The Early Childhood Special (ECS) Education program prepares students to work with young children and their families in a variety of settings. The program focuses on child development with an emphasis on infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special needs. This nationally accredited program features four years of intense, hands-on experiences. UMF faculty, working closely with nearby schools and agencies, provide real-world opportunities for students. Students draw on specialized campus resources such as UMF’s Children’s Programs and the Kalikow Curriculum Materials Center, which includes assistive technology resources, children’s literature, and early childhood curricula. ECS graduates work with young children, birth through age eight, with and without special needs and their families in a variety of settings. For a full description, visit the UMF catalog (2023-2024).

How do I explore Early Childhood Special Education at UMF?

There are many ways to explore a major. You could:

  • Review the webpage for this major.
  • Talk to faculty members in the major. Ask about their career path.
  • Choose a class of interest and contact the faculty member to ask about going to one of the classes.
  • Talk with students in the major for insights into the courses you will take and professors who will instruct you.
  • Enroll in one of the following courses: ECS 103 Introduction to Teaching Early Childhood Special Education or PSY 225 Child & Adolescent Development.
  • Get involved by joining a club or volunteer with an organization.
  • Volunteer or intern with an organization that is aligned with this major.
  • Talk with a Career Counselor.

What careers can I get with this major?

Data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources. Median Salaries for positions in Maine typically fall below those of other New England states.

What jobs have UMF graduates acquired?

Preschool teachers in inclusive or special purpose classrooms, Home visitors (working with infants, toddlers and their families), Service Coordinator, Disability Coordinator for Head Start, One-on-One Teacher, Kindergarten through 3rd grade Teachers, and others.

Can I minor in Early Childhood Special Education? Are there related majors at UMF?

UMF has minors in Early Childhood Special Education, Special Education, and Child and Adolescent Health. Majors related to Early Childhood Special Education include Early Childhood Education, Special Education, and Elementary Education. Read more about majors and minors.

How do I declare this major?

Contact Dr. Patricia Williams,, 207-778-7109 to discuss your interests. To apply to the major, pick up application materials from Mary Melcher, Administrative Specialist in the Early Childhood/Elementary Education Department, room 337A Education Center. Applications include a Program/Plan Change Form and an articulate essay about why you want to work in early childhood special education. You’ll need a minimum GPA of 2.75 to be considered.

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