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M.Ed. in Special Education, Early Childhood Birth to Age 5, Shady Grove

The EdTerps Learning Academy provides formal and informal training and professional development opportunities that encompasses current evidence-based research and practice related to instruction, policy analysis, counseling, and human development. 

Mentoring and advising are an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the academic program director to ensure that educational goals and career learning and development goals are met. Students should contact Dr. Agnesanne J. Danehey:


The M.Ed. in Special Education, Specialty: Early Childhood Birth to Age 5, Shady Grove (SPEC) has a 30-credit, 10-course curriculum that addresses the developmental and learning needs of our youngest ages birth-5.

  • Includes coverage of the unique needs of those with physical, sensory (e.g., deaf-blindness, cortical visual impairment, etc.), and multiple disabilities.
  • Provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities that support efforts to “achieve equitable developmental and academic achievement for all”.
  • Can be completed in three years of continuous part-time enrollment. See Designation of Full-time/Part-time Status

Target Audience

  • Professionals who already hold an early childhood special education teacher license/certification, 
  • Professionals in early childhood interested in expanding their knowledge, skills, and abilities with those with special needs from Birth-Age 5, or
  • Professionals interested in working in an early childhood special education context.


Below is a listing of all program courses. For a detailed course description that includes pre-requisites or co-requisites, see The Graduate School Catalog, Course Listing as follows: EDSP Course Descriptions

Focus Areas Course Number Title
Overview EDSP600 Issues and Trends in Educating Individuals with Disabilities
Content EDSP613 Behavior and Classroom Management in Special Education
Content EDSP624 Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education
Content EDSP626 Characteristics of Infants and Young Children: Early Childhood Special Education
Content EDSP631 Early Intervention: Early Childhood Special Education
Content EDSP665 Families, Culture, and Disability
Content EDSP678A Seminar in Special Education
Evaluation EDSP625 Seminar in Severe Disabilities-Seminar Paper Requirement
Research EDSP670 Single Subject Research Designs
Research EDSP671 Qualitative Methodologies in Special Education

Registration Overview

  • See the sample plan of study, below. Students should use this as a guide to develop a plan with the academic program director. 
  • Actual course offerings are determined by the program and may vary. Students should note if a course has a pre-requisite or co-requisite.
  • Specific class meeting information (days and time) is posted on the University of Maryland’s (UMD) interactive web service services, Testudo. Once on that site, select “Schedule of Classes,” then the term/year. Courses are listed by academic unit. 
  • The program uses specific section codes for registration that are listed on the sample plan of study.

Sample Plan, Cohort Admitted Summer 2023 / Fall 2023

Semester Year USG In Person Section Code Online Section Code Credits
Summer, I 1 PVD* PUD* 3
Summer, II 1 PVD* PUD* 3
Fall 1 PVD* PUD* 3
Spring 1 PVD* PUD* 3
Summer, I 2 PVD* PUD* 3
Summer, II 2 PVD* PUD* 3
Fall 2 PVD* PUD* 3
Spring 2 PVD* PUD* 3
Summer, I 3 PVD* PUD* 3
Summer, II 3 PVD* PUD* 3


  • Features a blend of in-person and online learning.
  • Classes held in the early evening. 
  • Instruction provided by UMD faculty and professionals in the field.
  • Uses the semester academic calendar with classes held during fall and spring semester (16 weeks each) and Summer Session (two 6-week sessions).

In Person Learning

  • Instructors present dynamic and interactive seminar-style instruction. 
  • Classes are held in The Universities at Shady Grove campus classrooms, offering a focused, distraction-free learning environment.
  • Students enrolled in a program that features in-person instruction are required to submit the University’s Immunization Record Form prior to the first day of their first semester/term. See Health Requirements

Online Learning

  • Using advanced audio and video technology, UMD’s online learning environment delivers dynamic and interactive content. 
  • Featuring convenience and flexibility, online instruction permits asynchronous or synchronous participation.
  • Students attend lectures virtually (e.g., use of video technology, such as Zoom). 

Admitted UMD Students

The University of Maryland offers this program at The Universities at Shady Grove. Upon successful completion, students earn a University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) degree.

As an admitted UMD graduate student, familiarize yourself with the information found in the grey box (top of this page, upper right-side.) Specifically, see Registration, Academic & Financial Deadlines, Graduation & Diplomas, and University Policies. With the exception of UMD Libraries, students attending programs at Shady Grove do not have access to most UMD Services & Resources as such access is linked to students who pay College Park mandatory fees.

In addition, all UMD students must complete the protocols found under Newly Admitted Students. See Activate Directory ID and UMD Email, Enroll in Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), and more. Completing these protocols is required to access course content and UMD systems (registration, financial, graduation).

Accessing Shady Grove Services and Resources

Students attending UMD programs at The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) are eligible to use USG services and resources which are accessed with a valid USG photo ID and an active USG Logon ID. This is in addition to activating the UMD directory ID, passphrase, and MFA.

Shady Grove Campus Resources

Shady Grove Health and Counseling Services

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • Develop and/or Expand their ability to support positive outcomes of developmentally diverse infants and young children and meet early childhood outcomes in the areas of:
    • Positive social/interpersonal skills and relationships; 
    • Acquisition and use of functional knowledge and skills; and 
    • Use of appropriate behavior to meet needs.
  • Build and use research and evidence-based practices in the areas of assessment, instruction, and individualization that enable our youngest to be active and successful participants in their homes, in child care, in preschool, and the community. 
  • Ensure that families know their rights, guide parents to effectively communicate their child’s needs and desires, and support families to provide care for their children and acquire the necessary supports and resources for their families. 
  • Enable those in the most challenged circumstances to achieve their true potential as they progress through the educational system and beyond. 
Questions? Contact Us