Achieving dual certification in Early Childhood Education and Special Education enables you to be far more than a teacher: You will be prepared to make a difference while working with children of all abilities. You will be ready to change lives.

PK-4 Program Mission

The PK-4 Program is built on a solid foundation of the principles of child development.  It focuses on the whole child as it prepares highly-qualified, highly-effective candidates to meet the many and diverse needs of young children in a global society.


Thirteen percent of all children in public schools receive special education services due to conditions such as learning disabilities, social or emotional disorders, or autism. The necessity for specialized educators who understand and can provide for the needs of these students is clear, and Alvernia is committed to preparing students to fill those roles.

Special Education Program Mission

The Alvernia University Education Department, rooted in a proud Franciscan heritage, is dedicated to providing instruction in educational theory balanced with current best practices. The Special Education Program focuses on the high leverage practices of interdisciplinary collaboration and inclusivity within a legally and ethically responsible environment, designed to foster growth in all children and adolescents with identified learning needs in our schools today.


In this dual major, you’ll receive a broad-based liberal arts background, along with special education courses that prepare you to effectively deal with students with special needs in the regular classroom or a special education classroom.


Through field experiences, service learning, and student teaching, you’ll gain knowledge and skills necessary to work with children with special needs in a variety of educational settings. You’ll develop an understanding of how to work with children of various abilities and disabilities in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.


The coursework is designed to meet the latest state and national standards, and our Education Programs are approved by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education. When you graduate from Alvernia’s Early Childhood Education and Special Education program, you’ll be prepared and eligible to take an educator certification test. Once certified, you’ll be ready to begin your career.


Curriculum Highlights

  • All Alvernia students must complete courses that collectively are known as the Liberal Arts Core. These courses total 55 credits. You’ll also need to complete graduation requirements, including community service.
  • Acceptance into the Education Department requires that you’ve completed 48 credit hours and have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. You’ll also need to have a recommendation from a faculty member.
  • As an Early Childhood Education/Special Education major, you’ll need to complete 74 credits in education courses.


Questions? Contact:

1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269


Mary B. Schreiner, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Special Education & Graduate Education Programs

Education Undergraduate Programs