Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs Major

Department of Human Development and Family Science

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The early childhood education and exceptional needs (ECEEN) major is designed for students who enjoy working with young children and young children with disabilities. ECEEN students develop skills for teaching both typically developing children and children with developmental disabilities and their families. In the major, you’ll complete a program that prepares you to apply for dual Indiana teaching licensure in Early Childhood Generalist and Early Childhood Exceptional Needs (birth-grade 3). Through the degree and licensure program, you are prepared to work in early intervention programs, prekindergarten classrooms in schools and community programs and early childhood (grades K-3) regular and special education classrooms in public or private schools.

You’ll receive hands-on experience at the Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School as well as in community schools and other early childhood programs. The major also requires the completion of a semester as a student teacher in a child development center or a public or private school.

You may also choose to participate in one of the Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) interdisciplinary programs in gerontology, applied behavior analysis or public health.

Career Opportunities

  • Child care, Head Start or Early Head Start provider or administrator 
  • Early intervention provider or administrator
  • Early childhood educator (preschool – third grade)
  • Early childhood special educator (preschool – third grade)
  • Public and private school early childhood regular or special education classrooms (prekindergarten through 3rd grade)
  • Family support specialist
  • Child care training specialist
  • Special needs service coordinator

Potential Areas of Advanced Study

  • Human development and family science
  • Occupational therapy
  • Public health
  • Social work

Learning Experiences

  • Develop your skills in working with infants and young children through practicum components of ECEEN courses.
  • Complete a semester of required full-time student teaching during your senior year in programs for children who are typically developing and children with special learning needs.
View Complete List of Courses Degree Requirements
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