Program Coursework

Approaches to Learning

This course is an introduction to multiple models of early childhood education, practical methods of implementation, and research into best practices.  Emphasis is on children’s individual play, intellectual curiosity, and problem-solving and how to scaffold these in various settings and models of early childhood education.

3 cr

Educational Psychology

An examination of the principles and theories of learning as they apply to the developmental changes of the child. Special emphasis is placed on how the child learns and ways of producing optimal conditions for childhood learning.

3 cr

Child & Adolescent Development

This course surveys the major areas of the psychology of child and adolescent development, emphasizing an understanding of the important methods, terms, theories, and findings in the field of child development.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

3 cr

Special Education Law & Collaboration

This course provides an overview of state and federal laws that govern special education and of the consultation and collaboration skills needed in today’s diverse schools. This course emphasizes the major components of laws and regulations that guide the education of students with disabilities ages birth to 21. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004), VT State Regulations, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), among others, will be explored. Additionally, students will learn to enhance student academic growth through collaborative and consultation strategies that promote success in early intervention, early childhood education, and in inclusive settings.

3 cr

Teaching the Exceptional Learner

This course reviews the history, laws, and current best practices in educating infants and young children with disabilities. A specific emphasis will be placed on the access, support, and participation of exceptional children and their families. The course provides strategies to inform educators of the needs of families as it relates to family configuration, geographic location, ability, race, ethnicity, culture, language, religion, education or other variation of unique characteristics of children and their families.

3 cr

Learning about the World: Math, Science, and Social Studies

This course has a threefold curricular focus.  In mathematics, the emphasis is developing a sense of numeracy, quantity, and counting as well as number relationships and operations in young children. Children are taught to explore the world using measurement and geometric reasoning skills.  Science topics include physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space science, and engineering design. A third focus is developing children’s skills through inquiry in social studies, geography, history, and economics.

3 cr

Interventions with Families and Children

An introduction to basic strategies and interventions used to help families and children cope with psychosocial/environmental needs, difficulties and problems. Problem areas include child abandonment, sexual and physical abuse, learning difficulties, marital discord, dysfunctional communication, and gang membership. Emphasis is placed upon research and practice outcomes in child welfare settings.

Prerequisite: SWK 1010, or SOC 1010, or PSY 1012, or consent of instructor. Fall

3 cr

Child Psychology

An analysis of theory, research, and therapy of psychological disorders of children, including early infantile autism, neurophysiological developmental problems, learning difficulties, developmental retardation, juvenile delinquency, and psycho-physiological disorders. Spring Only

3 cr

Creative Arts and Expression

This course provides strategies for promoting motor coordination and healthy habits in infants to young children emphasizing the ways in which children can creatively express themselves through art, music, and dance.

3 cr

Social Development

Examines systematic research and theory relating to issues in social and personality development, in particular: the development of conceptions of the self, achievement, aggression, altruism and moral development, sex differences and differential effects of familial and extra familial influences. Spring Even Years.

3 cr

Ethics and Diversity

This course introduces students to ethics and issues of diversity in psychology. Students will train to identify ethical issues and sociocultural factors that may influence them, and learn the importance of ethical conduct in the practice of psychology.

3 cr

Speech and Language Development

This course explores the nature and sequence of language development from birth through adolescence. Both typical and atypical language development will be discussed. Conditions that place infants and children at risk for speech and language disorders are explored. Students are strongly advised to take Phonetics or its equivalent prior to enrolling.

3 cr

Language Development

This course is grounded in foundational reading and writing skills by understanding how by engaging young children with print, reading and writing supports their early literacy development. Course participants will learn how to work with both literature and informational texts to develop children’s understandings about how print works, how stories work, and how writing works to express ideas and to exchange information. Participants will also learn about how to work with English Language learners.

3 cr

Language Development and the Exceptional Child

A frequent area of need in children with developmental delays is language development.  These may be delays in receptive and/or expressive speech or language and may be in the phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic areas of language.  The course emphasizes collaborative assessment and intervention for children with these delays, causal factors, and multiple points of intervention.

3 cr

Assessment/Special Education

Recognizing the collaborative nature of assessment in early childhood, this course guides educators in conducting a multimodal assessment within an ecological framework. Of particular importance will be assessment tools and progress monitoring that is individually appropriate considering the child’s abilities, culture, preferences and visual, auditory, and physical needs. To guide curriculum development and create a holistic portrayal of the child, both informal and formal criterion-referenced measures; behavior and verbal behavior assessment, and individually norm-referenced assessments will be discussed.

3 cr

Cognitive Development

Examines systematic research and theory relating to issues in children’s thinking, providing critical appraisals of Piagetian and information processing approaches to perception, language, memory, intelligence, and individual differences in thought due to cognitive style, experience, and gender. Spring Odd Years.

3 cr

Case Management and Intervention

Students learn best practices in case management using their knowledge of general and specialized curricula to develop individualized learning plans (IEP) for youngsters with exceptionalities. Students plan, implement and evaluate developmentally appropriate curricula, instruction, and adaptations based on knowledge of individual children, the family, and the community Based on assessment and observational data, students learn to collaboratively plan, implement, and manage interventions for children from ages three through six.  This course is taken concurrently with Intervention Practicum. Spring semester, Senior year.

3 cr

Applied Behavior Analysis for School Professionals

Students will develop applied knowledge of basic concepts in Applied Behavioral Analysis through research, in-class and online activities, online discussion, and completion of a basic FBA and Behavior Support Plan. As part of this work, students will explore the factors that may affect the application of behavior analysis principles in school settings. Contexts of consideration in this course will include family patterns, trauma histories, developmental diagnoses, school culture, and culture diversity.

3 cr

Early Childhood Language Practicum (infant to age 5)

This is a sixty-hour, field-based application of knowledge and understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and variation within and across developmental domains in children birth to age five. The emphasis is on supporting language development and communication, including expressive and receptive language, social communication, and non-verbal communication. 

4 cr

Cognitive/Assessment Practicum (birth through age 2:11 Special Education)

This is a sixty-hour Special Education course in which students apply their knowledge of specific disabilities, including etiology, characteristics, and classification of common disabilities in infants and young children, and specific implications for development and learning in the first years of life. With supervision, students administer assessment with—and application of—assessment results to intervention for infants and toddlers from birth through age 2 years, 11 months. 

4 cr

Literacy & Transition Practicum (ages 3-6:11 Special Education)

This practicum in Early Childhood is a sixty-hour, field-based application of curriculum design, implement, and evaluation of experiences that promote positive development and learning for young children from three to eight years of age. The focus is on individualizing literacy instruction to address the needs and strengths of all learners and strategies for modifying literacy instruction to support individual needs.

4 cr

Intervention Practicum (ages 3-6:11 Special Education)

The final practicum is in Early Childhood Special Education for children from three years to six years, 11 months of age. Students plan, implement, and evaluate developmentally appropriate curricula, instruction, and adaptations based on knowledge of individual children and his/her family. They select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies (including intervention used in academic and specialized curricula) to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities. 

4 cr

Portfolio Review

A portfolio is required by the Vermont Agency of Education so teacher candidates in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education can demonstrate competence of learning progressions and state competency requirements. This course will assist students in completing their Vermont Licensure portfolio through thoughtful written reflection on their course work, field experiences, and practica.

2 cr