The Children with Special Needs certificate is designed primarily for individuals who are employed and seek specific skills for advancement or for students who work in community agencies that provide parent training, behavioral intervention and other types of support for families having children with special needs. Students gain skills for working with diverse populations through both classroom work and supervised practicum experiences. Individuals can also enroll in this certificate program to gain specialized parenting skills.
Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will:
- Integrate appropriate theories and practices to create, implement and evaluate developmentally effective experiences for children and their families.
- Apply appropriate observation and assessment strategies to positively influence children's development and learning as they employ appropriate discipline terminology and professional tone in written and oral communication.
- Work with children of diverse ages, abilities and cultures in multiple field experiences in child care and educational environments as they identify community resources to support children and their families.
Students can apply the credits earned in the certificate program toward a certificate or Associate degree in Early Education and Child Development. Weekly field observations and experiences are required throughout the course work in this program. Students must be eligible for clearances through the Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114), Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Check (ACT34) and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Record Check (Act151) and meet local requirements of the field placement site.
Upon completion of this program, graduates may seek employment as staff in agencies that provide services for children with special needs such as Easter Seals or as a family day care provider. Graduates may also seek employment as house-parents, group home workers, therapeutic support workers, child care workers or as respite care workers.