Education: Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Education (BA)

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Early Childhood Education
Concentration: Early Childhood Special Education
Program Code: 3204

About This Major . . .

The Center for Teacher Education offers a comprehensive program of study that leads to licensure in Colorado.  Our professors are experienced, knowledgeable, accessible, and dedicated to the improvement of public education. At Colorado Mesa, we pride ourselves on the personal touch. Faculty offer one-on-one guidance for course selection, field placements, student teaching and employment. Our mission is to develop Educators as Innovators; we are always looking to improve the quality of learning in our programs, early childhood programs, and K-12 schools.

As a student, you will gradually accumulate over 200 hours of classroom experience before beginning student teaching. School districts throughout western Colorado provide opportunities to gain experience with children of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of school settings.

The Early Childhood Special Education program provides teacher education candidates with broad content knowledge and prepares them as teachers for early childhood including birth through second/third grade (birth to age 8) in an inclusive setting. A minimum of 70 credit hours of essential learning and foundation coursework must be completed with a minimum GPA of 2.80 before a candidate may apply for admission to the Center for Teacher Education program. Please see the Teacher Education Admission Packet for further information on admissions criteria.

Important information about this program: 

  • 123 semester hours total for the BA in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education.
  • 2.80 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • 2.80 cumulative GPA or higher in coursework toward the major content area.
  • All ECSE/EDUC prefix courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.
  • Students must pass the PRAXIS II exam in the content area prior to beginning the internship.  Also, all other coursework toward the degree must be successfully completed prior to the internship.
  • A grade of C or better must be earned in all required courses, unless otherwise stated.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource. 

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of major area’s content knowledge and pedagogical strategies through fieldwork with learners in professional settings. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  2. Design and establish a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  3. Plan and deliver effective instruction to students, based on research-based pedagogical practices. (Communication Literacy/Information Literacy)
  4. Collect and analyze student assessment data and use results to inform planning and instruction. (Quantitative Fluency)
  5. Demonstrate professionalism through ethical conduct, reflection, and leadership. (Personal and Social Responsibility)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours, must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course, unless otherwise noted.)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1,2
MATH 205Elements of Mathematics II-GTMA13
History
Select one History course3
Humanities
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
PSYC 150General Psychology-GTSS3 33
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 4
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Other Lower Division Requirements

Must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course, unless otherwise noted.

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Foundation Courses

(30 semester hours, must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course, unless otherwise noted.)

EDEC 101Introduction to Early Childhood3
EDEC 103Guidance Strategies3
MATH 105Elements of Mathematics I3
EDEC 113Infant and Toddler Theory and Practice3
EDEC 122Ethics in Early Childhood Education1
EDEC 205Nutrition, Health, Safety3
EDEC 238Early Childhood Development 0-8 Years3
EDEC 240Curriculum and Development: Early Childhood3
EDEC 241Early Childhood Administration: Human Relations3
EDEC 250Exceptionalities in Early Education3
EDEC 290Early Literacy for the Young Child2
Total Semester Credit Hours30

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(52 semester hours, must earn a grade of "C" or better in each course, unless otherwise stated, and maintain a 2.80 cumulative GPA or higher in coursework in this area.)

  • All ECSE/EDUC prefix courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.
  • Students must pass the PRAXIS II exam in the content area prior to beginning the internship.  Also, all other coursework toward the degree must be successfully completed prior to the internship.
Core Courses 1
EDEC 256Working with Parents, Families, and Community Systems3
EDUC 311Creative and Physical Expressions for Children3
EDUC 340Pedagogical and Assessment Knowledge for Teachers: Early Childhood, Birth - 8 years (20 field experience hours)3
EDUC 343Teaching to Diversity (20 field experience hours)3
EDUC 374Exceptional and English Language Learners in the Inclusive Classroom3
EDUC 378Technology for K-12 Educators1
EDUC 301Emergent Literacy for Early Childhood (20 field experience hours)3
ECSE 320Learner Development and Individual Differences3
ECSE 435Assessment and Evaluation of the Young Child, Birth-8 Years (20 field experience hours)3
ECSE 430Instructional Strategies for Inclusion and Intervention, Birth-8 Years (20 field experience hours)3
EDUC 440Methods of Teaching Language and Literacy: EC (40 field experience hours)3
EDUC 451Methods of Teaching Mathematics: Early Childhood/Elementary (60 field experience hours)3
EDUC 461Methods of Teaching Science and Social Studies: Early Childhood/Elementary3
ECSE 450Individual Behavior Support and Guidance with Young Learners3
EDUC 499ATeaching Internship and Colloquia: K-2 (300 field experience hours)6
ECSE 499Teaching Internship and Colloquia: Early Childhood Ages 3 - 5/Pre-K (300 field experience hours)6
Praxis II Exam Passed
Total Semester Credit Hours52

All ECSE/EDUC prefix courses listed above must be completed with a grade of B or better to progress through the program sequence.  Students must PASS the PRAXIS II exam in the content area prior to commencing the internship.  Also, ALL other coursework toward the degree must be successfully completed prior to the internship.

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 123 hours. 4 semester hours.

Select electives4
Total Semester Credit Hours4
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
PSYC 150 General Psychology-GTSS3 3
Essential Learning - History 3
EDEC 101 Introduction to Early Childhood 3
EDEC 103 Guidance Strategies 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
Essential Learning - Social/Behavioral Science 3
EDEC 122 Ethics in Early Childhood Education 1
EDEC 238 Early Childhood Development 0-8 Years 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
Fall Semester
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
MATH 105 Elements of Mathematics I 3
EDEC 205 Nutrition, Health, Safety 3
EDEC 240 Curriculum and Development: Early Childhood 3
EDEC 241 Early Childhood Administration: Human Relations 3
KINA Activity 1
 Semester Credit Hours17
Spring Semester
MATH 205 Elements of Mathematics II-GTMA1 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
EDEC 113 Infant and Toddler Theory and Practice 3
EDEC 250 Exceptionalities in Early Education 3
EDEC 290 Early Literacy for the Young Child 2
General Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Third Year
Fall Semester
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
EDUC 340 Pedagogical and Assessment Knowledge for Teachers: Early Childhood, Birth - 8 years 3
EDUC 343 Teaching to Diversity 3
EDUC 374 Exceptional and English Language Learners in the Inclusive Classroom 3
ECSE 320 Learner Development and Individual Differences 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
EDEC 256 Working with Parents, Families, and Community Systems 3
EDUC 311 Creative and Physical Expressions for Children 3
EDUC 301 Emergent Literacy for Early Childhood 3
ECSE 435 Assessment and Evaluation of the Young Child, Birth-8 Years 3
ECSE 430 Instructional Strategies for Inclusion and Intervention, Birth-8 Years 3
General Elective 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
EDUC 378 Technology for K-12 Educators 1
EDUC 440 Methods of Teaching Language and Literacy: EC 3
EDUC 451 Methods of Teaching Mathematics: Early Childhood/Elementary 3
EDUC 461 Methods of Teaching Science and Social Studies: Early Childhood/Elementary 3
ECSE 450 Individual Behavior Support and Guidance with Young Learners 3
 Semester Credit Hours13
Spring Semester
EDUC 499A Teaching Internship and Colloquia: K-2 6
ECSE 499 Teaching Internship and Colloquia: Early Childhood Ages 3 - 5/Pre-K 6
 Semester Credit Hours12
 Total Semester Credit Hours123

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/registrar/graduation.html.

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.