A student being superimposed in front of an orange background showing small children playing in a preschool setting.

Make an Impact in Elementary and Special Education

Interested in early childhood education and special education? The BSEd in Early Childhood/Special Education program prepares you to teach all students in pre-K to grade 4, as well as special education students in pre-K to grade 12.

The specially designed program at IUP gives you a solid foundation in the right techniques and strategies that will strengthen children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development in both groups. You’ll get to put what you learn into practice through extensive field experiences in a wide variety of placements, including classrooms for students with diverse learning needs and classrooms for students from pre-K to grade 4.

This is a dual-certification program, so you’ll earn the academic requirements for Pennsylvania certification in pre-K to grade 4 and special education pre-K to grade 12.

Along the way, you’ll have a dedicated faculty advisor to help and support you on your path to becoming a great teacher.

What You’ll Learn

Math, literacy, science, and social studies are among the variety of subjects you’ll learn to teach in the BSEd in Early Childhood/Special Education program. You’ll learn to implement and adapt these lessons for students with diverse learning needs and put these skills into practice through intensive field experience placements.

Start Out Ahead

Transfer in credits from high school or a community college, or bring in your child development associate credential for nine IUP credits.

Imagine Your Future

You want to make an impact on children’s lives in the classroom. If your dream is to become an elementary school teacher or a special educator for elementary or secondary grades, the BSEd in Early Childhood/Special Education program will help make that a reality. It’s also an opportunity to develop strong and meaningful relationships with students as well as with their parents to create a foundation of support for their children.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these jobs are in demand, offering steady employment with a good income averaging $60,000.

Similar Occupations

Here are other careers related to early childhood and special education teachers:

  • After-school program director
  • Education coordinator
  • Education policy researcher
  • Preschool teacher
  • Test developer

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers


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Special Education Teachers


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Classes and Requirements

This Early Childhood Education/Special Education (ECSP) program is designed to assist students in becoming highly qualified, competent, and effective teachers of all learners. The program has an emphasis on best practices in both early childhood education (pre-K to grade 4) and special education (pre-K to grade 12). Students in this program will meet the academic requirements for Pennsylvania certification in pre-K to grade 4, as well as special education pre-K to grade 12.

Teacher Certification Requirements

All students seeking teacher certification must meet the requirements of the Three-Step Process for Teacher Education.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Student Organizations

Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education

Become part of an organization supporting outstanding academic achievement in education. As a member, you'll participate in KDP-sponsored guest-speaker events and workshops. Membership is open to all education majors, including early childhood/special education, with positive personal qualities, solid education career ambitions, and sound academic achievement.

Best Buddies International

This national organization matches you with intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals with whom you can develop friendships through community activities.

Sign Language Club

Do you sign? Join the club! You’ll become part of an inclusive setting for students at all levels of fluency in sign language (including American Sign Language, Pidgin Signed English, and Signing Exact English). It’s a place where you all can gather, express, and share your interest in sign language and deaf culture.

Council for Exceptional Children

If you’re focused on working with students with special needs, work alongside other students through the IUP chapter of this international professional organization that advocates for children with disabilities. You’ll be able to participate in professional conferences and plan leisure and educational activities for young individuals with disabilities.