Early Childhood Special Education

This option prepares graduates to work with and advocate for infants and young children with developmental delays and disabilities birth to five and their families in a variety of early intervention, home and school settings.

Required Program Courses (18 credit hours)

  • EDSP 536. Teaching Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities. 3
  • EDSP 538. Program Management in Early Childhood Special Education. 3
  • EDSP/PSYC 638. Early Childhood Assessment and Intervention. 3
  • EDSP 602. Language Disorders: Birth to Five Years. 3
  • EDSP 677. Medical Aspects of Teaching Young Children with Disabilities. 3
  • EDSP, EDRD, or EDET 600-level elective 3

To obtain Virginia Department of Education licensure in early childhood special education, birth to five, an additional 6-12 semester hours of internship experiences are required:

  • EDSP 740 - Teaching Internship in Early Childhood Special Education: Home- and community- based Services. (3-6 hours; repeatable up to 6 hours)
  • EDSP 741 - Teaching Internship in Early Childhood Special Education: School-based Services
    (3-6 hours; repeatable up to 6 hours)
    *Six semester hour minimum in at least two settings, one of which may be a current place of employment.

The Virginia Consortium for Teacher Training in Early Childhood Special Education is a partnership among Radford University, Lynchburg College, and the Virginia Department of Education. This consortium provides courses and funding to ECSE teachers with provisional license and others seeking ECSE endorsement.



Apply to Radford University (RU) School of Graduate Studies as a non-degree seeking graduate student, or for a MS degree in Special Education with a concentration in ECSE by no later than one month prior to the start of the semester (see university academic calendar for start dates). If you are currently teaching preschool-aged children with disabilities and do not have the ECSE endorsement, and qualify, complete the consortium application and send an email to the Dr. Sharon L. Gilbert

Participation Requirements

  • Admittance to Radford University.
  • Meet criteria for admission to consortium.
  • Access to internet/computer capacity for online coursework.
  • Transportation to University of Lynchburg campus or Roanoke Higher Education Center for occasional in-person Saturday classes 1-2 times per semester for some courses.


Offering ten required courses for Virginia endorsement in ECSE.


  • Medical Aspects (asynchronous online) -  EDSP 677: Medical Aspects of Teaching Young Children with Disabilities
  • Family Centered Programs (asynchronous online) - EDSP 538: Program Management in Early Childhood Special Education
  • Behavior Management (asynchronous online) - EDSP 670: Proactive Classroom Management and Advanced Positive Behavior Support


  • Assessment in ECSE (asynchronous online) - EDSP 638: Early Childhood Assessment and Intervention
  • Curriculum and Instruction in ECSE (asynchronous online with 2 face- to- face meetings in Roanoke) - EDSP 638: Early Childhood Assessment and Intervention


  • Speech/Language Development and Intervention (asynchronous online, no face-to-face meetings) - EDSP 602: Language Disorders: Birth to Five Years


  • Child Growth and Development - HUMD 600: Human Growth and Development: Birth through Adolescence 
  • Foundations of Education - EDEF 607: Foundations of Education
  • Consultation - EDSP 622: Collaboration to Teach and Support Diverse Learners
  • Foundations and Legal Aspects of Special Education - EDSP 651: Students with Diverse Learning Needs and the Special Education Process