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Field and Clinical Experiences

Field and clinical experiences in the Early Childhood Special Education program are available in diverse settings, including public schools, non-public schools, preschool programs, Head Start, and center-based early intervention programs for toddlers.  These settings reflect a variety of approaches.  Placements in programs for young children with autism spectrum disorders are regularly available.

Teacher candidates in the Early Childhood Special Education program must complete field placements at three different age/grade levels: PreK (including infants/toddlers/preschoolers), kindergarten, and grade 1 or 2.  One of the age/grade placements may be met through a pre-student teaching experience of 60 hours as part of SPEDE 776.  The teacher candidate may meet the other two age/grade placements through one of the following:

  • Two semesters of 20 days of student teaching as part of SPEDE 778.
  • One semester of 40 days of student teaching as part of SPEDE 777.
  • One semester of student teaching and one semester of practicum on-the-job (SPEDE 779).
  • One year of practicum while teaching on an Internship Certificate.

Please note that pre-student teaching (SPEDE 776) and the 20-day student teaching (SPEDE 778) are offered during the summer as well as during the academic year.  SPEDE 776, pre-student teaching, is a pre-requisite for student teaching and practicum.  Students in program 1 must also complete ECC 712, General Early Childhood pre-student teaching (50 hours), before enrolling in student teaching or practicum.

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