About

Early intervention is key for many children with disabilities, and so the early childhood special education teacher has the potential to make a lifelong impact.

Special education teachers who specialize in early childhood are also in demand as more and more children with disabilities are diagnosed earlier — in fact, the preschool, kindergarten and elementary school levels are the fastest-growing areas of special education, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Contact Us

For more information or questions about the program, contact an Early Childhood Special Education program academic advisor.

Office of Student Services Advising
(414) 229-4721
soeinfo@uwm.edu

Academic Advising
(Last names A – L) – Andrea Azarian
(Last names M – Z) – Nikki Claas

Dr. Maggie Bartlett
Early Childhood Special Education Faculty Coordinator
bartletm@uwm.edu

Curriculum

Contact an Early Childhood Special Education program academic advisor to discuss program requirements more in-depth.

Office of Student Services Advising
(414) 229-4721
soeinfo@uwm.edu

Academic Advising
(Last names A – L) – Andrea Azarian
(Last names M – Z) – Nikki Claas

Undergraduate Program

The Early Childhood Special Education major leads to a Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Education. Teacher candidates are admitted to the Early Childhood major upon declaring the major or transferring from another institution. Upon completion, you will be eligible to apply for a Cross-Categorical Special Education Teaching License from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for ages birth to eight (Grades 0-3).

Candidates can be admitted to the certification track(s) of the major upon:

  • Successful completion of 40 credits.
  • Completion of UWM competency requirements in English and Mathematics.

Requirements

Early Childhood Special Education Academic Catalog Undergraduate Requirements

Academic Catalog Requirements Sheet

  • Visit the Academic Catalog webpage linked above, then click on the Print Options link in the lower right hand column
  • Click the Download Page (PDF) link
  • Print or save the condensed program requirements document

Professional Sequence Admission

The Early Childhood Special Education professional sequence is a cohort program that begins a two-year course sequence each fall semester. Applications are due April 1 of the year you wish to begin. Generally, students apply to the professional sequence in the final semester of their sophomore year. Application to the professional sequence does not guarantee admission.

Students must meet all application requirements listed in the application packet. If you have not officially completed all coursework required to apply at the time of application but will do so before the beginning of the fall semester, we encourage you to submit a program application. We recommend you meet with an advisor to determine the best time to apply.

Early Childhood Special Education Undergraduate Professional Sequence Admission Application (PDF)

Post-Baccalaureate Program

UWM’s Post-Baccalaureate Early Childhood Special Education Program prepares teachers to provide special education services in infant/toddler, preschool or primary settings up to third grade. It emphasizes multicultural, family-centered and interdisciplinary preparation. After you successfully complete the program, you are eligible for an early childhood special education teaching license from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Post-Baccalaureate Program Certification Summary (PDF)

Requirements

For individuals with a bachelor’s degree without a teaching license or experience, it is a two-year program.

Early Childhood Special Education Two-Year Post-Baccalaureate Requirements (PDF)

For individuals with a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification in Early Childhood Education, the program is generally about one year.

Early Childhood Special Education One-Year Post-Baccalaureate Requirements (PDF)

Admission Criteria & Application

The Early Childhood Special Education program has rolling admissions. Once your materials are in and all criteria met, you will be contacted for an interview. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for admission consideration.

You can find more information on our Post-Baccalaureate Special Education Teacher Certification Admissions page, which also includes the program application packet, information session dates, and additional admissions information.

Master’s Degree Option

You have the option of combining the certification program with a master’s degree, taking up to 18 credits of your certification program at the graduate level. The remaining credits, including an action research project, can be completed after certification. Your advisor will help you determine the best time in your program to apply to the graduate school.

809 Add-On License

The Department of Exceptional Education is authorized by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to extend the certification held by Early Childhood: Exceptional Education Needs teachers (license 808) from birth through kindergarten to birth through age eight. This is known as an 809 add-on license.

The 809 license extends your teaching options, allowing you to teach children with disabilities in infant/toddler programs and in kindergarten through third grade. The 809 add-on program requires the following courses:

EXCEDUC 570 Curriculum & Methods for Special Ed.: Primary
EXCEDUC 682 Language and Literacy in ECSE
CURRINS 330 Teaching of Mathematics: Early Childhood
EXCEDUC 649 Early Childhood Field Experience: Primary
CURRINS 504 Teaching of Reading and Writing in Early Childhood: Primary

Additional Opportunities

Scholarships

We are excited to make available awards for tuition and book costs for some full and part-time students in the Early Childhood Special Education program. These awards are made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, through Project EI/EC Engage. Priority is given to students with a strong academic record or documentation of recent superior performance in employment.

Faculty

Research

Dr. Maggie Bartlett, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Bartlett’s research focuses on the cultural practices and complexities as it intersects with the education for children with disabilities and their families. She uses critical, decolonizing, social justice, and comparative lens in her work both nationally and in Namibia and Tanzania.

Career

UWM’s Early Childhood Special Education Program prepares teachers to provide special education services in infant/toddler, preschool or primary settings up to third grade. It emphasizes multicultural, family-centered and interdisciplinary preparation.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, preschool, kindergarten and elementary school levels are the fastest-growing areas of special education.