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Early Childhood Special Education Credential

Degree Requirements

Early Childhood Special Education Credential Program
(15 semester course credits)

Students can earn both the Preliminary Level I and the Clear Professional Level II credentials. These credentials enable teachers to provide educational services to children from birth to pre-kindergarten who are eligible for early intervention or special education. It can be earned with either a master's degree in early childhood education with an emphasis in early childhood special education, or a master's degree in infant mental health combined with early childhood special education. 

The master's degree in early childhood education or master's degree in infant mental health combined with the specialist credential provides students with academic preparation and training for work with infants and young children with developmental disabilities and their families in early intervention and preschool special education settings. This California-approved education specialist instruction credential in early childhood special education enables teachers to provide services to children, ages birth to pre-kindergarten, diagnosed with mild/moderate and moderate/severe disabilities and traumatic brain injury. Further, the Mills credential program provides added authorization in the areas of autism spectrum disorders and emotional disturbance.

Credential Requirements for Masters in Education with an Emphasis in ECE with ECSE Credential Preparation

Preliminary Credential:

Year One

EDUC 214 Diversity in Children with Special Needs: Cultural and Family Systems (.5)

EDUC 231 Assessment and Intervention for Children with Special Needs (1)

EDUC 236 Development and Learning in Young Children (1)

EDUC 253 Administering Early Childhood Programs (.5)

EDUC 255 Children with Special Needs: Infants and Young Children (1)

EDUC 260 History and Theories of Play in Human Development, Culture, and Education (.5)

EDUC 291A/B Theory and Practice of Early Childhood Education: Infants and Preschoolers (1; 1)

EDUC 379 Teaching Language Arts and Literature in the Primary Grades (1)

Year Two

EDUC 242 The Hospitalized Child (1)

EDUC 254 Medical Information: Children in Hospitals and Clinics (.5)

EDUC 258 Early Childhood Curricula for Children with Special Needs (1)

EDUC 263 Administrative Practicum in Early Childhood Programs (.5–1)

EDUC 275A/B Field Experience and Seminar in Early Childhood Settings (1; 1)

EDUC 294A Graduate Seminar: Research in Education—ECE (1)

EDUC 294B Research Seminar—ECE (1)

Select one of the following:

EDUC 234 Documentation as Research (.5)

EDUC 237 Child Language Acquisition (1)

EDUC 238 Social, Emotional, and Moral Development and Learning (1)

Level II Credential*:
(3 semester course credits)

At this level, each student develops an individual induction plan in consultation with an advisor. This requires enrollment in special education pre- and post-induction planning seminars for .25 credit each, and the following courses:

EDUC 203 Public Policy: Children, Youth, and Family Issues (1)

EDUC 277 Special Education Pre-Induction Seminar (.25)

EDUC 278 Special Education Post-Induction Seminar (.25)

EDUC 352 English Language Development and Content Instruction Methods—Multiple Subjects (1)

Non-college activities offered at employing school districts or the special education professional community (.5)

Under the master's degree in early childhood education, the early childhood special education emphasis can be combined with the child life emphasis for an additional semester of course work. Students who choose to study both emphases will graduate with a California education specialist instruction credential in early childhood special education and will qualify to take the national child life certification exam.

* Tentative, subject to CTC (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing) approval.


Last Updated: 3/12/15