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Curriculum and Course Sequence

Students in the M.Ed. in early childhood special education program are required to successfully complete a total of 37 semester hours.

Students specialize in both early intervention (birth to age three) and early childhood special education (ages three through five).

You will participate in field experiences from the start of your graduate studies. In fieldwork placements, you will work in a variety of settings with typically developing infants and young children, as well as children with special needs.

All students will complete a 250-clinical-clock-hour early intervention birth-3 and participate in an eight-week, full-time teaching practicum in an early childhood special education classroom.

This is a non-licensure graduate program.

Sample Course Sequence

Fall Term (Block One: Birth to Age Three)

  • MEC 503 Infant Assessment Birth to Age 3: Typical and Atypical
  • MEC 501 Early Intervention Methods
  • MEC 506 Development of the Young Child, Birth to Age 5: Typical and Atypical
  • MEC 508 Practicum I: Early Intervention and Family Mentor Field Experiences and Seminar

January Term

  • MEC 528 Working with Families of Typical and Atypical Young Children in Community Relationships

Spring Term (Block Two: Preschool, Ages 3-5)

  • MEC 514 Early Childhood Special Education Methods
  • MEC 512 Early Childhood Assessment
  • MEC 518 Early Intervention Birth to Age 3 Internship and Seminar
  • MEC 521 Practicum II: Early Childhood Special Education Field Experiences/Seminar

Summer Term

  • MEC 518 Early Intervention Birth to Age 3 Internship and Seminar (250 hours continued through summer if needed, two days per week)

Fall Term (Block Three: Infant and Preschool Mental Health)

  • MEC 507 Typical and Atypical Language Development Birth to Age 5 and Emergent Literacy
  • MEC 543 Practicum III: Early Childhood Special Education Field Experiences and Seminar
  • MEC 546 Foundations in Early Childhood Mental Health

January Term

  • MEC 545 Research Methods and Statistics in Early Childhood

Spring Term (Block Four: Clinical Focus)

  • MEC 571 Clinical Practicum in Early Childhood Special Education

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

Unique Program Features

The Family Involvement Specialist

To ensure the participation of a family voice in program development, our faculty includes a family involvement specialist—the parent of a child with a disability. The specialist plans courses, co-teaches classes with faculty, collaborates with field site placement professionals, and supervises students in the family mentor program.

The Family Mentor Program

This program creates a dynamic learning partnership between families and graduate students. In year one, each student is linked with a family mentor who engages students in a set of specific learning tasks that correspond with graduate coursework. Linking students directly with families as partners in learning encourages students to integrate a family-centered philosophy into their work.

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