Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education

The MEd in Early Childhood Special Education encompasses theory, research and practice relating to children from birth to 5 years of age who experience developmental delays and disabilities. In addition to the degree, this program leads to an institutional recommendation for initial teacher certification or endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education-Birth to Five on an existing certificate from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (EED).

The Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood Special Education provides candidates with a holistic, inclusive, family-centered approach to assist families and support the development of young children with disabilities and developmental delays with a focus in the birth to age 5 range.

Admission Requirements

  • Satisfy the Admission Requirements for Graduate Degrees and the School of Education MEd Admission Requirements.
  • Satisfy the prerequisites for admission to the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education, which include 6 credits in Child Development/Early Childhood Education (EDSE A212 or PSY A365) and (EDSE A311Y or EDEC A303) or other approved courses by advisement. Contact the Graduate Studies Department at (907) 786-4450.
  • Submit an application to the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education Program. Contact the Graduate Studies Department at (907) 786-4450.

The School of Education provides coursework through a variety of methodologies and delivery formats, including distance education. This program includes courses delivered by distance. Candidates must have the technological knowledge, skills and access to equipment to engage in distance learning.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates admitted or seeking admission to the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education must receive approval from their advisor prior to taking coursework from another institution intended to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree.

Program Requirements

Early Childhood Special Education Courses
EDSE A607Foundations for Infant and Toddler Social Emotional Health and Development3
EDSE A610YAssessment of Infants & Toddlers in Early Childhood Special Education3
EDSE A611YAssessment in Preschool Special Education 3
EDSE A622YStrategies and Interventions: Infant and Toddler Special Education3
EDSE A623YStrategies and Interventions: Preschool Special Education3
EDSE A674Family Partnerships in Early Childhood Special Education3
EDSE A692YInternship Seminar in Early Childhood Special Education Teaching **1-2
EDSE A695YAdvanced Internship: Early Childhood Special Education **6
Additional Required Courses
EDRS A660Fundamentals of Research in Education *3
EDSE A632Special Education Law: Principles and Practices3
Research elective by advisement *3
Elective by advisement3
Total Credits37-38
*

EDRS A660 and research credits by advisement may be waived for candidates entering the program with a master’s degree.

**

Candidates who hold a current Special Education - Early Childhood teaching certificate or endorsement may waive EDSE A692Y and EDSE A695Y and replace with advisor approved courses.

A minimum of 37 credits is required for the degree.

Field Placement

Some courses in the early childhood special education program require field placements and/or internship placements. The School of Education does not guarantee placements as they are contingent on school district and agency partners. The university offers placements across the state of Alaska. Out-of-state placements will require additional approvals and are not guaranteed. See School of Education Field Placements.

Graduate Certificate in Children's Mental Health (optional)

Candidates in the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education can apply for admission into the Graduate Certificate in Children's Mental Health. Visit www.uaa.alaska.edu/cmhgc for more information.

Admission to Early Childhood Special Education Internship

1. Submit an application form for admission to Early Childhood Special Education Internship. Contact the School of Education Student Services office for fall and spring application deadlines at (907) 786-4401.

2. A current Student Teaching Authorization Certificate is required for admission to internship (finger printing and criminal background check process).

Note: Admission to the Early Childhood Special Education M.Ed. program does not guarantee admission to the internship.

State Approved Verification Form & Alaska Teacher Certification

The following are requirements for a state-approved verification form for a special education certificate or endorsement in Special Education - Early Childhood Birth - Preschool. Students who already hold a teaching certificate may receive a State Approved Verification for a birth - preschool special education endorsement on the existing certificate.

  • Completed all applicable prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of B.
  • Completed all required courses with a minimum overall GPA of 3.00, with no grade lower than a C.
  • Completed all graduation requirements noted above.  

Additional requirements for an initial teaching certification within the state of Alaska (including an Alaska Studies Course and a Multicultural Course) can be found at the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development website.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Student outcomes for the program are based on the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards and the Division of Early Childhood Special Education standards.

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Apply legal and ethical policies that affect young children with developmental delays and disabilities, families, and programs for young children.
  • Use intervention strategies with young children having developmental delays and disabilities and their families that affirm and respect family, cultural, and linguistic diversity.
  • Develop and apply instructional practices based on knowledge of the child, family, community, and the curriculum.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate environments to ensure developmental and functional appropriateness.
  • Assess the development and learning of young children with developmental delays and disabilities and use that information to direct intervention.
  • Critically analyze and apply principles of research in the area of early childhood special education.