Get started with MUApply here
You know that a positive experience throughout early education helps children with learning differences flourish. That’s why you are drawn to this 100% online graduate certificate in early childhood special education from the University of Missouri (Mizzou). As one of several top-ranked online graduate programs from Mizzou’s College of Education & Human Development, this program is ideal for early childhood educators already working in diverse classrooms.
You’ll gain essential skills and strategies for differentiating instruction in four courses focused on early intervention and assessment. While this graduate program is not designed for those seeking teacher certification, the credits you earn can count toward a future master’s degree. You’ll be able to apply your new knowledge while you work, and, upon completion of your certificate, you’ll be even more equipped to help every child learn to thrive. For more information about teaching certification, contact the department of education in your state.
Top-ranked programs in two categories
Mizzou’s online graduate education programs ranked among the nation’s finest in two U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs 2023 categories.
Official nameGraduate certificate in early childhood special education
Program typeGraduate certificate
Academic homeCollege of Education & Human Development | Department of Special Education
Delivery mode100% online
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.
Job titles include:
- Early childhood special education teacher
- Developmental specialist
- Special education specialist
- Preschool teacher
Delivery of this program is 100% online: no campus visits are required.
Courses are cohort-based. Most students study part time, taking one to two classes per semester, and complete the course work in just one year.
Course work includes
- Introduction and methods of early intervention
- Assessment in early childhood special education
- Introduction and methods of early childhood special education
- Young children with autism
Typical program length1 year
Typical course load1-2 classes per semester
Further your education
Students may apply the 12 credit hours earned for this graduate certificate to a master of education in early childhood special education and a master of education in early childhood special education and autism. For more information, visit the Department of Special Education website.
The University of Missouri-Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States
Jena Randolph has a faculty appointment at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment and serves as a co-principal investigator for the Training Experts in Autism for Missouri (TEAM) program, which provides autism training and support to applied behavior analysts, educators, health service providers and community care professionals throughout the state. Dr. Randolph has extensive experience with individuals with autism throughout the lifespan across home, clinical and school settings. Her background includes a focus on neurodiversity, collaborative and coordinated care, and emergent communication development.
Rebecca McCatheren was a practitioner for 20 years, working with children in diverse settings including residential treatment and respite care programs. Dr. McCatheren taught children with disabilities and those with multiple risk factors in diverse inner-city settings. Her desire to prepare educators for similar work led her to seek her doctorate in special education at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include early language and communication and social and emotional development in young children. She has received five Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) personnel preparation grants since joining Mizzou in 1999.