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What You Will Do

Many urban children face major life stressors every day: extreme poverty, social isolation, underfunded schools. Their teachers, if unprepared for this setting, often add to their challenges in carrying lower expectations of their academic capabilities, based on cultural and language differences. As a major in Early Childhood/Special Education Urban Track, you’ll be prepared to make a real difference in these children’s lives.

This track uses the Professional Development School model, giving you more field time working with preK–4 children in elementary classrooms, and preK–8 students with special needs in real classrooms in Pittsburgh urban schools. You’ll spend your entire senior year assigned to a classroom, taking methods courses with your IUP professors on site and discussing the learning challenges you’re encountering.

You’ll also take the Philadelphia Urban Seminar, a two-week cultural immersion field course, and Orientation to Teaching in Urban Centers, which explores cultural bridging, institutionalized racism, ethnic identity development (including white identity), white privilege, and other concepts.

In the ECSP Urban Track, students’ misconceptions about urban schools, children, and parents are broken. They see and hear children who want to learn and parents who want the best for them. They see and hear things that inspire them greatly, every day.

What You’ll Become

The B.S.Ed. degree in Early Childhood/Special Education, Urban Track, leads to teaching certification for preschool through fourth grade and special education for preschool through eighth grade with extensive experience catering to the different needs of students in inner city settings.

Early childhood and special education teacher jobs are expected to increase about 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The greatest job growth will be in urban schools.

Your experience at IUP will provide you with structured learning experiences that will prepare you for a career in changing young lives.

For more information on Urban Track, contact:

Dr. Monte Tidwell:

For more information on Early Childhood-Special Education, contact co-coordinators:

Early Childhood: Dr. Shirley Johnson:

Special Education: Dr. Anne Cramer:

  • Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services Department
  • Davis Hall, Room 203
    570 South Eleventh Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1087
  • Phone: 724-357-2450
  • Fax: 724-357-7716
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.