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.

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.

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 three field work placements and a student teaching experience, 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.

Course work at Alvernia is designed to meet the latest state and national standards, and our Education Program is approved by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education.

Your Career

One thing is for certain, there will always be a place for excellent teachers. Employment prospects vary from region to region, but employment of early education teachers is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The projected growth rate for special education teachers is 6 percent. With dual certification, you will be positioned to be highly qualified for teaching positions.

Graduates of Alvernia’s Education programs are employed in nearly every school district in Berks and Schuylkill counties and surrounding areas. Alvernia teachers have taught in schools across the U.S. and in other countries, as well.

While you may be envisioning a career as a classroom teacher, teachers also serve in other capacities, including:

  • Educational consultant
  • Educational researcher
  • Child life specialist
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Resource teacher
  • Textbook writer
  • Education and training administrator

When you graduate from Alvernia’s Early Childhood Education/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.

For more information about Alvernia’s Early Childhood Education program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or admissions@alvernia.edu.

Your Curriculum

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. Those courses are:

ED 200 Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education
ED 204 Human Development and Learning
ED 208 Health and Physical Education in the Elementary School
ED 209 Planning, Instruction and Assessment
ED 210 Methods for the Elementary Inclusive Classroom
ED 440 Teaching Science in Elementary School
ED 302 Principles of Writing Instruction
ED 310 Skills for Early Childhood Education
ED 313 Managing Classroom Learning Communities
ED 314 Teaching the Arts in Elementary School
ED 400 Assessment and Evaluation
ED 402 Professional Seminar
ED 403 Reading Methods for the Elementary Inclusive Classroom
ED 404 Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary School
ED 414 Teaching Social Studies in Elementary School
ED 436 Field Experience III
ED 470 Student Teaching
ED 472 Teaching Seminar
SPE 100 Introduction to Exceptionalities in Children and Youth
SPE 315 Teaching Reading/Language Arts to Students with Disabilities
SPE 335 High Incidence Disabilities
SPE 345 Low Incidence Disabilities
SPE 410 Evaluation and Progress Monitoring with Special Needs Students
SPE 425 Legal and Professional Practices in Special Education
Related requirements are:

MAT 106 Mathematics for Teachers II
COM 270 ESL Teacher