The purpose of the B.S.Ed. in Special Education and Teaching with a concentration in early childhood is to prepare students to serve as initially licensed special education teachers or early interventionists. The program will focus on providing students with the tools they need to work in settings serving children birth to age 5 with disabilities or who are at-risk for developmental delays, as well as work with their families. Students will garner the knowledge and skills to be able to recognize a child’s developmental and social concerns, to formulate effective and personalized/individualized instruction, and to consult with parents, teachers, related service providers and administrators to incorporate accommodations and transitions across the child’s educational program. Skills gained through this program are the ability to identify developmental concerns, adapt curriculum and support communication, motor, cognitive, social and self-help skills, as well as provide strategies for behavior management. Students will be prepared to support families of infants and toddlers through coaching around identified outcomes based on the child’s specific needs, work as the lead teacher in preschool special education settings and provide consultation to preschool teachers who work with children with diverse abilities and backgrounds. Graduates will be prepared to work in early intervention and early childhood special education settings across Virginia, with particular focus in urban and high-need areas. Successful completion of the program will result in licensure in special education/early childhood curriculum (B-5).

Student learning outcomes

  1. Learner and learning: Students will understand human development and learning theory appropriate to the age group they will teach and acquire an awareness of the diversity of the school-age population in cultural backgrounds and styles of learning.
  2. Content: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the subjects they will teach.
  3. Instructional practice: Students will demonstrate an ability to plan and implement effective teaching and measure student learning in ways that lead to sustained development and learning.
  4. Professional responsibility: Students will develop an understanding of purposes for education and a defensible philosophical approach toward teaching and demonstrate professional dispositions.