Aurora University

Early Childhood Special Education (ECS)

ECS-1810-9  Selected Topics in Early Childhood  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in early childhood not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

ECS-2050  Introduction to Early Childhood Education  (2 semester hours)  

This survey course provides an overview of early childhood care and education including historical and cultural perspectives, organization, structure, programming, and evidence-based practices. Professional and evidence-based practices of highly qualified early childhood educators are outlined with an emphasis on their ability to enhance development and learning of each and every child between the ages of birth and eight. Considerations for diversity of culture, language, race, socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, and ability will be included. Students will spend a minimum of 15 hours of observation in diverse early childhood settings. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-2100  Child Growth and Development and the Social and Emotional Characteristics of the Young Child -- Birth to Age 8  (4 semester hours)  

This course will provide focus on typical and atypical orders of human development, emotional and social development and theories of learning in early childhood settings, birth to age eight. Course content includes the various areas of exceptionality in terms of causes, characteristics and general intervention, strategies for adapting the learning environment and modifying instruction to make the classroom and curriculum accessible to all children, through inclusion of those with special needs. Teacher candidates will engage in the analysis of what constitutes developmentally appropriate adaptive and academic growth. Additionally, contrasts will be drawn between impact on various types of processing strengths and weaknesses, such as auditory or other sensory processing and memory (both working memory and long term memory), and how they might impact learning and behavior, as well as remedial efforts for differing disabilities, such as learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, ADHD, Autism, or acquired disorders (traumatic brain injury). An overview of developmentally appropriate practices, normal individual variations in learning styles and effect of stress, trauma, disabilities, social and emotional development, language acquisition and cultural diversity for children birth to age eight will be explored and evaluated. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-2200  Legal Aspects of Early Childhood/Special Education -- Birth to Age 8  (2 semester hours)  

This course presents historical, philosophical, legislative developments and legal precedence in the education for young children, birth to age eight, both with and without disabilities. Teacher candidates will explore various school, community and home settings available to children and various community agencies and professional organizations which support and collaborate with young children and their families. IDEA, the recent reauthorization, the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, Early Childhood Standards and rules and regulations about IEPs and IFSPs will be analyzed.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-2300  Speech and Language Development of the Young Child -- Birth to Age 8  (4 semester hours)  

This course covers typical and atypical speech and language development of young children, birth to age eight. The course presents a broad range of techniques that parents, caregivers and teachers can use to foster speech and language development. Specific language disorders and remedial strategies are covered. Adaptive and assistive technology for facilitating and ameliorating delays in language are observed and practiced, as well as using technology to access and manage information. In addition, second language acquisition, as well as culturally unbiased assessments and procedures are analyzed. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-2400  Infants and Children with Special Needs -- Birth to Age 8  (2 semester hours)  

This course covers the characteristics and etiologies of various disabilities and the educational implications of these disabilities. Teacher candidates learn how infants and children are identified, how health and educational issues are addressed and how the disability affects the family system. Strategies and techniques for ameliorating the delays and for facilitating the functional integration of children with disabilities in a variety of settings will be addressed. In addition, the characteristics of children with individual differences related to cultural and language diversity are emphasized. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Pass TB Test.
ECS-2500  Health, Safety and Nutrition for the Young Child, Birth to Gr. 2  (2 semester hours)  

This course provides an overview of the health, safety and nutritional needs of young children and early childhood practices to ensure the health and well-being of each child in a group setting. Content includes roles and responsibilities of adults in meeting children's diverse needs, the promotion of healthy life style practices, understanding common childhood illnesses and injuries, meeting health, nutrition and safety standards, and planning nutritious meals that are appropriate for each child. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-2810-9  Selected Topics in Early Childhood  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in early childhood not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

ECS-3100  Curriculum and Classroom Environment -- Birth to Age 8  (4 semester hours)  

Teacher candidates will learn how to design language, literacy, and stimulus- rich indoor and outdoor environments that foster learning and problem solving; encourage appropriate social interactions and self-regulation; use technology to access information, maintain records, and enhance classroom learning; and become familiar with materials and strategies to accommodate children with disabilities. The importance of play for young children, of providing learning opportunities which are embedded in daily routines and of establishing a physically and psychologically safe environment will be emphasized. Teacher candidates will have the opportunity to study, develop and implement developmental, functional/adaptive, and academic curricula which meet the Illinois Early Learning Standards through the development of short- and long-term lesson plans. Specific strategies for children with disabilities, for children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and for gifted children are analyzed. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing a TB Test.
ECS-3200  Observation and Assessment of the Young Child  (2 semester hours)  

In this course, teacher candidates will learn to assess children's cognitive, social-emotional, motor and sensory-motor, communication, adaptive and academic skills through a variety of techniques, including observation, informal and formal instruments, and family member interviews. Culture and bias-free instruments and procedures are presented along with adaptation assessments for children with disabilities and those children who may be identified as gifted. Teacher candidates will have the opportunity to test, interpret results, present the results in a team setting and collaborative develop a learning plan. The different purposes of assessment (screening, pre-referral, referral, classification, instructional planning and progress evaluation) as well as the due process rights and procedures will be analyzed. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB test.
ECS-3300  Collaborating With Families, Professionals, and the Community  (2 semester hours)  

This course emphasizes the importance of the family and the community in the development of the young child, birth to age eight. Culturally appropriate strategies and techniques for respecting, supporting and involving the family in the assessment process and the development of the learning plan are presented. Candidates become aware of the typical concerns of families of children both with special needs and from diverse cultures. Team and family dynamics, conflict resolution, interagency collaboration, community resources, and ethical procedures are explored. Candidates will have the opportunity to interact with professionals and family members and to create newsletters and other means of communication which are sensitive to the family's culture and home language. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-3400  Methods and Practices for Infants and Toddlers  (2 semester hours)  

This course teaches methods and techniques for working with typical and atypical infants and toddlers. Natural environments and home settings are stressed. Medical issues, health, nutrition, and safety issues will be covered as well as fostering motor, self-help, language, social/emotional and cognitive skills. Teacher candidates will have the opportunity to observe screenings and the development of the IFSP. In addition, teacher candidates will learn strategies for implementing learning activities embedded in the child's daily routine. Transition issues and procedures are also presented. This course includes a clinical/lab experience designed to provide candidates with an understanding of the development of infants and toddlers through participation in hands-on learning experiences in infant and toddler settings. Teacher candidates will facilitate small group lessons and experience, first-hand, the construction of knowledge. Teacher candidates will develop an awareness of appropriate adult/child interaction while developing professionalism and overall competence as future teachers. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-3410  Methods and Practices for Preschoolers  (2 semester hours)  

Teacher candidates develop an understanding of the methods and techniques for working with typical and atypical preschoolers. Developmentally appropriate methods and materials for teaching the integration of content including reading, social studies, science, mathematics and the arts are stressed along with interventions and adaptive technology available for all children with disabilities, children from diverse cultures, and second language learners. Teacher candidates will learn strategies for integrating children with exceptional needs within various settings and for using varying levels of complexity to engage all children. This course includes a clinical/lab experience designed to provide candidates with an understanding of the development of preschoolers through participation in hands-on learning experiences in a preschool setting. Teacher candidates will facilitate small group lessons and experience, firsthand, the construction of knowledge. Teacher candidates will develop an awareness of appropriate adult/child interaction while developing professionalism and overall competence as future teachers. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-3420  Methods of Teaching Early Reading and Writing  (4 semester hours)  

Early literacy development and its relationship to a child's oral language are explored. The role of developmentally appropriate children's literature, vocabulary development and prior experience, and the use of print in the classroom are covered. Teacher candidates will learn the importance of early phonemic awareness, phonics, reading comprehension, and spelling development and acquire strategies to assess and teach reading literacy skills. Research based methods for teaching reading and writing in the early grades are taught and practiced in an early childhood classroom setting. Candidates will learn reading assessments and apply the knowledge when students have difficulty with reading and/or writing and utilize strategies for remediation. Specific techniques for children with disabilities, for children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and for gifted will be emphasized. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-3430  Methods of Teaching Early Mathematical Thinking  (2 semester hours)  

