Online Early Childhood Special Education Degrees by Program Level
Individuals interested in working with children with emotional and behavioral challenges will a degree in special education to be a requirement for nearly every position. Students interested in distance learning can pursue online master's and doctoral programs.
Online Master's Degree Programs in Early Childhood Special Education Overview
Most students seeking a Master in Education (M.Ed.) degree in early childhood special education are educators who already work with children with education and behavioral challenges fostering students' academic achievement and classroom interaction with fellow students and instructors. A bachelor's degree in a relevant field and acceptable scores on graduate entrance exams are prerequisites for the master's degree program.
Program Information and Requirements
A master's degree program typically takes 2-3 years to complete. Students interested in distance learning need a computer with high-speed Internet access. Instructors combine traditional texts with modern online teaching methods, such as a course management system and online presentations, in order to create a virtual classroom experience.
List of Common Courses in Early Childhood Special Education at the Master's Level
Graduate-level courses in early childhood special education prepare students for a focused career path in education. Courses examine current educational laws and policies, as well as strategies for working with behaviorally and academically challenged children in the classroom.
Mental Health Issues in Education Course
Students receive a comprehensive overview of elementary and secondary school students' unique mental health issues and challenges, including ADHD, family problems, self-esteem and bullying. This course focuses on successful classroom integration of challenged students.
Introduction to the Learning Process Course
During this course, students learn contemporary, tested principles of human learning, practical applications of those principles in the class. Current education research is also a focal point.
Education and Policy, Law and Ethics Course
Federal laws concerning education and specifically laws impacting challenged children, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) , the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the No Child Left Behind Act, are topics covered in this class. Students also study the current state of the juvenile court system, abuse and neglect reporting,, drugs, weapons and states' safe schools acts.
In addition to a degree, states also require K-12 teachers to be licensed and complete a teacher education program. While employment is possible with only a bachelor's degree, a master's degree is highly preferable. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected a 17% rise in employment for special educational teachers who averaged an annual salary of $53,770.
Online Doctoral Programs in Early Childhood Special Education Overview
Individuals aspiring to educational leadership positions or looking to teach at the college or university level will find a doctoral degree to be an asset. A master's degree in a relevant field is a prerequisite, as is prior professional experience. Students complete advanced seminars in special topics focused on working with emotionally and academically challenged children in the classroom.
Program Information and Requirements
Those interested in distance-learning can take advantage of online and hybrid degree programs, which can be completed in 3-4 years. Students need a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. Since many classes require students to complete academic papers, a good word processing program is required.
List of Common Courses in Early Childhood Special Education at the Doctoral Level
Doctoral courses consist primarily of special topic seminars on special education issues such as behavioral disorders, working with ethnically diverse students and current academic testing tools. Doctoral candidates also conduct academic research in writing a dissertation.
Disabilities and Multiculturalism Course
This course looks at the classroom challenges of cultural, ethnic and linguistic differences. Topics of special interest include prejudices, handicapism, discrimination and minority viewpoints. Students study, analyze and practice preventative tactics and problem resolution.
Academic Research in Education Course
This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of how to conduct academic research on topics in education. Students identify research questions, review contemporary literature and conduct self-directed research
Advanced Behavioral Analysis Course
This advanced course looks at behavioral analysis from a research standpoint, with emphasis on classroom application. Topics of special interest include stimulus control, rule-governed behavior, setting events, verbal behavior and functional analysis.
Prospective college or university teachers and high-level academics overwhelmingly hold a doctorate degree. In September 2010, Salary.com reported typical annual salaries for associate professors and professors of special education to be $45,000-$96,000 and $56,000-$196,000 respectively.
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