This major is for candidates who plan to teach young children from the ages of birth to grade 2. It leads to certification in both special education and general education in New York State for this age range of learner.

This major is informally known around campus as “Early SEED” which refers to Special and Elementary Education at the early level of education. Perhaps it also refers to the notion that good teachers plant the “seeds” of learning in today’s classroom. Either way, this program of study equally integrates the field of special education and general education in order to prepare pre-service teachers (often called “candidates”) with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are needed to help all children learn, especially those with unique learning needs.

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Early Childhood Special Education

The Early SEED Major

With each education course, a pre-service candidate can usually expect to spend at least 10 hours in the schools completing embedded field hour assignments. As the program progresses, candidates spend over 150 hours conducting school-based field hours which are highly integrated and supported by program faculty.

One of the strongest components of this program is the focus on the stages of early learning and how to support children and families from diverse backgrounds. Candidates in this program also receive a strong background in working with children who have behavioral disorders and those who may have some of the most significant medical, intellectual, and social challenges at the infant and toddler level.

By the conclusion of the Early SEED major, candidates complete student teaching at the pre-school-kindergarten and first-second grade level in both general education and special education. During this time, candidates take over the role of the teacher in two very different settings. As graduation approaches, candidates present their electronic professional portfolio to the faculty and community members. The portfolio is a compilation of the work completed during the years spent at The College. The portfolio process is an exciting time when candidates are given the opportunity to reflect on all they have learned while presenting those accomplishments to other professionals.

Unique Program Features

  • Practical experience in real classrooms from pre-school – grade 3
  • Course embedded field hours with most education courses
  • Preparation across a wide range of learners with and without disabilities
  • Specific coursework and experience with learners with intellectual disabilities
  • Collaboration with PK-12 school partners
  • Faculty with practical teaching experience who are also actively involved in schools
  • Coursework across disciplines
  • Opportunities to get involved in campus-based social and academic experiences with children and adolescents with disabilities

Suggested Four Year Course Plan

Freshman Year

Fall
16 credits: Liberal Arts Courses OR Concentration Courses
0 credits: SEE 100 – Introduction to the Profession

Spring
16 credits: Liberal Arts Courses OR Concentration Courses

Sophomore Year

Fall
10 credits: Liberal Arts Courses OR Concentration Courses
3 credits: ECE 230 – Foundations of Early Childhood Ed
4 credits: SED 146 – Individuals w/Disabilities *
0 credits: SEE 106 – Introduction to Portfolio

Spring
6 credits: Liberal Arts Courses OR Concentration Courses
3 credits: ECE 231 – Infant, Toddler, & Preschool Guidance *
4 credits: EPY 244 – Child & Adolescent Development
3 credits: CSD 235 – Language Development

Junior Year

Fall
10 credits: Liberal Arts Courses OR Concentration Courses
3 credits: SEE 350 – Devel. Assessment for Young Children *
4 credits: SEE 328 -Partnerships with Families *

Spring
6 credits: Liberal Arts Courses OR Concentration Courses
4 credits: SEE 360 – Literacy & Literature for Children *
3 credits: ECE 253 – Curriculum and Instruction *
4 credits: SED 260 – Positive Behavioral Supports *

Senior Year

Fall
8 credits: Liberal Arts Courses OR Concentration Courses
4 credits: SED 340 – Assess. Children w/Severe Disabilities *
4 credits: ECE 385 – Integrated Content Methods *

Spring
10 credits: SEE 492 – Student Teaching Early Childhood Ed
2 credits: SEE 481 – Student Teaching Seminar
1 credit: SEE 482 – Student Teaching Portfolio

* Field experience required