Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement in Iowa

An early childhood special education endorsement allows the holder to teach children with a range of cognitive or physical disabilities from Pre-K to Kindergarten in a contained setting. This article describes the process that one must go through to earn this credential.

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Special education teachers may teach or assist in a regular early education setting in which less than 50% of the students have an IEP. In order to earn a special education endorsement in Iowa, specifically in the area of early childhood, the following steps must be taken.

Iowa Early Childhood Special Education Teaching Requirements

Average Salary for Early Childhood Special Education Teachers in Iowa (2016)* $62,330 (Preschool), $54,520 (Kindergarten)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early Childhood Education with an Early Childhood Special Education endorsement, or Special Education with an Early Childhood Special Education endorsement
Praxis Testing Requirements Special Education: Early Childhood Education (minimum score of 151) and Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood (minimum score of 165)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Obtain an Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement

An Early Childhood Special Education endorsement is earned in addition to a bachelor's degree and state-issued teaching license. It indicates that the teacher is qualified to teach students with special needs in Preschool and Kindergarten settings. The endorsement can be earned while a student is working through their Teacher Preparation program, or after a licensed teacher has completed their education and wishes to specialize in their area of interest.

Students or current teachers who have earned or will be earning an Early Childhood or Special Education teaching certificate in the State of Iowa can add the Early Childhood Special Education endorsement by completing a program through a regionally-accredited college or university. This will allow the holder to teach in a Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten special education setting in which at least 50% of the students have an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, in place.

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Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement Requirements for Iowa

  • Foundations of Special Education - instruction on the definitions and etiologies of students with disabilities as well as the historical and legal foundations for the field of special education.
  • Characteristics of learners - current methodologies of educational programming and theories of childhood development, both typical and atypical. Also covered: personal and social factors that affect a child's development and learning, instruction on identifying specific disabilities, and knowledge of cultural diversity and how this affects child development.
  • Assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation - legal issues and regulations surrounding the unbiased assessment of children with disabilities, the relationship between assessment and classroom environment placement, and instruction on assessing a child's development in a variety of ways, including but not limited to, cognitive, emotional, physical, and adaptive.
  • Methods and strategies - models to help a teacher learn to plan and use appropriate instructional methods based on the needs of the individual students in their classroom settings. Also included: developing and leading individual and group activities tailored to the students' needs, implementing effective intervention strategies, and developing curricula to help students improve communication, daily life skills, social skills, and academic strategies for success.
  • Managing student behavior and social interaction - preparation for individual behavior management and redirection of behavior as well as classroom management for students with atypical needs.
  • Communication and collaborative partnerships - instructs teachers in collaborating with outside services, networks, and organizations that can help meet the needs of their students and facilitate a better learning environment for all. This subject covers the variety of family systems and relationships, parental rights, advocacy, and communication to help make the students' parents more comfortable in communicating with educators and advocating for their children. Also covered: working with paraprofessionals, support staff, administrators, and others involved in the special education program.
  • Student teaching in a Preschool-Kindergarten special education setting.

Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement Resources

Iowa-based candidates for an early childhood special education endorsement will find plenty of useful information in the following links:

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