B.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education
The B.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program prepares teacher candidates to address the needs of diverse children from birth through second grade in inclusive school environments. This unique, field-based, blended program prepares every candidate to receive an Illinois teaching license with the following endorsements/credentials:
- Early childhood education for birth to grade 2
- Early childhood special education for birth to age 6 (ECSE)
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
The ECSE program also leads to eligibility for an Illinois Early Intervention Developmental Therapist credential.
Beginning as freshmen, students advance in the program through a series of beginning modules, based entirely in community settings, focusing on birth through grade 12 learning environments. Later, ECSE students learn about development sequentially, as they move through specialized sequences in birth-to-three and preschool settings. An inclusive philosophy is infused throughout each of these sequences, joining together the least restrictive environment provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) and best practices in meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse young children with the Loyola University Chicago School of Education conceptual framework. The program emphasizes the application of knowledge and skills to improve cultural competence, enhance educational outcomes for diverse students/families, and pursue social justice as an outcome of professional practice and decision-making. The ECSE program culminates in a one-year internship in an early elementary setting with both inclusive preschool and K-2 experiences. This integrated and intensive field-based approach is designed to infuse the field of early childhood education with highly prepared, fully credentialed professional educators who serve as advocates for young children in a variety of roles to meet critical needs.