Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations - NIU - College of Education

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Special Education Approval in Early Childhood

This coursework leads to early childhood special education approval to teach preschool-age children with special needs in early childhood settings. Students must hold or obtain a Professional Educator License (PEL) endorsed in special education (LBS I) or an Early Childhood Education in order to apply for early childhood special education approval.

The courses needed for the special education approval offered at NIU are:

Early Childhood Special Education Assessment

  • SEEC 521 Educational Diagnosis/Assessment of Preschool Exceptional Children;
    or
  • SESE 423/523 Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education 

Teaching Methodology

  • SEEC 522 Curriculum and Instructional Stratgies for the Young Child w/Special Needs
    or
  • SESE 424/524 Methods and Strategies for Promoting Devel and Teach Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children w/Disabilities and Special Needs

Family, Children, and Community Relationships

  • SESE 426/526 Working with and Supporting Families of Young Children w/Disabilities and Special Needs

Language Development

  • *COMD 220 Introduction to Communicative Disorders
    or
  • LTLA 537 Acquisition of Spoken and Written Language

Note: *Only students who complete COMD220 as undergraduates will receive credit for this course. Graduate students or students-at-large without COMD 220 as undergraduates must complete LTLA 537 Acquisition of Spoken and Written Language.

All professional education and content-area coursework that forms part of an application for licensure, endorsement, or approval that is received on or after February 1, 2012, must have been passed with a grade no lower than C or equivalent in order to be counted toward fulfillment of the applicable requirements. 

Early Intervention Credential

This coursework may be applied toward an early intervention credential to provide services to infants and toddlers with special needs or disabilities and their families through the Illinois Early Intervention System (see www.providerconnections.com). The early intervention credential can be added to a number of baccalaureate and masters degrees including a PEL endorsed in special education (LBS I), an Early Childhood Education, or a degree in Child Development. The courses needed for the early intervention developmental therapist credential offered through the Department of Special and Early Education:

Early Childhood Special Education Assessment

  • SESE 423/523 Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education 

Teaching Methodology

  • SESE 424/524 Methods and Strategies for Promoting Devel and Teach Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children w/Disabilities and Special Needs

Family, Children, and Community Relationships

  • SESE 426/526 Working with and Supporting Families of Young Children w/Disabilities and Special Needs

In addition to these courses, candidates for the early intervention credential will need a course on child development (typical and atypical development), an overview of the Illinois Early Intervention System offered through the Illinois Early Intervention Training inservice program, and supervised field experience in working with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. 

This coursework may be part of a master’s degree program or the coursework may be completed as a student-at-large (SAL). A student who holds a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited U.S. institution can apply to the Graduate School to register for graduate-level (or undergraduate) classes. This is a no-cost application to the graduate school. To start classes as a student-at-large at NIU, you can submit an application electronically via www.grad.niu.edu, and after 4 working days, you will be able to enroll in courses.

As a student-at-large, you can take both undergraduate and graduate courses. These courses are offered at the DeKalb, Naperville, Rockford, and Hoffman Estates campuses in the evenings. Information about tuition and fees is located at the Graduate School web site http://www.grad.niu.edu/grad/funding/tuition.shtml. You can also find the graduate catalog with descriptions of these classes online located at http://www.grad.niu.edu

The current schedule of classes can be located at http://www.reg.niu.edu. For additional information, please contact Leslie Hecht.

Questions?

Leslie Hecht
Academic Advisor
lbhecht@niu.edu

(815) 753-0381

Contact Us

Department of Special and Early Education

Gabel Hall 159
815-753-1619

seed@niu.edu

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