The Early Childhood Special Education Associate in Science degree program provides students with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Graduates should be able to screen and identify the unique needs of preschoolers and their families and define early intervention services needed to address those unique needs. The graduate will be able to describe and plan a flexible, interactive curriculum for preschoolers with disabilities in the regular classroom. This program will familiarizes students with major laws affecting special education.
The Early Learning Center at the Downtown Campus, along with preschool programs in the Greater New Haven area, offer laboratory facilities to students. One associate degree and one certificate option is available in the Early Childhood Special Education program. Courses taken as part of either program can be transferred to any of Connecticut’s participating baccalaureate institutions that offer Early Childhood Education Teacher Certification programs: University of Connecticut’s Human Development and Family Relations major and Charter Oak State College’s Child Studies concentration. The terms for credit award and student eligibility vary. However, in general, students must meet the following transfer eligibility requirements:
- Be a graduate from a validated associate degree program in Early Childhood Education in Connecticut
- Meet specific admission requirements of the college or university into which transfer is being sought
- Complete all associate degree Early Childhood Special Education courses with a grade of “C” or better and meet the college’s or university’s requirements for transfer of general education
- Complete all associate degree Early Childhood Education student teaching with a grade of “C” or better in a center accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- Furthermore, if a student wishes to transfer into an Early Childhood Education Teacher Certification program, it is strongly recommended that, prior to transfer, he or she demonstrate the following state certification requirements:
- A score of 1000 or better on the SAT, successful completion of the Praxis I examination, or have initiated the process of taking the Praxis I examination
- A 2.7 grade point average if seeking admission to a teacher certification education program in Connecticut
For more information, call the Early Childhood Special Education Program Coordinator, Carmelita Valencia-Daye at (203) 285-2172 or e-mail at (CValencia-Daye@gatewayct.edu). For scholarship information, contact CT Charts-a-Course at (800) 832-7784.
Upon completion of all program requirements, graduates should be able to:
- Know the historical and philosophical bases for ECSE
- Create his or her own philosophy of ECSE and maintain an awareness and sensitiveness to culturally diverse populations
- Identify and explain the laws that mandate services for children with special needs and the eligibility requirements for families of children with special needs
- Identify and explain the following planning plans used in ECSE: the Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) and the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- Recognize such aspects of exceptionalities as: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), communication disorders, mental retardation, emotional and behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, visual and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, and giftedness
- Understand the rationale and strategies for involving parents and families in the screening, assessment, education programming, and placement of their child
- Participate in student teaching to apply theoretical teaching techniques; plan and write effective curricula, lesson plans, and IEPs that include goals, objectives, and strategies to effect change in children with special needs and plan curricula that are authentic and culturally appropriate.
- Understand the importance of working cooperatively with other staff members, professionals, and parents to form an effective team