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Special Education Concentration

Special Education Concentration and Approval

Kendall College’s Special Education concentration is designed for teacher candidates interested in focusing on special-needs children. This concentration offers you the opportunity to directly impact the lives of some truly exceptional children. And since this program is online, you can earn your Early Childhood Education degree without compromising other personal or professional commitments. Students who take these courses and earn their Illinois Teacher Licensure may apply for the Special Education Approval on their license.

  • Strengthen your teaching pedagogy with differentiated instructional practices
  • Be better prepared to assess and teach in an inclusive ECE classroom environment
  • Know how to facilitate the needs of students with special needs through advocacy and collaboration with other Special Education professionals and parents
  • Obtain additional credentials in a competitive teaching market, such as the Special Education Approval

Course Requirements:

Required Coursework for ConcentrationCredits
ECE 322 Teaching Young Children with Special Needs 4
ECE 320 Screening & Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs 4
ECE 323 Teaming, Collaborating, Communicating: Resources for Families 4
ECE 325 Autism-Spectrum Disorders and Development Delays in Young Children 4
ECE 327 Strategies for Challenging Behavior in Young Children 4

Three courses in special education prepare students to work with children with special needs. For teacher candidates working towards their Teaching License, this concentration plus one additional course (EDU 260) meets the requirements for Special Education Approval.

ECE 322 Teaching Young Children with Special Needs
(4 credits)
This course examines developmentally and individually appropriate strategies to foster the social, emotional, cognitive, communicative, and adaptive learning and motor development of young children with special needs in various settings, including the home, school, and community. Curriculum, instructional methods, and materials for teaching young children with special needs, from birth through kindergarten, are examined. A variety of disabilities are addressed, and topics include compliance with pertinent legislation, team collaboration and practices, IFSPs and IEPs, accommodations and modifications for educating children in the least restrictive environment, assistive technology, individual and family‐centered programming, and direct educational and behavioral intervention techniques.
Prerequisites: All 100‐and 200‐level EDU courses required for major

ECE 320 Screening & Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs
(4 credits)

This course provides an overview of the purposes of engaging in assessment and examination of different kinds of measures, such as screening, assessment for eligibility, and ongoing developmental assessment. Specific types of assessment instruments used for early intervention and other early childhood special education purposes are reviewed and implemented, including formal and informal instruments for assessing young children’s social, emotional, cognitive, communication, motor skills, family strengths, needs, concerns, priorities, resources, as well as school, home, and community learning environments. Through hands‐on practice with a variety of tools, students learn procedures and develop strategies for implementing non‐discriminatory assessment, utilizing valid and reliable measures when conducting formative and summative individual and program evaluation.
Prerequisites: All 100‐and 200‐level EDU courses required for major or permission of the advisor

ECE 323 Teaming, Collaborating, Communicating: Resources for Families
(4 credits)
This course provides an examination of the historical, philosophical, and legal basis for family participation in education and family‐centered services. Students develop techniques for promoting positive, supportive relationships with parents of young children with special needs, including strategies for working with socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse families. Family systems theory is reviewed, as well as family stressors, grief, and coping. Emphasis is placed on models for building effective teams, strategies for facilitating consultation and collaboration among professionals, para‐professionals, families, and other agencies, as well as techniques for supporting family strengths, addressing family needs, priorities and concerns, and accessing community resources.
Prerequisites: All 100‐and 200‐level EDU courses required for major

ECE 325 Autism-Spectrum Disorders and Development Delays in Young Children
(4 Credits)

In this course, students will be provided with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement recommended, evidence-based practices with young children (under 6 years of age) with autism-spectrum disorders and/or developmental delays in an inclusive ECE setting.  Etiology, diagnostic procedures, current theoretical approaches to intervention, and research on supporting young children with autism-spectrum disorders and/or developmental delays and their families, will be considered.  Developmental delays will be considered in their relationship to autism-spectrum disorders and independently in the areas of cognition, social-emotional, gross motor, and speech development. Prerequisites:  ECE 320 AND ECE 322

ECE 327 Strategies for Challenging Behavior in Young Children
(4 Credits)

This course will examine the etiology of behavioral and emotional concerns in young children (under 6 years of age) and strategies for prevention and intervention of challenging behaviors.  Both biological and environmental risk factors, along with protective factors will be considered.  Individual and full classroom assessment, prevention, and intervention strategies will be discussed, including Functional Assessment and Positive Behavioral Support (PBS), along with current psychological and medical interventions that relate to inclusive ECE environments. Prerequisite:  ECE 240.