MEd in Special Education - Early Childhood Unified

The Master of Education in special education - early childhood unified emphasis at Wichita State University prepares teachers certified in K-6 general education for teaching all students ages Birth–3rd grade. The program is designed to develop reflective practitioners who possess both a theoretical understanding and practical skills related to (a) the field of early childhood education, (b) the field of special education for students with both high and low incidence needs Birth–3rd grade, (c) effective communication and collaboration with families and other professionals, and (d) research-validated practices.

Program Overview

The Early Childhood Unified (ECU) program is designed to prepare teachers of young children (birth through grade 3). The ECU program develops reflective practitioners who possess theoretical and practical developmental, educational, communicative, collaborative and family- and child-centered skills. The ECU program's advisory committee provides continual guidance to the program to assure that all candidates graduate with the belief that:

  • All young children, birth through grade 3 (i.e., children with and without exceptionalities, at every socioeconomic level, from all cultures) are competent, creative and curious learners;
  • Working with, understanding and respecting families is a critical component of working with young children;
  • Development and education are focused for each individual child in terms of the child's relation with the family, other children, teachers, the school community and society at large;
  • Children must learn through both constructing their own knowledge and by direct instruction;
  • The unique needs of all young children must be met; and
  • Programs and services provided are based on law, and scientifically- and evidence-based practices.

The degree program begins with a prerequisite foundational course and proceeds through methods/assessment courses in three different age levels. These courses are accompanied by three different practicum experiences. The remainder of the program consists of courses on family collaboration, research and finally a culminating capstone or thesis project.

Endorsement Only Option

  • Candidates may elect to complete only the first 24-credit-hours in the program as preparation to support them in attaining an endorsement in Early Childhood Unified. These candidates are considered nondegree seeking graduate students.
  • Apply for provisional endorsement after completion of only 9 credit hours of coursework and the first practicum experience.