Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Birth to Primary, for Initial Certification, Master of Arts in Teaching (0460)


Program Coordinator

Elizabeth G. Kirby,, (270) 745-3746

The program is designed to prepare early childhood educators to work with children with and without disabilities, ages birth through kindergarten and their families.  IECE program graduates are qualified to work with children from birth to entry into the primary program.  This includes teaching children in kindergarten or other programs for five-year-olds if those programs are operated separately from the primary program.  Graduates are prepared for positions in public schools, First Steps, Head Start programs, child care centers, and other public and private agencies serving young children and families.

The MAT program in IECE, Birth to Primary, Initial Certification is for individuals who are not certified in any area of education or whose certification is not in IECE. The performance-based program of study requires 34 semester hours of course work and various field experiences. The culminating experience of the program is an internship. Upon completion of the program and achieving a passing score on the required PRAXIS II exam, students are eligible to be recommended for the Statement of Eligibility to teach children age’s birth through kindergarten.

Program Admission

To be considered for admission, applicants must be:

  • Document completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have completed SPED 330 or SPED 516 or an equivalent introductory special education course prior to entering the MAT program or complete SPED 516 as a program deficiency.
  • Present a letter of application including a professional goals statement.
  • Provide three letters of reference.  At least one reference letter must be from a university faculty member who can speak to the applicant's ability to be successful in a graduate program.
  • Document a cumulative overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or above (counting all course work, undergraduate or graduate) OR a GPA of 3.0 in the last 30 hours of course work (counting all course work, undergraduate and graduate).
  • Submit documentation to satisfy partial criteria for admission to professional education including: references; physical including TB test; signed code of ethics; criminal background check; and passing standardized test scores.
  • Applicants must also have had SPED 330 or SPED 516 or an equivalent course prior to entering the master's program or complete one of them as a program deficiency.

Application Deadline Notes

For priority consideration applicants should submit application materials to the Graduate School by the following dates:

  • Summer Admission:  March 1;
  • Fall Admission:  May 1;
  • Spring Admission: November 1

Applicants submitting materials after the above deadline dates cannot be guaranteed that applications will be reviewed in time for admission for the upcoming term nor that course space will be available.

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (34 hours)

Required Courses
EDFN 500Research Methods3
or TCHL 520 Principles of Action Research for Teacher Leaders
FACS 577Child Development Theory and Research 13
CD 486GLanguage Disorders 13
PSY 645Consultation in Educational and Mental Health Settings: Theory and Practice3
SLP 517Normal Language Development3
SPED 523Curriculum/Methods in Early Childhood Special Education3
IECE 520Organizing Programs for Early Childhood Special Education3
IECE 521Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education3
IECE 522Family-Focused Services3
IECE 523Planning Curriculum and Instruction in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education3
IECE 524Internship in Early Childhood Special Education 23
IECE 526Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education1
Total Hours34

Or advisor approved electives


Students currently teaching in an IECE setting may use their current teaching position to meet this requirement with advisor approval. Students not currently teaching must complete an internship experience that is equivalent to state requirements for student teaching in IECE.