Early Childhood Special Education Assistive Technology (EC-SEAT) Project
A Specialization within the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Needs Option
Research shows assistive technology has the potential to promote learning, development, communication, and participation of young children with disabilities in social and classroom settings by allowing greater independence in daily life. This program of study, administered by the University of New Hampshire Department of Education, provides professional preparation in special education and assistive technology using an interdisciplinary approach. The curriculum promotes hands-on learning in community settings by partnering with local schools and agencies to integrate the iPad as a teaching tool with young children.
The UNH Department of Education will distribute educational awards to 40 graduate students to support study toward a two year master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Needs Option and a graduate certificate in assistive technology. Graduates are eligible for teacher certification in early childhood special education (birth - 8 years) and certification as an assistive technology professional (ATP). Courses are taught after 4pm with some online, so enrollment is feasible for practicing professionals and full or part-time students.
EC-SEAT scholars will be mentored to become highly skilled evidence-based special educators and practitioners for early childhood centers, early intervention centers, and elementary schools serving children with special needs.
Who Should Apply
The program is designed for individuals who are at various stages of professional education, enrolled in the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Needs Option at the University of New Hampshire, with high priority given to applicants from underrepresented groups, including:
- Students from social, cultural, and racial minorities
- Self-advocates and/or family members of individuals with special needs
- Practicing professionals who are interested in learning more about supporting the educational needs of young children with special needs and their families
Interested students must have a bachelor's degree, an upper-level course in childhood development, and 200 hours of supervised work with children in order to be considered. Additionally, students must apply and be accepted into the UNH Graduate School's master's in Early Childhood Special Needs Option.
EC-SEAT scholars commit to working in the field two years for each year of funding. A typical service obligation is four years.
A sample full-time schedule of course offerings is depicted below. Courses with an asterisk (*) may be waived through transcript evaluation, reducing the requirements to 44 credits.
|Fall ||J-Term ||Spring ||Summer |
|Year 1 ||• Diversity and Child Development (4) |
• Inclusive Curriculum for Young Children (4)
• Introduction to Young Children with Special Needs (4)
|• iPad Support for Children Disabilities (3) |
|• Sociocultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning (4) |
• Curriculum for Young Children with Special Needs: Evaluation and Program Design (4)
• Intro to Teaching Reading (4)*
|• Supporting Families of Individuals with Exceptionalities (4) |
• Assistive Technology (4)
|Year 2 ||• Internship and Seminar in Early Childhood Education (3) |
• Teaching Social Studies (2)*
• Assistive Technology and Sensory, Communicative, and Cognitive Disabilities (4)
|• Math with Technology in Early Education (2)* |
| • Internship and Seminar in Early Childhood Education (3) |
• Teaching Science (2)*
• Leadership and Advocacy in Early Childhood Education (4)
• Comprehensive Exams
EC-SEAT scholars will receive a $20,000 educational award and an iPad for coursework and teaching (funded by the U.S. Department of Education).
How to Apply
If you meet the criteria above and are interested in applying, contact program coordinator Leslie Couse (information below). Applications will be accepted anytime and admissions decisions made promptly on a rolling basis. For more information about the program and the application process, contact:
Dr. Leslie J. Couse
UNH Education Department, Morrill Hall
Durham, NH 03824
Links & Additional Resources