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Early Childhood Unified (Birth-K)

Early Childhood Unified Program Curriculum

KU's Early Childhood Unified Master’s degree program blends knowledge and skills in early childhood education and early childhood special education thus preparing the early educator (birth through Kindergarten to appropriately address all learners' needs including those at-risk and those with identified disabilities.


course # title credit hours
SPED 752 Overview of Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education 3
SPED 750 Curriculum and Methods in Early Childhood 3
SPED 755 Inclusive Strategies and Interventions for Preschoolers: 3
SPED 734 Inclusive Strategies and Intervention for Infants and Toddlers: 3
SPED 731 Supporting Children with Significant Learning and Behavioral Concerns 3
SPED 753 Assessment in Early Education 3
SPED 854 Family and Interprofessional Collaboration in Special Education 3
SPED 739 Early Childhood Unified Student Teaching/Practicum:K/Pre 3
SPED 739 Early Childhood Unified Student Teaching/Practicum:Infant/Toddler 3

Total hours for Endorsement: 27

Additional Required Courses for MSE:

course # title credit hours
EPSY  715 Understanding Research in Education 3

Student will select one of the following for the master’s degree:

SPED 898 Masters Project 3


SPED 899 Masters Thesis 3

Total hours for Masters: 33

Please note:
The Master’s ECU Program does not require a general education license (i.e., elementary, middle, or secondary). The ECU Program is an initial licensure program.  It does not allow for a provisional endorsement unless you already have an initial teacher license (i.e., elementary, middle, or secondary).

Key Steps to Completing ECU (birth through kindergarten) licensure at KU:

  1. Earned baccalaureate degree with a minimum of 2.75 GPA. Lower GPA may require that the student take and obtain a passing score on the Preprofessional Skills Test (PPST). Note international students who have received a degree from a non-US school will have to have their undergraduate degree reviewed by an approved provider. Please contact your advisor (or Program Coordinator) early in the program to check on having this done.
  2. Complete KU’s approved ECU program* (courses & 2 student teaching experiences) with a minimum B for each course or student teaching experience.  Note that B- does not count towards this licensure requirement. Also if courses are transferred or substituted from another program or university they must also carry at least a grade of B.
  3. Passing Score on KU-‐ECU‐Kansas Performance Teaching Portfolio (KPTP), which must be completed as a part of a supervised field experience.
  4. Pass the required PRAXIS series. For information regarding Kansas Licensure, go to http://soe.ku.edu/licensure/. This website has the information on required licensure exams and application instructions. For ECU license the following two standardized licensure exams should be taken approximately 3-6 months before you have finished all courses and student teaching experiences: PLT: Early Childhood – #5621; Education of the Young Child - #5024.
  5. Submit appropriate licensure form and fees (this does include a criminal background check).

The Department of Special Education may have federal grant dollars to support a limited number of students in the master’s degree program with an ECU emphasis. To learn more about this grant and how to apply go contact Dr. Horn at evahorn@ku.edu.

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