General Course Information for SPD672: Intro to ECSE

Course: SPD672 - Intro to ECSE
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description:

This course surveys current knowledge of young children with disabilities within the context of development and learning, birth to five. It examines historical factors,legislation affecting service delivery,etiology, characteristics and needs of young children who are at-risk for or who have identified disabilities. From a cultural diversity perspective, the role of family-professional partnerships, educational strategies, and models of service delivery are explored. Field experience is required.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate, apply, and synthesize knowledge of historical, philosophical, social, cultural and legal foundations of early childhood special education.
  • Demonstrate and synthesize knowledge of federal and state regulations and procedures that apply to identification, evaluation, assessment, eligibility, and free appropriate public education (FAPE).
  • Demonstrate, apply and synthesize knowledge of IFSP/IEP development and review, program implementation and monitoring, natural environments/least restrictive environment (LRE), due process, dispute resolution, and transition practices for EI/ECE services.
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of characteristics of specific categories of disabilities.
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of cultural and diversity in teaching and learning of young children with special needs and their families and practices that support partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse families, caregivers, and service providers.
  • Demonstrate and evaluate knowledge and skill in behavioral observations and writing observation reports. This includes a field experience assignment (project) for the student: Developmental Observations, completing two preschool observations and submitting one Observation Assignment. First observation is a typical preschooler in a typical preschool classroom setting; second observation is an atypical preschooler with identified special needs (the child must have an IEP) in a public school ECSE program.
  • Demonstrate, utilize and synthesize knowledge of concepts of natural environments, integration, inclusion and the continuum of services, as they apply to early childhood education, including their impact on roles of early childhood educators, early childhood special educators, and service providers.
  • Apply and synthesize knowledge of the characteristics of developmentally appropriate service delivery models and settings that enhance the learning and positive behaviors of young children with special needs.
  • Apply and evaluate knowledge of research and evidence-based principles and practices that contribute to the improvement of teaching practices.
Course Requirements:

Students are expected to attend all class sessions and actively participate in class activities and discussions, complete examinations as scheduled, and to turn in all assignments on time. Students are also expected to read all assigned material prior to the class session in which the material is presented and be prepared to contribute to discussion and dialogue.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures