May 27, 2024  
2022-23 Gaston College Catalog 

Early Childhood Education - Special Needs Certificate (C55220E)

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This curriculum is designed to prepare early childhood educators to recognize children with typical and atypical developmental needs and plan appropriate care and education to meet their needs. Course work includes child development, observation and assessment, and an introduction to children with exceptionalities. Specific courses in behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, sensory and physical disabilities, and developmental delays are also included. Students should be able to plan and implement developmentally appropriate experiences that stimulate all young children’s development and learning, provide an optimal learning environment that is safe and healthy, provide positive guidance for all children, and communicate effectively with the children, co-workers, and parents.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  1. Use multidimensional knowledge (child development, ability, cultural, and other contexts) to support individual children
  2. Build supportive and collaborative partnerships with diverse families and community resources and agencies
  3. Utilize varied appropriate observation, documentation, and assessment strategies and tools, considering ethical, developmental, ability, cultural, and linguistic factors
  4. Use a broad repertoire of evidence-based, anti-bias teaching skills and practices responsive to children’s individual developmental, ability, cultural, and linguistic needs
  5. Display professionalism as an early childhood educator through communication skills, advocacy, ethical behavior, collaboration, and reflective practice

Additional Program Requirements for Early Childhood Education

  • All students are required to submit documentation of additional non-academic criteria which will include a valid Criminal Background Check (CBC) qualification letter obtained through Division of Child Development & Early Education (DCDEE). Instructions will be provided in EDU 119. Students who do not submit a valid CBC Qualification letter will not successfully complete Early Childhood Education.
  • A grade of “C” or better is required for all courses applied towards degree requirements.

Total Program Hours: 16


The courses taken in this certificate program may be applied toward the Diploma and Associate in Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education.

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