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Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Program Goals

The M.Ed. program in Early Childhood Special Education has 5 broad program goals. Each goal is aligned with the Education Department Unit Goals and the M.Ed. In Early Childhood Special Education Student Learning Outcomes as stated below.

  1. Students will be able to apply content knowledge, skills and attitudes that reflect best practice in infant / early intervention (for infants and toddlers ages birth-3) early childhood and early childhood special education (for children 3-5 years of age).
    (Aligns with Ed Dept. goal 1) (Aligned to student learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9)
  2. Students will acquire and use new information through review and synthesis of current research, methodology, technology and materials.
    (Aligns with Ed Dept. goal 2) (Aligned to student learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10)
  3. Students will be able to deliver early intervention B-3 services to infants and toddlers with special needs and their families within an environment that facilitates both the child’s and families development to the maximum extent possible.
    (Aligns with Ed Dept. goals 2, 3, 4, 5) (Aligned to student learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 8, 10, 11)
  4. Students will be able to deliver services for typical and atypical 3-5 year old children in appropriate early childhood classroom environments, with a developmentally and individually appropriate curriculum, and a teaching methodology that is based on the knowledge of individual children, the family and the community.
    (Aligns with Ed Dept. goals 2, 3, 4, 5) (Aligned to student learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11)
  5. Students will be able to use effective communication and interpersonal skills, cooperate and collaborate with families, professionals, public schools, and other agencies and groups in order to provide appropriate educational programs and services for each child.
    (Aligns with Ed Dept. goal 5)
     (Aligned to student learning outcomes 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11)

Student Learning Outcomes

The state of Illinois currently has 17 specific content standards that teacher education programs must be held accountable for covering in the curriculum used to train students in the content areas of Early Childhood Education. Of the 17 Early Childhood Content Standards, 11 of them also double as our M.Ed. graduate student learning outcomes for our Masters in Early Childhood Special Education Program. All of the 11 student learning outcomes stated below are aligned with the 5 program goals that were stated above and also align with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS) and NAEYC National Standards for Early Childhood Education programs. They are as follows:

Objective 1: Content Knowledge

Students will understand and demonstrate the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the content areas (language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical development and health, fine arts) and create and integrate meaningful learning experiences that develop children’s competence across all developmental areas.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 1-5; IPTS Standard 2 & 6; ECE Content Standards 1-7; NAEYC Standards 1 & 5)

Objective 2: Human Development and Learning

Students will understand how individuals grow, develop and learn and will provide learning opportunities that support the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of children birth to age 8.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 1-5; IPTS Standard 1; ECE Content Standard 8; NAEYC Standards 1 & 2)

Objective 3: Diversity

Students will understand and recognize how children and families differ in their perspectives and approaches to learning and will create opportunities for growth and learning that are developmentally and culturally appropriate and that are adapted for children birth to age 8.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 1-5; IPTS standards 1, 3 & 8; ECE Content Standard 9; NAECY Standards 1 & 2)

Objective 4: Planning for Instruction

Students will understand instructional planning and will design learning opportunities based on knowledge of children, their families, their communities and of content and curriculum goals.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 2-5; IPTS standards 3; ECE Content Standard 10; NAECY Standards 4 & 5)

Objective 5: Learning Environments

Students will have an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior and children’s developmental levels and create learning environments that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, intrinsic motivation and self-esteem.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 3-5; IPTS standards 4; ECE Content Standard 11; NAECY Standards 4 & 5)

Objective 6: Instructional Delivery

Students will use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage children’s development of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 3-5; IPTS standards 5; ECE Content Standard 12; NAECY Standards 4 & 5)

Objective 7: Communication

Students will use knowledge of effective written, verbal, nonverbal, and visual communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interactions with professionals and parents.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 1-5; IPTS standards 6; ECE Content Standard 13; NAECY Standards 2 & 4)

Objective 8: Assessment

Students will understand various forms of formal and informal assessment strategies and use them to support the continuous development of all children across settings.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 2-5; IPTS standard 7; ECE Content Standard 14; NAECY Standard 3)

Objective 9: Collaborative Relationships

Students will understand the role of community in education and develop and maintain collaborative relationships with colleagues, parents/guardians and representatives of community service agencies in order to support children’s learning and well-being.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program goals 1, 3-5; IPTS standard 8; ECE Content Standard 15; NAECY Standard 2)

Objective 10: Reflection and Professional Growth

Students will engage in reflection on their practice and continually evaluate how their choices and actions affect children, parents, other professionals in the learning community and actively seek to grow professionally.

(Aligned to M. Ed Program Goals 1-5; IPTS standard 9; ECE Content Standard 16; NAECY Standard 6)

Objective 11: Professional Conduct and Leadership

Students will understand education as a profession, maintain standards of professional conduct, and provide leadership to improve child learning and well-being.

(Aligned to M.Ed. Program Goals 1, 3, 4, 5; IPTS standard 9; ECE Content Standard 17; NAECY Standard 6)

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