Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Special Education

This is an archived copy of the 2023-2024 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

The Early Childhood Special Education certificate combines early childhood education and special education courses to provide additional training for individuals who teach or work with children with special needs.

This certificate has been approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Board and is awarded by Sam Houston State University. 

This Graduate Certificate is eligible to receive Title IV funding – Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Graduate PLUS loans by request. To be considered for aid, students need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Note: This certificate in Early Childhood Special Education DOES NOT lead to teacher certification.

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Applicants seeking admission to the graduate certificate program in Early Childhood Special Education must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript from the baccalaureate degree granting institution
  4. List of three professional references with contact information and relationship to applicant.
  5. Writing sample

For recommendation forms and writing sample instructions, please contact the School of Teaching and Learning or visit the Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Special Education program landing page.

Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Special Education
Required Course
SPED 5301Ed Of Indvdls Wth Disabilities (Offered summer only)3
Special Education
Select two from the following:6
Tch Mthd-Lrnrs/Mild-Mod Dsblty
Transition Services Ind w Dis
Transition Assessment and Inst
In-Home Training & Family Iss
Std Behavior Disorder Children
Outcomes in Behav Intervent
Early Childhood Education
Select two from the following: 16
Curriculum Dev-Early Child Edu
Lang & Lit Dev In Young Child
Curr Pract-Early Child Setting
Buildg Rel With Div Fam& Child
Theor. Perspctv-Early Child Ed
Development Of The Young Child
Special Topics Erly Childhd Ed (May be taken twice with varied topic)
Total Hours15

One graduate early childhood (ECHE) course is offered per semester. 

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Special Education is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills: 

  • Learn about child development and best practices for students with special needs
  • Teaching methods for young children and families
  • Learn how to assess young children with additional learning needs
  • Community and family relations skills