Pioneering the classrooms of tomorrow
Innovative Program Offers Dual Licensure
There’s only one university in Ohio offering undergraduates an Inclusive Early Childhood (IEC) Education program—and that’s Bowling Green State University.
Beginning this fall, students will be able to earn two teaching licenses through one program—pre-kindergarten to third-grade early childhood and pre-kindergarten to third-grade intervention specialist, plus an Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities certificate. The combination of these licenses and certificate will allow graduates to teach young children with and without disabilities in integrated settings.
“Our program blends the best practices from early childhood education with special education to prepare our teacher education candidates to work in all early childhood learning environments helping students to reach their full potential,” said Dr. Brad Colwell, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “They will develop the skills to effectively meet the needs of every young child in our diverse society, birth through grade three.”
Dr. Mary Murray, associate dean for student & academic success, said, “Professional associations in the field of education support inclusionary practices, and students are reaping the benefits by experiencing success in inclusive settings across the country.” The co-teaching that takes place in inclusive classrooms allows general education and special education teachers to plan and instruct together.
“This teamwork makes the challenge of addressing the complex learning needs found in all classrooms manageable and beneficial,” added Murray. In inclusionary settings, parents, community members, teachers, students and paraprofessionals are partners in the educational process, and each child is a respected member of the learning community.
Collaboration was key to launching this visionary program, which took three years to develop. According to Colwell, 35 committees, 70 faculty members and 45 community members, ranging from superintendents, teachers and parents of students with and without disabilities, were involved.
The program will be phased in over the next several years. Students starting in the fall will be in the new program, while those already enrolled will have the option to make the shift or continue through the existing program.
“This is the type of innovative program I’ve come to expect from BGSU,” said William Primrose, chair of the BGSU Board of Trustees. “It will both meet the needs of our graduates by giving them an advantage in the marketplace, and also provide teachers who are trained to teach all children in Ohio.”
Learn more about BGSU’s IEC program.