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Early childhood special educators have the opportunity to influence children's academic futures, helping them learn and develop in ways that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Providing intervention for students at an early age increases improvement in areas such as social skills, motor skills, language, and speech. This 24-credit certificate program prepares educators with the knowledge necessary to meet the needs of young children benefiting from special education services and leads to state licensure in Early Childhood Special Education, Birth-Age 5.


Early Childhood Education students engage in a semester-long internship experience off campus. This internship is a capstone experience. It is a full-time obligation in the last semester of the program. The program assists with the placement process. Internships will either work directly with or on behalf of young children and their families.

Students must submit an internship application in the semester prior to the internship. Please consult with the Early Childhood Education advisor and review the information on this page for more details.

Careers in Early Childhood Special Education

Students completing this licensure program may pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Early Childhood Special Education Teachers
  • Early Interventionists

Additional Opportunities

Licensure Disclosure

George Mason University will verify completion of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require George Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.