Grand Canyon University

M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education (NITL)


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education (NITL)

Format: Online

Program Description:

Become a Leader for Children with Diverse Abilities

Transform into a skillful and knowledgeable educator, advocate and leader with the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education at Grand Canyon University (GCU). This program can empower you to help each student grow to his or her full potential while advocating at the school and district level for children in their early years of education.

Prepare to enter the field of teaching as a graduate of this non-licensure education degree program, equipped with best-practice pedagogy and methodologies as well as expertise in the psychosocial and familial needs of exceptional children.

This version of the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education degree does not lead to initial teacher licensure. This non-licensure education degree is recommended for educators seeking to enhance their career specialization or preparing for roles that do not require certification, such as within private or parochial organizations. GCU also offers an initial licensure version of the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education for those seeking licensure.
Benefits of the Early Childhood Special Education Master’s Degree Program (Non-Licensure)

In addition to coursework, you will complete a minimum of 104 hours of field experience within birth through grade 3 classrooms, in both special and general education environments. All courses are directly aligned with national teaching standards as prescribed by the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), International Society for Technology in Education Standards for Teachers (ISTE-T), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Pursue an Online MEd in Early Childhood Special Education (Non-Licensure)

For learners who prefer to study at their own pace and from the comfort of their own home, this program offers an accessible and flexible online learning opportunity. The online modality of this early childhood special education master’s program provides the convenience of balancing your studies with other personal and professional commitments, allowing you the opportunity to gain valuable skills and knowledge while maintaining flexibility in your schedule.

Skills Acquired in the Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education Non-Licensure Program

As a seasoned special educator seeking to elevate your expertise, this master’s in early childhood special education program can provide an avenue for ongoing professional growth. This program will focus on helping you acquire valuable leadership skills, foster and maintain effective teaching strategies, embrace collaboration and teamwork efforts and implement evidence-based practices. By honing these skills, you can empower yourself to create enduring influences on your students' educational journeys.

Topics Covered to Help You Become Well-Versed in the Needs of Exceptional Children

In this early childhood special education master’s program, you will examine the following topics and concepts:

    Early childhood growth and development
    Family and community advocacy
    Instructional methodologies for language, literacy, social studies, the arts and behavioral intervention
    Classroom engagement and management for typical and atypical behaviors
    Assessment, monitoring and tracking special needs in young children
    Philosophical, professional and historical foundations of early childhood education

Career Paths for MEd in Early Childhood Special Education (Non-Licensure) Graduates

Graduates of this early childhood special education graduate program are prepared as not only educators, but stewards of children. You will be taught how to make ethical decisions in the classroom, as well as advocate at the school, district and policy level. Focus is placed on your ability to recognize and assess special needs, initiate family and community collaboration, and promote the education of young children with and without exceptionalities.

This non-licensure education degree master’s program equips graduates with the qualifications to embark on various career paths, such as teaching, administration, program coordination and policy making. The non-licensure track is advantageous for those seeking roles that do not require teacher certification, including those within charter, private and early learning school environments. Other potential career paths include child development center leadership, family services and program consulting.

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, retrieved on August 8, 2023.

If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint/background clearance is required.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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