This program prepares students to work in the growing profession of early intervention and early childhood special education. They learn how to improve learning outcomes and promote optimal development of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Our program provides learning opportunities that emphasize best practices in supporting children’s access to and participation in inclusive settings and natural learning environments.

Students are involved in immediate, hands-on training in a variety of settings in preschool special education and early intervention. They work beside highly trained early childhood teachers and professionals, practice the skills they learn in class, and complete assignments directly related to their studies.

Curriculum Abbreviations

  • CL – Number of lecture/classroom hours per week for the course
  • LAB – Number of simulation laboratory, laboratory or clinical hours per week for the course
  • CR – Number of credit hours for the course

First Year

Fall Semester
ECE 101CGrowth and Development of the Young Child1,2,3303
ECE 155CUsing Children’s Literature to Support Children’s Language, Literacy Development1,3303
ENGL 101CEnglish Composition404
MATH 120CQuantitative Reasoning404
Spring Semester
ASL 104CAmerican Sign Language for Beginners303
ECE143CTeaching and Learning STEAM1,3303
ECE 167CPositive Behavior Guidance and Supporting Children with Challenging Behaviors1,3303
ECE 270CTeaching Young Children with Exceptionalities1303
PSYC 105CIntroduction to Psychology303

Second Year

Fall Semester
ECE 225CAutism Spectrum Disorder1303
ECE 282CPreschool Special Education Practicum1274
ENGL 120MC/COMM 120MCCommunication: Mindful or   
ENGL xxxCLiterature elective303
XX xxxCGeneral elective (EDU 201C or EDU 204C suggested)303
XX xxxCSocial Science elective4303
Spring Semester
ECE 215CInfant/Toddler Development and Programming1,3303
ECE 242CChild, Family and Community1303
ECE 283CEarly Intervention Practicum1,2274
ECE 290CEarly Childhood Leadership Seminar1101
XX xxxCLab Science elective5404
Total Credits60

1Indicates major field course

2The two practica can be offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. Course sequence will change depending on the semester in which students take each practicum. Students will work closely with their advisor to assure appropriate course sequence for each practicum.

3All students taking ECE 101C, ECE 143C, ECE 155C, ECE 167C, and ECE 215C will be charged a $25 NHTI ECE Lab fee for each class.

4Any course with a prefix of ANTH, ECON, HIST, POLS, PSYC, or SOCI (except HIST 104C and HIST 105C)

5BIOL 100C, CHEM 100C, and PHYS 100C do not meet this requirement.

NOTE: Students whose placement test scores suggest difficulty with lengthy and complex assignments are strongly advised to complete the program in 3 or more years.

The Child and Family Studies program is hands-on, project-centered, and competency and evidence-based to
facilitate the growth of future teachers and leaders preparing to work with children, families, and communities. Graduates are able to: 

  • Understand young children’s characteristics and needs to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child. 
  • Understand and value the importance of creating respectful, reciprocal relationships to support and empower families in their communities. 
  • Responsibly observe, document, and assess children in a manner that supports children and families.
  • Understand developmentally effective approaches that emphasize positive relationships and supportive interactions to influence outcomes for individual children. 
  • Design, implement, and evaluate learning experiences that promote a wide range of academic disciplines to build meaningful curriculum. 
  • Identify and connect themselves as members of the early childhood profession. 
  • Demonstrate a variety of early childhood field experiences.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of relevant professional, legal, and regulatory guidelines for serving every child.
  • Participate in early intervention and special needs interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams. 
  • Implement interventions for young children with ASD and children with disabilities across all developmental domains.

Graduates are prepared for immediate entry as competent professionals to work in a variety of early childhood settings, including family-centered early supports and services in public schools, licensed child care centers, and home-based, community-based, and private settings. Some roles in these settings could include intake coordinator, autism educational assistant, home visitor, lead teacher in childcare, and 1-1 support aide/paraprofessional.

Students wishing to pursue other opportunities in early intervention or early childhood special education may further their education at a four-year college/university. This degree meets the training and education requirements for the State of N.H. Early Childhood Professional Development System credential of NH Early Childhood Teacher, Level 5.

“I first chose NHTI’s early childhood program for children with disabilities because it specifically worked with my desired age group and focus of children with exceptionalities.  I quickly fell in love with my classes, the individual support I received from my teachers, and the opportunity to not only observe but eventually work at the lab school on campus.  NHTI allowed me to have a full rounded experience through my studies in a classroom and in the field.  I later attended a four-year university and felt more than prepared to complete my bachelor’s degree.  I recommend NHTI to anyone that I talk to looking to pursue their degree in early childhood education.” 

– Emma Heath, class of 2015

  • Students will spend designated hours each week with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or kindergarteners while taking early childhood courses. These hours will be considered a component of class participation.
  • Upon acceptance into the program, students must complete the following paperwork:
    • A complete set of electronic fingerprints completed by the Department of Safety
    • Submission of a criminal record check that comes back clear or non-disqualifying; the cost
      associated with the fingerprinting and criminal record check is the responsibility of the student.
    • Completion of the licensing child care personnel health form by a licensed health provider
      indicating the student is in good physical health and has no mental or emotional disturbances
      that would prohibit him/her from caring for children in a group setting
    • Signed confidentiality form
    • Other related documents distributed by the department chair
  • Out-of-state students who are taking classes 100% online will need to complete their state’s fingerprinting and background check, child health care form, and any other paperwork required by that state.
  • Students must have transportation to and from NHTI approved practicum sites in their senior year.
  • Students must have a flexible schedule that allows them to spend weekday mornings and/or afternoons at their practicum site while taking classes. Students should be prepared to plan work hours around their course schedule knowing that these hours will change each semester.
  • All students must have access to a digital camera and video-capturing device to complete assignments. Online students will record themselves during practicum to share with their practicum teachers online.

CCSNH partners with Granite State College to offer tuition assistance to child care providers who are entering or are currently working in the field of early care and education. Eligible individuals must be working at least 20 hours per week. For more information, contact Diana Menard, department chair of Child and Family Studies, at 603-271-6484 x4281 or For additional information, visit the CCSNH page on early childhood education tuition assistance here.

There is also a scholarship available for this program through T.E.A.C.H. NH (click here for flyer). The T.E.A.C.H. NH Scholarship Program supports the cost of tuition and books, offers paid release time from work for scholarship recipients, and has a bonus upon completing 9-12 credits within a 12-month period. To be eligible, applicants must live in N.H. and work at least 30 hours a week in a licensed childcare program. Information and applications are available on the N.H. Connections site.

Chat with Admissions!

chat loading...

Not Sure Which Program Is Right for You? Try NHTI's Career Coach!

Discover majors and careers based on your interests

Taker a Career Assessment ♦ Browse Careers ♦ Browse NHTI Programs
Click Here to Discover More!