The development of mathematical thinking in young children is included in this course. Integrating developmentally appropriate mathematical experiences include number development, the relationship of more, less, and the same, estimation, counting, numeral recognition, pattern recognition, manipulative modeling, algebra, geometry and probability. Methods and activities for teaching number systems, measurement, spatial relationships, data collection and computation are presented. Teacher candidates will have the opportunity to develop and implement lessons which increase students' ability to apply mathematical skills in a variety of contexts. Specific techniques for children with disabilities, children from diverse cultures and children considered gifted are explored. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test
ECS-3440  Methods of Teaching Early Science, Social Studies, and the Arts  (2 semester hours)  

This course will cover methods and strategies for promoting scientific knowledge and inquiry in young children. Developmentally appropriate activities for exploring social sciences and the fine arts (visual arts, music, drama and dance) are also investigated. Approaches and activities for integrating these learning experiences with experiences in other content areas are emphasized. This course will present adaptive strategies and techniques for children with disabilities, children from diverse cultures and children considered gifted. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test.
ECS-3810-9  Selected Topics in Early Childhood  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in early childhood not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

ECS-4100  Early Childhood Practicum Field Experience -- Birth to Age 3  (2 semester hours)  

This course is a supervised practicum to provide teacher candidates more extensive clinical experience working with early childhood children and their families (birth to age 3). Candidates observe, plan and implement activities for birth to age 3 typical and atypical infants and toddlers over the course of a semester or summer. Settings may include hospitals, homes, daycare settings, early intervention or community centers and more. Teacher candidates have the opportunity to observe occupational, physical and speech therapists working with young children and their families, including those from diverse cultures. This course requires the clinical component to be a minimum of 50 hours. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test; ECS-2100; ECS-2200; ECS-3420.
ECS-4200  Early Childhood Practicum Field Experience -- Preschool  (2 semester hours)  

This course is a supervised practicum to provide teacher candidates more extensive clinical experience working with early childhood children 3-5 years of age. Candidates plan and implement lesson plan units for individual children and small groups which allow for individual differences and special needs, language and cultural diversity, and which incorporate varying levels of complexity to include all students. Settings may include Early Childhood Special Education classrooms, blended ECS classrooms, and daycare or nursery school settings which include children with special needs. Continued interaction and support for families is stressed. This course requires the clinical component to be a minimum of 50 hours. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check).; Passing TB Test; ECS-2100; ECS-2200; ECS-3420.
ECS-4300  Early Childhood Field Experience -- K-2  (2 semester hours)  

This course is a supervised practicum to provide teacher candidates more extensive clinical experience working with early childhood children 5-8 years of age. Candidates will be assigned a kindergarten, first or second grade classroom, or a self-contained primary special education classroom. Candidates will plan and implement lesson plan units in math and reading and will utilize formal and informal assessments to inform their planning and teaching. This course requires the clinical component to be a minimum of 50 hours. A complete schedule of clinic/lab experiences will be distributed in class.

Prerequisite(s): Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing TB Test; ECS-2100; ECS-2200; ECS-3420.
ECS-4750  Student Teaching Internship in Early Childhood Education  (13 semester hours)  

Student teaching is the capstone experience of Aurora University's School of Education. It is the culminating experience for teacher candidates. Teacher candidates will be responsible for directing the learning of a group of students under the competent supervision of a licensed teacher. The student is guided through experiences designed to apply the knowledge and skill gained in the classroom. In essence, the student performs major instructional responsibilities of a classroom teacher with appropriate assignments and supervision. The early childhood student teaching experience will encompass two distinct placements: birth to 4 years of age and K-3. Students will be expected to successfully complete the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) requirement of an edTPA to fulfill the requirements of the course. (Fall and Spring).

Prerequisite(s): Admission to the School of Education includes maintaining a 3.0 GPA; Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); passing TB test, successful completion of ALL coursework and passing scores on the Content Test and edAPT and completion of all School of Education paperwork. Instructor Permission.

Additional fee required

ECS-4760  Student Teaching Seminar  (2 semester hours)  

This seminar meets in conjunction with student teaching and is required for all early childhood education majors. (Fall and Spring)

Prerequisite(s): Admission to the School of Education includes maintaining a 3.0 GPA; Passing CBC (FBI Criminal Background Check includes fingerprinting/screening/sex offender check); Passing a TB Test and successful completion of ALL coursework and passing scores on the Content Test and edTPA and completion of all School of Education paperwork.
Corequisite(s): ECS-4750.
ECS-4810-9  Selected Topics in Early Childhood  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in early childhood not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.