Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog 
2024-2025 University Catalog

Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs, BS

Location(s): West Lafayette

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About the Program

If you have thought about working with young children, young children with disabilities or developmental delays, or even directing early learning programs, then the early childhood education and exceptional needs major is for you. 

ECEEN students develop skills for working with children who are typically developing as well as children with disabilities and developmental delays and their families. Students are prepared to work with children from birth through 3rd grade.

Students complete a program that prepares them to apply for dual Indiana Teaching licensure as Early Childhood Generalist and Exceptional Needs: Mild Intervention (birth-grade 3). Through their degree and licensure program, students are prepared to work in early intervention programs, pre-kindergarten classrooms in schools and community programs, and early childhood regular and special education classrooms in public or private schools, and kindergarten through 3rd grade. 

Students receive hands-on experience at the Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School, in community schools and other early childhood programsas well as complete a full-time student teaching experience in an early childhood program in a child development center, public or private school. 

At least 32 credits of Purdue coursework required at 300 level or higher to meet graduation requirements. 

This program meets state and national licensure standards and is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the State of Indiana, State Board of Education. See Teacher Licensure Information in the plan below.

Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs Major Change (CODO) Requirements   

Degree Requirements

120 Credits Required

Departmental/Program Major Course Requirements (72 credits)

All required Major, Professional Education, and Learner Specialty Pathway courses are calculated into the 2.5 Overall Teacher Education GPA requirement with no grade lower than a ”C”.

Required Major Courses (15 credits)

Professional Education Requirements (57 credits)

Other Departmental/Program Course Requirements (38-44 credits)

Foreign Language Selective (9-12 credits)

The Foreign Language requirement may be met by completing ONE of the three options below.  
(Select from American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish)

Option 1:

Proficiency through level III in any one foreign language

  • 10100 (Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00)
  • 10200 (Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00)
  • 20100 (Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00)

Option 2:

Proficiency through level II in any one foreign language AND a course from the Global Perspectives & International Cultures Selective list.

  • 10100 (Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00)
  • 10200 (Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00)
  • course from the Global Perspectives & International Cultures Selective list (Credit Hours: 3.00) The selection for this category cannot be used to satisfy other major requirements.

Option 3:

Proficiency through level II in any one foreign language AND an approved study abroad experience that takes place outside of the United States and is at least 14 days in duration.

  • 10100 (Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00)
  • 10200 (Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00)
  • Approved Study Abroad Experience (Credit Hours: 3.00) The selection for this category cannot be used to satisfy other major requirements.

Electives (4-10 credits)

GPA Requirements

  • 2.0 Graduation GPA is required for the Bachelor of Science degree.
  • 2.5 Overall GPA is required for the Teacher Education Program.

Pass/No Pass Policy

  • A student may elect the Pass / Not-Pass grading option for elective courses only, unless an academic unit requires that a specific departmental course/s be taken Pass / Not-Pass.  Students may elect to take University Core Curriculum courses Pass / Not-Pass; however, some major Plans of Study require courses that also fulfill UCC foundational outcomes.  In such cases, students may not elect the Pass / Not-Pass option.  A maximum of 24 credits of elective courses under the Pass / Not-pass grading option can be used toward graduation requirements. For further information, students should refer to the College of Health and Human Sciences Pass / Not-Pass Policy.

Teacher Licensure Information

Successful completion of the Purdue University Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs Program, Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs, BS, and the State of Indiana licensure requirements results in an Indiana initial instructional License in Early Childhood Education (P-3), Mild Intervention (P-3), Early Literacy (P-5), and Blended and Online Teaching (P-3). Contact the Office of Teacher Education and Licensure for additional information regarding Teacher Education and licensure requirements.

Office of Teacher Education and Licensure - Purdue University College of Education

Teacher Education Program (TEP) Requirements and Milestones

  • 2.5 Overall GPA is required for the Teacher Education Program.
  • Students must successfully progress through Milestone A to enroll in any Professional Education **Restricted Methods course.
  • Successful completion of all Major, Professional Education (including all Foundations Courses with linked Foundations Portfolio Common Assessments and **Restricted Methods Courses), Learner Specialty Concentration/Pathway, and degree courses are required prior to Milestone C. Program limitations restrict additional courses to be taken simultaneously with or following student teaching without advance authorization.
  • Successful completion of all Foundations Portfolio Common Assessments are required prior to Milestone D.
  • Blended and online Teaching licensure requirements are embedded into coursework for all Undergraduate Licensure Programs.
  • Beginning July 1, 2025 - According to the Indiana State Board of Education, students seeking an Initial Indiana License in a content area involving literacy instruction, including special education, must obtain an early literacy endorsement, Science of Reading (P-5), as required under IC 20-28-5-19.7.

University Requirements

University Core Requirements

For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Science #1 (SCI)
  • Science #2 (SCI)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • Written Communication (WC) 

Civics Literacy Proficiency Requirement

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry. For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

To obtain the Civics Literacy Proficiency, students will complete an educational activity as part of their chosen Civics Literacy Pathway and pass the Purdue Civics knowledge test.  The knowledge test can be completed at any time while the pathway is being perused.  There are three different pathways:

  • Civics Event pathway - Attend six approved civics-related events and pass the required exam; or
  • Civics Literacy Podcast pathway - Complete 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship & Engagement that use C-SPAN material and pass the required exam; or
  • Approved course pathway - Complete  one of the following approved courses and pass the required exam.

More details about each pathway and how to complete the requirement can be found on the Civics Literacy Student Dashboard in myPurdue.

Upper Level Requirement

  • Resident study at Purdue University for at least two semesters and the enrollment in and completion of at least 32 semester hours of coursework required and approved for the completion of the degree. These courses are expected to be at least junior-level (30000+) courses.
  • Students should be able to fulfill most, if not all, of these credits within their major requirements; there should be a clear pathway for students to complete any credits not completed within their major.

Sample 4-Year Plan

Fall 1st Year

15 Credits

Spring 1st Year

15 Credits

15 Credits

16 Credits

16 Credits

17 Credits

14 Credits

Spring 4th Year

Professional Semester 4

12 Credits

Pre-Requisite Information

For pre-requisite information, log in to mypurdue.purdue.edu and click here.

World Language Courses

World Language proficiency requirements vary by program. The following list is inclusive of all world languages PWL offers for credit; for acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor. (ASL-American Sign Language; ARAB-Arabic; CHNS-Chinese; FR-French; GER-German; GREK-Greek(Ancient); HEBR-Hebrew(Biblical); HEBR-Hebrew(Modern); ITAL-Italian; JPNS-Japanese; KOR-Korean; LATN-Latin; PTGS=Portuguese; RUSS-Russian; SPAN-Spanish)

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major. Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful. These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program.”


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements. Consultation with an advisor may result in an altered plan customized for an individual student. The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

Comparative information about Purdue University and other U.S. educational institutions is also available through the College Navigator tool, provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, and through the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard.

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