M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education

Course Offerings

One unit of credit equals four semester hours. 

MEC 501 Early Intervention Methods
.50 credit
Using an interdisciplinary case study approach, this course examines the philosophy, goals and clinical approaches used in working with infants/toddlers who are “at risk” and disabled and their families. Special focus is placed on the design and implementation of family-centered services, the development of collaborative team processes among professionals, and the implementation of the IFSP. This course includes a field experience clinical component.

MEC 503 Infant Assessment Birth to Age 3: Typical and Atypical
.50 credit
This course highlights a developmental approach to observation and assessment of typical and atypical infants and toddlers. Students focus on underlying developmental processes in cognitive, language, motor and social/emotional development. Students learn to assess children’s strengths as well as needs and examine selected screening and informal and formal assessment tools. The involvement of families in assessment and collaborative goal setting is stressed. This course includes a field experience clinical component.

MEC 506 Development of the Young Child, Birth to Age 5: Typical and Atypical
.75 credit
This course presents major developmental theories and models of cognitive, psychosocial, emotional and play development of young children birth to age 5. Personality is traced from birth to age 5. Students will study the interrelated nature of development and culture and the characteristics of and influences of disabilities and risk factors on development. This course includes a field experience clinical component.

MEC 507 Typical and Atypical Language Development Birth to Age 5 and Emergent Literacy
.75 credit
Study of the typical and atypical language development in young children, including specific language/communication delays. Course includes examination of the relationship between language/communication delays and other areas of development, specifically emergent literacy, exploring the use of alternative communication systems to foster communication. This course includes a field experience clinical component.

MEC 508 Practicum I: Early Intervention and Family Mentor Field Experiences and Seminar
.50 credit
This first practicum provides students with Early Intervention Family Mentor Field Experience and supports students in their beginning exposure to working with Developmental Therapists in the Early Intervention field. It is a 10-session seminar on working in the Early Intervention field with families of children ages birth to 3 who have disabilities. This seminar will provide a forum for students to meet with their cohort and reflect upon their birth–3 Family Mentor experience and clinical field experience in relation to course wrap around assignments, such as Infant Assessment, Early Intervention Methods, and Typical and Atypical Development. This seminar will support students in areas of self-reflective practice, building relationships with families and providers, understanding family priorities, resources, routines and all aspects in the development of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP). Students will also complete introductory work on their e-portfolios in this seminar. Clinical component: requires 30 hours of work with developmental therapists and family mentors.

MEC 512 Early Childhood Assessment
.75 credit
Strategies, procedures, and formal and informal instruments for assessing young children’s social, emotional, cognitive, communication and motor skills; family concerns, priorities and resources; and school, home and community learning environments; and methods for conducting formative and summative individual and program evaluation. This course includes a field experience clinical component.

MEC 514 Early Childhood Special Education Methods
.75 credit
This course focuses on developmentally and individually appropriate methods for fostering the social, emotional, cognitive, communication, adaptive and motor development and learning of young children with special needs in various settings such as the home, the school and the community. This course includes a field experience clinical component.

MEC 518 Early Intervention Birth to Age 3 Internship and Seminar
.50 credit
This practicum provides students with a 250-clock-hour clinical internship in Early Intervention working hands on with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families in natural environments. Students will be given the opportunity to develop, refine and demonstrate those competencies that are essential for effective intervention planning and implementations in the field of Early Intervention B-3 as Developmental Therapists. Students will receive clinical supervision from faculty at the College across their semester of internship work. Students will also be evaluated by their Mentor Developmental Therapists on their work in the field. A supportive, collegial seminar designed to foster self-reflection and professionalism is scheduled to meet bi-weekly for eight sessions during the 16 weeks of practicum placement. A total of 250 clock hours is required to receive an Illinois Developmental Therapy Credential.

MEC 521 Practicum II: Early Childhood Special Education Field Experiences/Seminar
.25 credit
This eight-week seminar will provide students a forum to discuss their 30 hours of field work required in an early childhood special education classroom setting this semester. Focus of seminar discussions will include observations, initial lesson planning, implementation of instructional strategies and assessing student learning outcomes in early childhood special education classrooms. An overview of Graduate e-portfolio assignments and check point 1 requirements will also be covered. Clinical hours required: 30 hours in ECSE classrooms.

MEC 528 Working with Families of Typical and Atypical Young Children in Community Relationships
.75 credit
This course covers theories of interpersonal relationships, the family life cycle, parenthood as a developmental process, cultural influences on child rearing practices and the effects of disability on a family. The family stress, coping and adaptation process and family systems theory are also included. Students will learn about planning family-focused interventions and developing strategies for working collaboratively with parents/families in a variety of settings. This course includes a field experience clinical component.

MEC 543 Practicum III: Early Childhood Special Education Field Experiences and Seminar
.25 credit
This is an advanced eight-session seminar that wraps around non-licensure students’ field-based experience in Early Childhood Special Education classroom settings in public schools. It is designed to apply knowledge and skills from coursework with a focus on providing effective instructional practice, creating optimal learning environments, engaging in professional collaborations and learning about school policies and procedures and reflective practice skills. Also included in this seminar will be an overview of graduate e-portfolio assignments and checkpoint 2 requirements along with planning for the Action Research Project. Clinical hour requirement: 30 hours in ECSE classroom.

MEC 545 Research Methods and Statistics in Early Childhood
.75 credit
This course is designed to provide an understanding of different approaches to research with emphasis placed on the action research process. The application that research has to practice is examined along with statistical methods applied to social data. Descriptive statistics, probability distributions, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, correlation and regression are covered. The uses of research and statistical methods and presentation of data in early childhood research are discussed. All students will design an action research project.

MEC 546 Foundations in Early Childhood Mental Health
.75 credit
This course is an introduction to the field of early childhood mental health—the study of how a young child’s development is impacted by his/ her social–emotional development and early relationships. The theoretical bases of infant/early childhood mental health will be explored. We will discuss evidence-based assessment and intervention practices and address the importance of public policy and systems issues impacting mental health practices for young children and families. We will also cover key concepts of mental health of young children and their families, including attachment, temperament, social-emotional development, the context of family, culture and community, risk and resilience, and the effects of violence and abuse on early brain development.

MEC 571 Clinical Practicum in Early Childhood Special Education
1.5 credits
This eight-week, full-time practicum experience provides non-licensure graduate students with an early childhood special education preschool practicum placement in a school-based program for preschool-aged children with disabilities and their families. Students will have the opportunity to develop, refine and demonstrate those competencies that are essential for effective intervention planning and implementations in this early childhood special education classroom setting. Students will be evaluated on the basis of the behaviors described on the Early Childhood Special Education Practicum Evaluation form in addition to satisfactory completion of all assignments. A supportive, collegial seminar designed to foster self-reflection and professionalism is scheduled to meet bi-weekly for eight sessions during this semester.

Elmhurst College reserves the right to modify courses, schedules and program format without advance notice to students.

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