Program Name and Number: Pre-Kindergarten Special Needs Endorsement– ND8925
Department(s)/Unit(s): Department of Teacher Education/Special Education Program
Delivery Mode: Online
Terms of Entry: Fall, Spring, Summer
Enrollment Eligibility: Non-degree status
Program Overview: The mission of the Pre-Kindergarten Special Needs program is to increase the quantity of high-quality Pre-Kindergarten Special Needs teachers across the state of Ohio and the nation. This program will help to ensure that there are a sufficient number of fully credentialed and well-prepared teachers to instruct preschool children with disabilities and developmental delays so that the quality of instructional services received by children and their families is resolute. Educational professionals will benefit from the Pre-Kindergarten Special Needs program by acquiring advanced knowledge and skills to enhance the early educational opportunities for preschool children with special needs. This is a part-time program. Individuals complete one course per semester and complete the program in one year.
Program Learning Outcomes:
- Explain the key principles of the major theories of child development
- Describe the typical progression of child development in all of the following developmental domains, as well as the nature and sequence of atypical development: cognitive; communication, language, and literacy; social-emotional; fine- and gross-motor; and, adaptive skills
- Summarize the inter-relatedness of a child’s developmental domains
- Explain genetic, biological, and environmental factors that influence children’s development
- Compare the impacts of prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal factors that place a child at risk for developmental delays and disabilities
- Differentiate the characteristics and causes of various disabilities
- Explain the formal assessment tools used to screen, diagnosis, and evaluate children
- Develop individual intervention plans that reflect consideration of family resources, concerns, and priorities, natural environments, and child assessments
- Implement informal assessment tools to (a) monitor children’s progress, (b) adapt instructional practices, and (b) evaluate the effectiveness of teaching on children’s learning
- Utilize a variety of methods and resources to evaluate meaningful curricula that addresses children’s learning goals
- Analyze strategies to support and empower families from diverse social and cultural backgrounds in the screening, diagnosis, educational planning, and ongoing assessment processes
- Construct curriculum objectives that are relevant for particular children, and the systematic matching of instructional techniques and settings to those objectives
- Implement planning and intervention strategies conducive to fostering independence, initiative, and problem solving in young children with disabilities
- Design activity plans that integrate intervention objectives and strategies from different disciplines into ongoing, everyday routines and activities
- Execute appropriate guidance techniques that maintain child engagement individually and in group situations
Opportunities upon Completion: Teacher shortages in special education have been a problem for numerous years and they tend to be even more challenging to resolve in rural settings. Three-fourths of all young children in Ohio enter kindergarten without the skills necessary to be successful. Completion of the program meets Ohio’s Educator Licensure Standards for Pre-Kindergarten Special Needs, which are standards for teaching children ages 3-5 who have disabilities. After completing this coursework and passing the Ohio Educator Assessment #13 Early Childhood Special Education, individuals will be fully credentialed to teach preschoolers with disabilities in inclusive and separate settings.
Completion Requirements: Successful completion of the following three, 3-credit hour courses with a grade of a C or better: (1) EDSP 5800: Typical and Atypical Early Development; (2) EDSP 5820: Assessment of Young Children with Exceptionalities; and (3) EDSP 5830: Methods in Early Childhood Special Education. Individuals must also complete 60 hours of fieldwork working with children 3-5 years old with developmental delays or disabilities.
Program Relationship to Parent Degree Program: The parent program of this graduate certificate is a Master’s Degree in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Intervention Specialist degree, with program code ME6220. Neither enrollment in nor completion of the master’s degree is required to complete the endorsement, but completion of this program does fulfill one of the courses toward completion of the master’s degree. EDSP 5830: Methods in Early Childhood Special Education can be used toward fulfillment of the master’s degree requirements.
Admission Requirements: Overall 3.0 GPA from most recent degree program; current teaching licensure in early childhood education, elementary education, intervention specialist, special education, or a related field approved by the program coordinator; brief statement of professional goals, and one letter of recommendation.
International Students: This program does not permit full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 cannot be issued based on admission to this program.