Preliminary Special Education Credential, Early Childhood SPED

Designed for candidates who want a career working with infant, toddler and preschool -age children with identified special needs, this early childhood credential prepares teachers to work in public or private preschools, childcare centers or at private homes.

Early Childhood Credential Program Overview

Our CTC accredited Preliminary Early Childhood Special Education Teaching Credential focuses on the skills needed to conduct assessments, provide instruction and special education-related services to young children with disabilities. The curriculum for the University of Massachusetts Global teaching credential provides California educators of young children with advanced methods and strategies for working with learning, development and behavior disabilities.

As a student, you will:

  • Develop the skills required to ensure that instruction and environments are appropriate for the child’s developmental age, needs and identified disabilities.
  • Assist students by cultivating collaborative relationships with families/guardians/caregivers, community members and educational personnel.
  • Reflect the value of and knowledge about children and families from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Think outside the box and incorporate appropriate technology to accommodate students’ individualized needs.

Next Session

Summer I (Apr 29, 2024)

Estimated Tuition

Ways to Learn


Program Benefits that Benefit You.

Large Support Network

With a history of training California teachers since 1958, we've built a vast network of local school districts to help our students locate fieldwork.

Earn your CA Credential Online

Affordable classes that fit your work schedule, offered 100% online so you can learn while you earn.

Culture of Inclusivity

Our credentials were designed using the CTC’s Teaching Performance Expectations to ensure our graduates create challenging but inclusive learning experiences for all.


University of Massachusetts Global is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

California Commission on Teaching Credentialing

University of Massachusetts Global's School of Education is accredited by the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing.

Imagine Your Future With a Teaching Credential, Preliminary, Early Childhood Special Education

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    2. Based on BLS Occupational Employment Statistics and updated quarterly

    3. The University of Massachusetts Global does not guarantee a job to graduates upon completion of any program

    Compared to a brick and mortar, the professors are more open and I was able to learn better from them. The online community is what kept me going. I think this is the first time in my life that I can say I am proud of myself. 
    Leonard W.
    MA in Special Education, Behavior Analysis
    *Brandman University is now UMass Global
    Amy J.
    I took the Autism classes [through Extended Education] and found the passion of special education, which I really never thought of as an option. I finished the Autism program and enrolled in the Master of Special Education.  I have learned to reflect on my teaching and determine if I am reaching all students and on how to better reach any struggling students.
    Amy J.
    MA, Special Education
    dawn perez brandman
    Brandman* has taught me a lot about teaching to different levels of students.
    Dawn P.
    MA, Special Education
    *Brandman University is now UMass Global

    Admission Requirements

    Applicants to the teaching credential program must complete the formal application process with all required documents, which include:

    • Completed application
    • 2.75 grade point average (GPA)
    • Official transcripts showing a conferred Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
    California Only

    Successful completion of this program leads to state licensure, which is limited to the state of California and approval by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

    Letter of Good Standing

    Applicants transferring from another institution's teaching credential program must supply a letter from that institution's Education Department attesting to the applicant's good standing in the program. The letter should be written on institutional letterhead by the Dean, department chair, director of teacher education, or someone in a similar position


    Teaching Credential Program Curriculum

    • Code Course Name Credits
      PSYU 323 Child Development


      ECED 303 Integrated Learning Standards in Early Childhood Settings: Language & Literacy


      ECED 330 Dual Language Learners and Their Families


      Total Credits


    • Code Course Name Credits
      Core/Introductory Courses
      ECED 330 Dual Language Learners and Their Families


      EDUU 639  Pedagogical Leadership in Early Childhood Education


      EDUU 644  Development, Risk, and Resilience


      EDUU 665  Historical, Philosophical, and Legal Foundations of Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special ED 3
      Core/Introductory Subtotal


      Content/Emphasis Area Courses


      EDUU 666  Family Guided Practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education


      EDUU 667  Assessment in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education


      EDUU 668  Curriculum and Intervention in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education


      EDUU 679  Advanced Strategies in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education


      EDUU 602   Positive Behavior Supports 3
      EDUU 645  Consultation, Collaboration and Co-teaching in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education 3
      Content/Emphasis Area Subtotal


       *Clinical Practice credits vary depending on whether the candidate is a student teacher or intern  
      Clinical Practice Subtotal


      Total Credits 40-42
       *Clinical Practice Options: Student Teaching or Internship  
       Early Childhood Special Education  
       Student Teaching
       EDTU 554  Student Teaching I: Early Childhood Special Education 3
       EDUU 576  Education Specialist Student Teaching Seminar A 2
       EDTU 555  Student Teaching II: Early Childhood Special Education 3
       EDUU 577  Education Specialist Students Teaching Seminar B 2
       EDTU 575-A  Supported Teaching I: Early Childhood Special Education (Interns Only) 2
       EDTU 575-B  Supported Teaching I: Early Childhood Special Education (Interns Only) 2
       EDTU 575-C  Supported Teaching I: Early Childhood Special Education (Interns Only) 2
       EDTU 576-A  Supported Teaching II: Early Childhood Special Education (Interns Only) 2
       *Clinical Practice credits vary depending on whether the candidate is a student teacher or intern  
      Intern Seminars  
      EDUU 580  Education Specialist Intern Seminar A 2
      EDUU 581   Education Specialist Intern Seminar B 2
       Clinical Practice Subtotals* 10-12

    Want More Information About Teaching?

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Learn more about early childhood education and strategies that can prepare you for the classroom.

    Early Childhood Education

    What is the purpose of early childhood education?

    Simply put, the purpose of ECE is to provide children with strategies that help them develop the emotional, social and cognitive skills needed to become lifelong learners. Curricula is set up to encourage young students to learn about themselves and the world through play and sensory experiences. Read more.

    What does a high-quality ECE program look like?

    A good early childhood education program is dynamic, challenging, enriching and carefully planned. A typical ECE curriculum might incorporate songs, books, art, games, toys, experiences and nature exploration into the daily lesson plans for a class or group. Explore more important elements.

    Why is early childhood education important?

    During the early childhood education years, the brain makes millions of synapses every second that allow us to move, think, communicate and comprehend our environments. Children in ECE programs are less likely to repeat a grade, more prepared for school and more likely to earn more in the workforce. Explore more benefits.

    Take the Next Step Toward Your Career With a Special Ed Teaching Credential From UMass Global!

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