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Early Childhood Special Education Certificate of Grad Study

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Program Information

The Rowan Experience
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The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Certificate of Graduate Study (COGS) enables education professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills in early childhood special education, expand their employment opportunities, and increase services to young children with disabilities and their families.

The program is ideal for early intervention therapists and instructors, professionals with diverse backgrounds who currently work in early childhood special education settings, and family members who may want additional expertise or training in this area of study.

Students are prepared to support infants and toddlers in home-based and/or center-based Early Intervention, preschoolers (3-5) in preschool special education, and children with suspected but not yet diagnosed delays or disabilities across various birth-5 settings. This program will not lead to certification.

Teachers in the state of New Jersey may apply to the Certificate of Graduate Study in Early Childhood Special Education program through the New Jersey Teacher Outreach Program (NJTOP®). For more information about NJTOP, click here.

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The Early Childhood Special Education Certificate of Graduate Study is a part-time program offered in an accelerated online format. It requires the completion of 15 graduate semester hours (5 courses).

The following courses make up the Early Childhood Special Education Certificate of Graduate Study program.

  • 5 Courses / 15 Semester Hours
  • Foundation Courses: No
  • Graduation / Exit / Thesis Requirements: Yes
Course Number Title S.H. (Credits)
Required Courses: 15 S.H.
ECSE 10500 Characteristics of Young Children with Disabilities (birth - five) and their Families 3
ECSE 10501 Methods for Assessing and Teaching Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities 3
ECSE 10502 Methods for Assessing and Teaching Preschool Children (3-5) with Disabilities 3
ECSE 10503 Supporting Diverse Families, Community Partnerships, and Transitions 3
ECSE 10504 Self-Study Project Inquiry in Early Childhood Special Education 3

Note: The courses listed above are not official and are subject to change. For an official list of available courses please visit the Rowan Global section tally.

Admission Requirements
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The following is a list of items required to begin the application process for the program. There may be additional actions or materials required for admission to the program. Upon receipt of the materials below, a representative from the Rowan Global Admissions Processing Office will contact you with confirmation or will indicate any missing items.

  • Completed Application Form
  • $65 (U.S.) non-refundable application fee
  • Bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended (regardless of number of credits earned)
  • Current professional resume
  • Statement of professional objectives
    • Alignment with professional goals: Please explain how this Early Childhood Special Education (birth-5) Certificate of Graduate Study/Track aligns with your professional objectives and what you hope to learn from this non-certification program.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Letters of Recommendation from professional references (2)
    • Letters of recommendation should be from professional administrators (supervisor, principal, or superintendent) and/or former professors who can provide information which attests to the applicant's ability to pursue a graduate degree.
  • Statement of access to a classroom
    • Please submit 1-2 paragraphs briefly listing/describing at least one licensed, center-based preschool and/or Early Childhood home-based or center-based site that directly works with young children (in the birth-5 range) where you anticipate being able to complete field-related assignments aligned with ECSE track/COGS coursework (i.e., during and/or after-hours from your current employment for certain assignments per semester may work for our purposes). Please be sure to include the site location and contact information (email, phone) of the director. [Note that a local site covering birth-5 would be ideal since we have a course dedicated to infants/toddlers separate from preschool-aged children. If you only identify one local preschool-aged site for three-to-five-year-olds, however, this is okay for our purposes as long as you are willing to brainstorm alternative options with the instructor to observe/interact with younger children in the infant/toddler methods course, as per assignment guidelines.]
  • Optional Interview (If an interview is required, students will be contacted directly by the Faculty Admissions Committee regarding the interview. The interview can be in person or via telephone.)
  • Valid driver's license
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Rowan University hosts a series of on campus and virtual events throughout the year to help you get to know us. From general information sessions, to program specific meetings with advisors, to webinars on timely and thought-provoking topics, these gatherings provide an excellent opportunity to ask questions, network with academics and future students, and learn from some of the most innovative and informed faculty in higher education today.


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