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Inclusive Early Childhood Education Frequently Asked Questions


 What does IECE stand for?

IECE stands for Inclusive Early Childhood Education

 When I graduate from the IECE program can I teach?

The inclusive early childhood education prepares candidates for teaching licensure in Early Childhood Special Education (Birth to 5 years) and Early Childhood Education (PK-3rd grade). This means that you will have two teaching endorsements. You will also be qualified to become an Early Interventionist.

 What does a dual-licensure mean?

It means that you will receive your Virginia teaching license and be endorsed to teach in two different licensure areas. One in special education and one in general education. The special education license is what Virginia calls the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) area and it allows you teach children birth-age 5 years with disabilities. The second endorsement is the Pre-K through third grade general education and allows you to be the general education teacher in any of those early elementary classrooms.

 What will I learn in the IECE program?

The inclusive early childhood program draws heavily from research and theories in child development, family systems, special education, differentiated teaching and learning. Through course work and extensive field experiences, you will be prepared to design activities that have an interdisciplinary focus, reflect an understanding of the individual child's development and learning, recognize the importance of family and developmental influences, support the young child in constructing knowledge about self and the world, and involve parents in supporting the child's growth and development.

 Will I have opportunities for field experiences in the IECE program?

Yes, you will have many opportunities for field experiences. Starting in your sophomore year, you will have a required field experience each semester. These field experiences complement your IECE coursework as you learn about child development, understand classroom management, interact with families, and write lesson plans. You also have the opportunity to have a field experience in Early Intervention (Infant-3 years old).

 What does student teaching in the IECE program involve?

You will have two different 8 week student teaching placements. One of these placements will fufill your Pre-K-3rd grade teaching licensure endorsement and the other will fufill your Birth-5 years special education endorsements.

 Will I have a job when I graduate and what types of jobs would I be qualified for?

You will definitely have a job! There is a teacher shortage in Virginia right now, specifically in the areas of Early Childhood Special Education. You will have many job opportunities. You can be a Pre-school teacher in special education or inclusive education classrooms, you can teach Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade. Hospital education programs are another opportunity that you may find of interest. In addition, you can go into Early Intervention and become either a service coordinator or a developmental specialist

 What if I want to teach outside of Virginia when I graduate?

Virginia has teacher licensure reciprocity with all states across the U.S. Depending on the state you want to relocate to, you may have to take an additional test, but most states you only need to complete the paperwork and your license will transfer. Your IECE advisor can help you find the teacher license reciprocity information for the state. We have IECE graduates teaching in New York, New Jersey, North Caroline, South Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado, and even overseas.

 What if I want a Master’s degree?

JMU offers Master’s of Teaching and Master’s of Education programs that you can apply for after you complete the IECE program. You can also choose to teach for a few years and then come back for your Master’s degree.

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