In Loyola's early childhood special education program, you'll learn inclusive, specialized teaching practices to support each and every child from birth through second grade

With a degree in early childhood special education from Loyola, you will be fully licensed in both early childhood education and special education across the span of birth to grade two, and can work in general education, inclusive, or special education programs. Our program supports you in developing the critical skills required to facilitate learning experiences for both typically developing children and those with disabilities. You will leave fully credentialed in Early Childhood Education (ECE), Early Intervention (enabling you to work with the families of infants and toddlers with disabilities), and Special Education. Our field-based, hands-on approach is the only program in Illinois offering credentials in all of these areas, and graduates are highly sought by school and program administrators. Our program uses an apprenticeship approach, so you'll work directly with infants/toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children throughout your four years. You will earn Illinois licensure in ECSE, as well as an ESL endorsement, a credential in EI, and Gateways credentials, which together identify you as a highly desirable candidate on the job market. Our graduates are selected for competitive positions, and after eight years, 92% are still working in the field of education.

Learn more by reading through our Early Childhood Special Education Program Viewbook.

Our commitment to you

Upon graduation with a bachelor of science in early child special education degree from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values necessary to to address the needs of children special needs from birth to third grade in inclusive school environments.


You'll develop a deep understanding of both content and pedagogy to provide developmentally appropriate instruction to all students. You will also be eligible for Illinois licensure in the following areas:

  • Early childhood education for birth to age 8;
  • Early childhood special education for birth to age 8;
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Early Intervention by the Illinois Department of Human Services and an Initial Credential in Developmental Therapy.
  • Level 5 Illinois Early Childhood Education and Infant/Toddler credentials


You'll have accrued the equivalent of one year of full-time teaching experience through all the hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in Chicago's classrooms and community organizations, so you will be ready to be at the head of your own classroom. With the foundational knowledge from your Loyola education, you will utilize theories, data, and research practices when making decisions in your classroom and for your students and when assessing the effectiveness of teaching on learning.

Professional Values

As a Loyola-trained educator, you'll emphasize the importance of each of your students as an individual. You'll have high expectations for your students and values the experiences of diverse students. And you'll have the tools and training to address societal issues like inequitable resources and institutional barriers to success for all.

Program Faculty

Our dedicated Teaching and Learning Faculty are experts in their fields who will support students throughout each stage of the program.



All of Loyola’s Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) degrees use the Teaching, Learning, and Leading with Schools and Communities (TLLSC) curriculum as its foundation. It’s an approach that will help you stand out when you’re searching for your first job.

The TLLSC curriculum focuses on hands-on learning. Your studies will be built around four Cornerstones—partnering with schools and communities, classroom diversity, ongoing classroom experience, and participating in professional learning communities.

As you learn and grow, you’ll progress through the three Phases of the program. These phases will guide you through a comprehensive experience that will prepare you to make a difference with learners in diverse settings.

BSed in Early Childhood Special Education Sequence of Classes (PDF)

Program Benefits

  • Get extensive field experience in community organizations and classrooms, as well as with families.
  • Graduate with eligibility for an English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement.
  • Graduate from a fully accredited college that prepares students for licensing and advanced board licensure.
  • Continually collaborate with faculty and fellow ECSE majors at all levels within your chosen specialty through professional learning communities 

Admission Requirements

Visit Undergraduate Admission to start your online application today.

  • For program structure and academics related questions, contact: Adam Kennedy, Program Chair

Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships

The School of Education and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. You can learn more on the Financial Assistance page.