students in TEACH Lab

Ball State's teaching major in exceptional needs: early childhood special education prepares you for a fulfilling career working with infants and toddlers with special needs.

As a graduate, you will work in preschools, developmental centers, and agency-based programs serving young children with disabilities. Included in the early childhood major is coursework that leads to a teaching license in Mild Interventions (K-6).

In addition to rigorous coursework, our program emphasizes real-world field experience and culminates in a student teaching experience completed in two different settings, early childhood and mild interventions (K-6).

What You Will Learn

As part of our comprehensive special education program, you will learn theory and practices in early childhood special education, assessment of children with exceptional needs, teaching methods for mild interventions, and more.

You will also:

  • work with a variety of learners
  • administer and interpret norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments
  • make the connection between assessment and instruction
  • be prepared for Response to Intervention (RtI) and progress monitoring

Program Benefits

NCATE logo

National Accreditation

The Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Learn more.

Our program includes intensive field experiences in a variety of settings. Most courses immerse students in practicum or service learning opportunities, culminating in exciting student teaching options that include Ramstein, Germany, and Aldine Independent School District in Houston, Texas.

Our special education programs are nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children.

Our faculty have extensive real-world experiences in their respective areas of expertise including classroom teaching, clinical supervision, public school administration, program development, and consultation.

Read Their Bios

student in TEACH Lab

Dual Major with Early Childhood Education

The dual major in early childhood education and early childhood special education prepares you to work with children from birth through 3rd grade. In addition to being qualified to teach typically developing children in a preschool or school setting, you will be able to work with children with special needs and disabilities in an agency or public school. Learn more about early childhood education.

For a complete list of all dual major courses, their descriptions, and other requirements, please see our Course Catalog.


Major Requirements

The bachelor’s degree in special education (early childhood special education) consists of 120 credits with emphasis on special education for babies and young children with special needs. You will complete one semester of student teaching with one placement in an early childhood setting and another placement for the Mild Intervention license.

Total Credits



A few of the classes you will take include:

  • Legal Foundations of Special Education
  • Assessment in Special Education Including RtI
  • Instructional Methods for Infants and Toddlers with Exceptional Needs
  • Technology in Special Education

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, consult our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of scholarships the university offers its students, our department gives awards every year to its own students to recognize them for their achievements. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in enrolling in our program? The first step is to apply as an undergraduate student to Ball State University. Begin the journey today.

Get Started 


Place matters, and that is particularly true on our beautiful campus—our size, our people, our culture, and our amenities. Come see it for yourself by scheduling a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Or if you’d rather speak directly to someone in our department, feel free to call or email us.

Related Programs