additional credits in consultation with their academic advisor. In special circumstances, students with prior advanced course work may request the required courses be waived and other electives substituted.
Required courses are offered once each academic year. Required courses are very rarely offered during summer sessions.
Comprehensive Examinations or Research Thesis
Students may elect to take the comprehensive written and oral examination or write a research thesis to fulfill the concluding experience requirement. Guidelines for the comprehensive examination and the research thesis are available from program faculty. Those electing the thesis option may count thesis credit hours to fulfill elective requirements.
By the end of the graduate program in Early Childhood, students should be able to provide evidence of their professional development in a variety of ways. Regardless of whether students elect the research thesis option or the written comprehensive examination, additional means for demonstrating professional knowledge and competencies will be provided through the presentation of a graduate portfolio.
The purpose of the graduate portfolio is to provide a flexible and highly individualized opportunity for each student to demonstrate her/his evolving understanding and mastery of the discipline of early childhood education as well as the ability to carry out multiple roles as teacher, leader, and advocate.
For a suggested sequence of courses and in-depth information about the concluding experiences, the graduate portfolio, and the internship, see the Program Planning page.