The Early Intervention (SPED) major leads to a master's degree—M.A., M.S., or M.Ed.— with an emphasis in Early Intervention. Activity-based intervention and a family-guided approach to serving young children, birth through 6 years, with special needs are emphasized.
Students may elect to complete the program in one or two years, see Sample Course Schedule (PDF). Students in the 1 year program will begin the program during Summer term, and students in the 2 year program begin the program in the Fall. Completed applications must be submitted on-line by May 1st for early admission, subsequent applications will be considered until May 1st for any spaces not filled during early admission.
The EI Master’s degree program is designed to prepare professionals to:
- Provide quality early intervention services to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with diverse backgrounds who are at risk and disabled;
- Facilitate the inclusion of children in community programs and provide family-guided intervention,
- Assess and evaluate child/family progress and program effectiveness within a variety of service delivery models with an emphasis on inclusive settings;
- Operate effectively within an interagency, interdisciplinary team approach; and
- Understand and use research outcomes to enhance educational services delivered to children who are at risk and disabled and their families.
Graduates of the program are prepared to fill a variety of professional roles, including:
- Home visitors
- Classroom teachers
- EI/ECSE service coordinators
- Evaluation specialists
- Research assistants
The Early Intervention program prepares students through coursework that is directly linked to practicum experiences. Eight core competency areas guide the content for coursework and field experiences. Full-time students can complete the program in four to five consecutive terms.
Practicum and Field Experiences
Practicum experiences are designed to familiarize students with the eight core competency areas that are emphasized throughout the program in both practica and coursework. Together with their university supervisors and cooperating professionals, students identify the opportunities in their practicum settings that will allow them to practice activities that correspond with the core competency areas. Students receive feedback from their supervisors, cooperating professionals, and peers throughout the term. In addition, students engage in self-reflection exercises by completing a weekly log of their practicum activities and evaluating their overall progress on competency areas at the middle and end of the term with their supervisor and cooperating professionals.
The final supervised field experience is for students who are pursuing initial teaching licensure. Students assume the role of full time interventionist for one term to satisfy their student teaching requirements.