Early Childhood Special Education

Earn your teaching credential and make a profound difference in the lives of young children with diverse learning abilities and needs.


Program description

The certificate in early childhood special education prepares students to work with young children who have a disability or are at risk of developing one.

Students develop foundational knowledge of child development, including child development theories and best practices, including how to:

  • assess, monitor and report the progress of young children
  • build effective practices for engaging families
  • create enriched, inclusive learning environments
  • design coherent instruction
  • plan and facilitate learning

Graduates are eligible to earn an institutional recommendation from ASU for Arizona teacher certification in Early Childhood Special Education, birth through grade 3, from the Arizona Department of Education. In order to teach in an Arizona public school, graduates must pass the appropriate Arizona educator exams: National Evaluation Series or Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments.

At a glance: program locations

Enrollment requirements

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a non degree-seeking graduate student.

Career outlook

There is a strong demand for both early childhood educators and special educators in Arizona and nationwide. Earning a credential that prepares graduates for both early childhood and special education can open many opportunities. Many graduates with early childhood education credentials hold leadership positions in Head Start, private nonprofit and private for-profit center-based programs, and public school early childhood environments.

Program contact information

If you have questions related to admission, please fill out the request information form and an admission specialist will contact you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.