About ECSE Education

The Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) degree offers a specific skill set that provides the knowledge and licenses to teach and help young children in general education and special education classes, as well as home-based settings. To help students gain real-world experience, they will participate in seven different supervised intervention/teaching experiences with a partnered school district, on-campus lab, home, or center.

Early Childhood/ Special Education Steps:

1. Exploring the Profession

  • Fingerprinting/Background check: Complete your fingerprinting/background check before your first practicum. Complete this step at Field Services Office in HIN 325. This should occur by the end of your first semester.
  • Develop Grad Plan: You will develop your grad plan in an assignment in SPED 200. For additional assistance contact the Advising Center for the College of Education and Human Development in Chapman 103.
  • Writing Proficiency ExamThis exam is administered once per semester in the Testing Center. You will receive an email notification and information during the semester you are enrolled in SPED 200.
  • Technology Exam: Go to the McKay Computer Lab (3rd floor of the library) to take the exam. Complete this exam by the end of your third semester.

2. Acquiring Content Knowledge

3. Preparing for Child Labs

  • TB Test: Before you work with children in a campus lab setting, there are health and safety requirements you must follow in order to meet state licensing requirements. You will accomplish all these tasks when you take ECD 350A and/or 360A.
  • Health and Welfare Fingerprinting/BackgroundCheck: Before you work with children in a campus lab setting, there are health and safety requirements you must follow in order to meet state licensing requirements. You will accomplish all these tasks when you take ECD 350A and/or 360A.
  • Complete CPR/First Aid Training: Before you work with children in a campus lab setting, there are health and safety requirements you must follow in order to meet state licensing requirements. You will accomplish all these tasks when you take ECD 350A and/or 360A.
  • First Faculty Review (Every Semester Following): As you begin to enroll in practicum courses, you will be contacted by your faculty mentor to participate in a Faculty Review. During the Review, you will discuss your successes and challenges in the major. Faculty reviews will continue every semester.
  • PRAXIS: Early Childhood Education: 5025 - Early Childhood Education: You will be prepared to take this exam after completing Toddler Lab (ECD 350).

4. Developing Proficiency

  • PRAXIS: Special Education Core Knowledge: You will be prepared to take this exam after completing SPED 424 – Assessments.
  • Apply for Student Teaching: Begin your application process for student teaching by following the steps outlined on the Field Services website.
  • Student Teaching Cover Letter & Resume: Complete a cover letter and create your student teaching resume following the guidelines provided by the Field Services Office.
  • Grad Plan Approval: To complete your student teaching application, you will update and complete your grad plan and have it approved through I-Plan. Need assistance? Contact the Advising Center for the College of Education and Human Development in Chapman 103.

5. Growing Professionally

  • Prepare for Interviews: Contact Career Services in MC 129 to develop your interview skills & participate in a mock interview.
  • Student Teaching Interviews: Contact Field Services for information regarding interview dates, location, & to schedule an interview.

6. Emerging Professional

  • Present Portfolio: You will attend training meetings to help you prepare your Senior Portfolio and Presentation. You will complete and present the portfolio the semester prior to student teaching. 
  • Complete Professional Resume: Update and revise your professional resume. Include your capabilities and skills gained through practicum and other experiences. Use this resume as you complete applications and contact employers at job fairs
  • Create IPLP: You will begin your Individual Professional Learning Plan (IPLP) during senior practicum.
  • Apply for Graduation: Use the link to apply for graduation during your last semester (student teaching).
  • Update and Review IPLP: During student teaching, you will review and update your IPLP with your student teaching supervisor.
  • Seek Teaching Positions: Research school district of interest to you and complete applications. Attend job fairs to get broad exposure to many districts.
  • Exit Survey: The exit survey will be posted on I-Learn during the last week of student teaching.

7. Post Graduation

  • Alumni Survey: Let’s stay connected! The Alumni Office will send a survey via email. Complete the survey and continue to be part of the BYU-Idaho family
  • Apply for Idaho Teacher Certification: Apply for your Idaho certification immediately upon graduation. Obtaining an Idaho teaching certificate will prove to be very helpful if you apply for a certificate in another state. 
  • Verification of Employment: Complete the state required verification of employment during years 1, 2, and 3 of your teaching career. You will receive an email from Field Services to assist you in completing this step.