As more children require early intervention and special education services, there is an increasing demand for college faculty who can prepare the next wave of educators in the early childhood special education field. This specialization positions educators to advance in this growing field and to conduct continued research on best practices for early intervention.
Informed by the Council for Exceptional Children’s advanced professional early childhood preparation standards, this specialization’s curriculum enables you to explore key research issues, such as leadership and policy, program development and assessment, collaboration, evidence-based practices in early intervention, and ethical practice.
Coursework focuses on identifying and addressing gaps in research to increase the effectiveness of early childhood special educators. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the trends and issues impacting early childhood special education today. Using real-world case-study scenarios, you engage in collaborative problem solving and investigate and implement research-based strategies to master program outcomes. At the conclusion of this program, you will complete a dissertation focused on effecting positive social change in early childhood special education.
As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:
- Evaluate ethical and legal elements of policies and programs in early childhood special education to ensure high quality education delivery to families who have children with diverse educational, behavioral, emotional, and cultural learning needs.
- Engage in effective leadership practices, including collaboration and advocacy, to promote positive outcomes for young children with exceptionalities and their families.
- Implement valid research-based assessment measures to facilitate learning and behavioral interventions for children (birth to 8) with diverse educational, behavioral, emotional, and cultural learning needs.
- Apply research-based strategies to improve data-driven decision making surrounding supports and services for children with exceptionalities (birth to 8) with diverse educational, behavioral, emotional, and cultural learning needs
- Facilitate the continuous improvement of early childhood special education programs/supports/services for children with exceptionalities (birth to 8) and their families.
- Effectively collaborate with stakeholders to improve outcomes for children with exceptionalities (birth to 8) and their families.
- Synthesize a variety of perspectives that promote professional growth and positive social change in the early childhood special education field.
Effectively collaborate with stakeholders to improve outcomes for children with exceptionalities (birth to 8) and their families.
- Conduct research that positively contributes to the profession and social change in relation to an identified early childhood special education problem.
Minimum Completion Requirements
- 86 quarter credits
- Foundations courses (5 cr.)
- Specialized courses (30 cr.)
- Doctoral support courses (11 cr.)
- Research courses (20 cr.)
- Doctoral capstone (minimum 20 cr.)
- Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)
- Four PhD residencies to equal a minimum of 16 units
Walden students have 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.
In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.