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Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education

Students working in the Early Learning Center at UD

College of Education and Human Development

Department of Human Development and Family Sciences

 

Helping young children reach their potential


UD’s Early Childhood Education major prepares students to help young children--with and without special need--to reach their full potential. Graduates can teach in public and private schools and child care programs, become early interventionists and advocates, or work for community service agencies. 

Our coursework focuses on child development--teaching students how to identify appropriate instructional strategies and materials that meet each child’s social, cognitive, and physical characteristics. Students gain real-world experience, on our children’s campus and in community agencies and schools, working with young children from diverse backgrounds and with special needs.

Our graduates emerge well-prepared professionals, eligible for teaching certification in two areas—Early Childhood Education (birth – 2nd grade) and Early Childhood Special Education. Because the program is recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as a blended Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education program (one of very few in the country), graduates are eligible for teaching certification in all 50 states.  

To help further their career, students can enroll in one of our 4+1 programs, leading to a bachelor's/master’s degree in just five years. 

 

Areas of study

  • Child Development
  • Classroom Management
  • Inclusive Curriculum
  • Diversity and Families
  • Literacy Instruction


Career options

  • Teacher in public/private school or Early Head Start program
  • Early Care Program director
  • Parent Education Specialist
  • Early Interventionist


Graduate Programs

  • Early Childhood Administration
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Autism & Severe Disabilities
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Human Development and Family Sciences

What’s special about this program?

Our ECE majors complete over 200 hours of supervised experience in UD’s Laboratory Preschool, Early Learning Center or in public school settings. In their final year of the program, students complete two full semesters of student teaching, educating young children with and without special learning needs.

 

We encourage our students to become global citizens and offer multiple opportunities to study abroad, including student teaching internationally or engaging in service-learning in winter session study abroad programs. 

 

ECE is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Council for Exceptional Children, meeting the highest standards for preparation of early childhood and early childhood special education teachers.

Get involved

We provide our students opportunities to grow academically, socially and professionally. Our advisement center, staffed by experienced advisors, helps ECE majors pursue their individual interests.

 

Ask your advisor about opportunities to study abroad, conduct undergraduate research, serve internships, or become a member of our service/honors/support clubs.  

Sample curriculum

ENGL110

Seminar in Composition

 

HDFS201

 

Life Span Development

HDFS202

 

Diversity and Families

HDFS220

 

Child Development I: Prenatal to Age 3

 

HDFS221

 

Child Development II: 3 to 10 years
MATH251

Math for K-8 Teachers: Numbers and Operations

 

UNIV101

First Year Experience

 

 

History and Cultural Change Courses

 

 

Social or Behavioral Science Course

 

Science Elective

EDUC210

Beginning Literacy Instruction

 

EDUC230

Introduction to Exceptional Children

 

HDFS222

Intro to Inclusive Curriculum and Assessment: Birth-Grade 2

 

HDFS224

Practicum in Inclusive Curriculum: Birth-Grade 2

 

HDFS355

Professional Issues in Early Childhood Development and Education

 

HDFS411

Inclusive Curriculum: Infants and Toddlers

 

HDFS431

Field Experience: Infants and Toddlers

 

HDFS470

Families and Children at Risk

 

 

Math Elective

 

 

Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Technology (w/ lab)

 

 

English Course

 

  Elective Courses
HDFS406

Supporting Literacy in Early Childhood Education

 

HDFS412

EC Inclusive Math Curriculum and Assessment

 

HDFS413

EC Inclusive Science Curriculum and Assessment

 

HDFS414

Guidance and Behavior Support: Birth-Grade 2

 

HDFS432

Field Experience: Preschool-Kindergarten

 

HDFS433

Field Experience: Kindergarten- Grade 2

 

HDFS435

Programs for Children with Exceptionalities

 

 

Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Technology (w/ lab)

 

 

Creative Arts and Humanities Course

 

  History and Cultural Change
EDUC400

Student Teaching 1

 

EDUC400

Student Teaching 2

 

HDFS424

Professional Development Seminar I

 

HDFS425

Professional Development Seminar II

 

HDFS441

Advanced Inclusive Curriculum in EC I

 

HDFS442

Advanced Inclusive Curriculum in EC II

 

Ready for the next step? 

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See how recent Early Childhood Education grads are succeeding

Career Outcomes