Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education (BAE)

The BAE program for early childhood and early childhood special education prepares students for certification in both early childhood education (birth to age 8 or grade 3) and early childhood special education (birth to age 8 or grade 3).

This is a premier program taught by nationally renowned faculty who emphasize community connectedness, technology integration, policy analysis and advocacy related to young children with or without disabilities or developmental delays.

The program teaches child development, best practices in early childhood education and the skills to assess, monitor and report the progress of children with and without disabilities. It provides techniques and approaches to involve family members in the growth and development of young children.

The teacher certification program in early childhood and early childhood special education is clinically embedded during the junior and senior years. The primary goal of all clinical experiences is to provide interns and student teachers with multiple opportunities to apply knowledge learned in coursework to practice in preK-12 classrooms. Students complete internships during their junior year that require one to two days per week in a classroom and student teaching, which is a full-time, year-long apprenticeship known as the senior year residency. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College faculty and highly qualified mentor teachers from our partner school districts and charter schools coach interns and student teachers during required preschool and grades K-3 general education and special education clinical experiences. The clinical experience provided by the program, known as MLFTC Professional Pathways, is unmatched in Arizona. It provides students with an opportunity to work directly with children and make an immediate impact on classroom achievement. This intensive, hands-on clinical experience model of teacher preparation creates highly sought-after graduates.

This program also offers a full, structured English immersion endorsement to work with English language learners and provides extensive experiences in integrating technology into teaching.

Graduates are recommended for teacher certification. Those desiring to teach in a public school must pass the appropriate Arizona educator exams, National Evaluation Series or Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments, to be certified to teach in the state of Arizona.

Degree Offered

Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education (BAE)


Major Map

A major map outlines the degree’s requirements for graduation.

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Application Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Paying for College

There are several ways to pay for your degree, and we can help you along the way as you submit applications and decide which path is best for you. Learn more about paying for college.

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Career Outlook

There is a strong demand for early childhood special education teachers in Arizona. A high percentage of students from this program receive job offers during their senior year residency. Many graduates with a degree in early childhood special education hold leadership positions in Head Start, private nonprofit and private for-profit center-based programs and public school early childhood environments. Early childhood certification or endorsement is required for teaching kindergarten in Arizona.

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