ECHOSEE—Early Childhood Hybrid Online Special Educator Education
What is it?
ECHOSEE (Early Childhood Hybrid Online Special Educator Education) is a program specifically focused on increasing the number of early interventionists/early childhood special educators who hold appropriate licensure to serve infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children with disabilities and their families. ECHOSEE will deliver a state-approved program of courses delivered primarily through the Internet with supplemental face-to-face meetings, which encourages access to scholars in rural and remote locations of the state. Upon completion of the course sequence, participants will be eligible for both a master's degree in early childhood special education and state licensure to serve children birth through age 7 with disabilities and their families.
Why Are We Doing This?
Nevada faces challenges in ensuring an adequately prepared workforce to serve the needs of young children with disabilities and their families, especially considering the rural nature of the state. 2013 data provided by the Nevada Department of Education documents that 29% of current early childhood special education teachers are teaching without the proper licensure. Shortages also exist for professionals prepared to serve Nevada infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families; 59% of early interventionists either working for Nevada Early Intervention Services or their community partners do not hold the required licensure. In fact, 98% of new hires are "under filled;" hired with the understanding that they will receive the license within 3 years of hire. ECHOSEE will immediately increase the number of licensed personnel eligible to provide services to young children with disabilities since scholars funded through the program commit to subsequently provide early intervention and/or early childhood special education services to young children with disabilities for a period of two years for every year for which assistance is received.
What are our Goals?
- Recruit, admit, support, retain, and graduate at least 54 scholars with a Master’s degree in Special Education with emphasis in early intervention/early childhood special education.
- Provide each scholar with high-quality coursework emphasizing evidence-based practices, policy and advocacy, and research.
- Provide each scholar with multiple fieldwork experiences including Early Head Start, Title 1 preschools, and the University Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment (UCAN) assessment team.
- Provide each scholar with the mentoring and support to complete an annual Reflective Self-Evaluation and summary of their annual progress.
- Support scholars in an extensive cumulative fieldwork experience in either an early intervention or early childhood special education preschool setting.
- Mentor each scholar in completing a professional portfolio with artifacts demonstrating skills in eight evidence-based competency areas.
The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H325K130087. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.