Early Childhood Regular and Special Education Dual Certification Program (M)

There are several aspects of our Early Childhood and Special Education dual major that are truly unique to CUW. In addition to the 121-credit requirement for public education majors, your studies in special education at CUW include a solid liberal arts foundation, a Christian emphasis, specialized coursework, and ample field experiences working alongside children with disabilities. Along with your dual major in Early Childhood and Special Education, we also offer a variety of minors, concentrations, and certificates, including an Urban Education concentration or our Compassion Care Certificate, which includes work with our Compassion Care and Comfort Dogs. Concordia offers a Lutheran Teacher Diploma for members of LCMS congregations who wish to teach in Lutheran schools and Christian Education Certification for members of other Christian churches who wish to teach in Christian schools. Thanks to our enhanced program, most students graduate in 4 years, and 99+ percent of them find jobs immediately.

The dual certification in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education (Birth through age 8) major allows you to apply for two teaching licenses with the Wisconsin department of public instruction. CUW’s special education department also sponsors organizations like Best Buddies to promote a greater understanding of disabilities throughout our campus community. In whatever discipline you decide, you’ll start with an open heart and mind, and leave more prepared than ever to enrich the lives of children with disabilities in any school setting.

Program Learning Outcomes

1. Learner Development: The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences (Human Relations, Pedagogical Knowledge) 

2. Learning Differences : The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards. (Human Relations, Pedagogical Knowledge) 

3. Learning Environments: The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. (Teaching Practice, Human Relations)

4. Content Knowledge: The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content. (Content Knowledge)

5. Application of Content:  The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

6. Assessment Strategies: The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making. (Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge)

7. Planning for Instruction: The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context. (Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge)

8. Instructional Strategies: The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways. (Pedagogical Knowledge, Communication Skills, Teaching Practice)

9. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice: The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

10. Leadership and Collaboration: The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

11.  Character/Faith Development: All teachers model a value system which emphasizes moral and ethical character. Teachers in Christian schools integrate faith and learning while modeling Christian mission and service with a biblical worldview. Lutheran teachers adhere to the doctrine and practice of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. (Human Relations, Professional Dispositions, Content Knowledge)


Birth to Age 8

Core Requirements 148-51
Major Requirements73-79
Minor: Optional
Total Hours121-130

For transfer students, please see the Advanced Transfer Core.

NOTE: Check with the Chair of the Special Education Department for possible changes in this major

Core Curriculum - 48-51 Credits

Concordia Common Core - 18-21 Credits

Theology - Public Education
REL 100The Bible3
REL 110Christian Faith3
Theology - Lutheran (LTD) & Christian (CTC)
REL 201Old Testament3
REL 203New Testament3
REL 204Biblical Theology3
CCE 130Christian Citizen3
CCE 140Science & Humanity3
CCE 110Western Culture & Worldview3
CCE 120Western Thought & Worldview3
Liberal Arts Dimensions - 30 Credits
ENG 104Introduction to Writing3
Communication and Language Elective3
Faith and Life Elective: Any course with REL prefix other than REL 100, 110, 201, 203, 204 3
ED 1102Foundations of Education3
HHP 100Stewardship of the Body1
HHP Activity Course 1
Human Creativity and Expression: Art, Music, Theater, or Graphic Design activity course3
MATH 119Number Sense: Teaching Pre K-93
MATH 120Data & Space: Teaching Pre K-93
SCI 110Introduction to Life and Physical Sciences (or Life Science or Physical Science with at least one lab)4
ED 1103Human Relations for Teachers3
Note: Two CUW - approved writing intensive courses are required for graduation.

Early Childhood Regular/Special Education Curriculum 

Early Childhood Regular/Special Education Curriculum
Theoretical Component
ED 1230Nature of the Exceptional Child3
ED 1231Best Practices in Engaging Children in Literacy3
ED 1275Human Learning3
ED 4411The Profession and Ethics of Teaching 23
Education Seminars and Seminar Components (pass/fail)
ED 1000Orientation Seminar0
ED 2000UDS Seminar0
ED 3000Student Teaching Seminar0
ED 1211Discovery Clinical0
ED 1212Cultural Clinical0
ED 1213Special Education Clinical0
Practical Component: Regular Education
ED 2204The Art & Science of Teaching Reading3
ED 3356STEM: Math in Early Childhood 22
ED 3357STEM: Science and Environment in Early Childhood 22
ED 2358Emergent Writing: Birth to Grade 32
ED 3359Curriculum and Techniques in Early Childhood 24
ED 3400Creativity in Early Childhood 22
ED 3401Instruction & Assessment of Reading 23
ED 2466Health, Safety, and Fitness for the Young Child3
ED 4478Preschool Practicum and Synthesis 23
Practical Component: Special Education
ED 2327Collaborating with Families and Professionals in a Diverse Society3
ED 3328Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities 23
ED 4479Assessment Strategies for Diverse Learners 23
ED 4454Curriculum, Methods, & Practicum for CCSE/ECSE 24
ED 3455Legal Issues in Special Education 23
ED 3457Curricular Adaptations for Learners with Disabilities 23
ED 2484Educational and Behavioral Management in Special Education3
ED 4487Implementation Strategies in Special Education 22
Student Teaching Component (Take these courses in the same semester)
ED 4449Portfolio Completion - Special Education 21
ED 4425Early Childhood Student Teaching 26
ED 4442ECSE Student Teaching 26
Lutheran (LCMS Members) Teacher Diploma Requirements
ED 2306Teaching the Faith3
REL 404Lutheran Confessions3
Christian Teacher Certification Requirements
ED 2306Teaching the Faith3
Select one of the following:3
Lutheran Confessions
Law and Gospel in the Life of the Church
A Survey of Christian Thought
Christian Apologetics
Christ and Culture

Course requires upper division status