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Early Childhood Education MSE - Special Education Option

Choose the Path that Meets Your Goals

The MSE in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is designed to develop your understanding of early childhood development, theoretical foundations to early development, and application in today’s society. Select the path that best meets your goals by pursuing uniquely selected coursework focused on teaching, leadership, or special education within the field of early childhood education. Each option provides 21 hours of core coursework with 9 additional hours in the selected option.

Student Learning Outcomes

With a Master of Science in Education degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE), you will use the knowledge and skills obtained in the program to achieve the following professional skills:

  • Demonstrate and apply understandings of early childhood development, including theoretical perspectives on how children learn through play collaborating with a diverse population of peers to create meaning in today’s society.
  • Acquire fundamental knowledge of a play-based curriculum for support and advocacy in implementation in the early childhood setting.
  • Develop a strong sense of ethical conduct within early childhood teaching, learning, and business.
  • Identify significant issues specific to early childhood education in research and address through practice.
  • Better understand the impact of pedagogy and exposure to diversity for teaching in an increasingly complex and diverse society.

Admission Requirements

To be accepted into the Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree program, in the School of Teaching & Learning, you must: (a) have a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75; (b) submit proof of teacher certification or professional endorsement from any of the 50 states or territories and have graduated from a CAEP or regionally accredited university; (c) submit a copy of your last summative teaching evaluation, or a letter from a school superintendent, principal, director, or professor attesting to teaching skills and/or graduate studies potential. International applicants should meet these requirements in comparable ways.

Required Core Courses

The following courses are required by all three options within the Master of Science in Education degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE):

  • ECEL 5710 Early Childhood Education: A Constructivist Approach (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5740 Play in Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5920 Childhood Research and Development (3 credit hours)
  • CFD 5500 Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • CFD 4580 Resilience (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5750 Curriculum and Pedagogy in Multicultural Education (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5790 Collaborative Practice in Early Childhood Education (capstone) (3 credit hours).

Special Education Option Courses

The Early Childhood Education Special Education option is concentrated on preparing early childhood educators for teaching in inclusive childcare settings, or in early childhood special education specifically. In addition to the core courses, you will select three of these courses for this option:

  • EDSP 5350 Evaluation of Students with Disabilities (3 credit hours)
  • EDSP 5510 Fundamentals of ASD (3 credit hours)
  • EDSP 5100 Intro to Research in Special Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDAD 5120 School Law (3 credit hours)
  • EDSP 5700 Advanced Organization and Administration of Special Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDSP 5200 Advanced Education of the Exceptional Child (3 credit hours)
  • EDFL 5320 Curriculum Development and Assessment (3 credit hours)


Program Coordinator

Natalie Tye
Assistant Professor
Lovinger 3182
Tel: (660) 543-4787


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