Early Education (PreK-4) and Special Education (PreK-12) Degree

Early Education (PreK-4) and Special Education (PreK-12) Degree

Be an essential part of today’s education system

Today’s classrooms include students with many different learning styles and educational requirements. That’s why it’s so important for today’s teachers to be prepared to effectively support all their students, including those with special education needs.  

By completing a dual major in Early Education (PreK-4) and Special Education (PreK-12), you can:

  • Earn your PreK-12 Special Education certification in addition to your Early Education PreK-4 teacher certification
  • Significantly enhance the value of your degree
  • Prepare to better respond to the educational needs of all students in your classroom

Upon completion of this program and the passing of the required Pennsylvania Department of Education tests, you will be eligible to apply for Early Education (PreK-4) certification and Special Education (PreK-12) certification in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and then teach in a public, private or charter school.  

*Certification: This program was designed to meet the certification requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you reside in a different state, you should carefully review your home state’s certification requirements prior to enrolling in this program.

The GMercyU Difference

At GMercyU, we have a long history of helping students become the teachers they’re meant to be.  Our state-of-the-art classrooms and caring faculty will help you gain the experience you need to make a real difference in the lives of young students.  

Why else is our program one of the best teacher education programs in Pennsylvania?  Our program includes:

  • Hobbit House, a licensed Private Academic Lab School right on campus
    • Gain hands-on experience and develop core teaching competencies without ever leaving campus
  • Teacher Apprentice Program (TAP) that lets you participate in classroom observations  beginning in your first semester
    • You'll gain first-hand insight into how the real world of education works before taking your turn at the head of the class
  • The Autism Institute, which was founded by a GMercyU faculty member and focuses on scientifically research-based best practices for supporting students on the Autism spectrum
  • A personal advisor who will guide you through all four years
  • Dedicated Field Placement Director 
    • Dr. John Batchelor will help ensure you have a successful student teaching experience.
  • Certification Coordinator for Education
    • Once you're on the teacher certification track, Dr. William Warner will ensure you meet all requirements to become a certified teacher in Pennsylvania.

GMercyU’s dual degree in Early Education (PreK-4) and Special Education (PreK-12) will set you apart as it will prepare you to better respond to the educational needs of all students in your classroom.

And you can complete all required coursework within four years!

BONUS: GMercyU's Autism Institute provides research-based best practices for students, as well as teachers and administrators, parents of children on the autism spectrum and any interested community members through resources and services such as the annual Autism Conference. You will be able to take the best-practices learned and apply them directly to your own classroom.

Undergraduate Minors 

Increase the value of your degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.


In addition to general education requirements, you will complete the following courses for a bachelor’s degree in early education and special education:

EDU 100  Education in America
EDU 104 Health & Motor Development Pre K-4
EDU 216 Foundations of Teaching & Learning Pre K-4  
EDU 223 Teaching Science Pre K-4
EDU 224 Teaching Social Studies Pre K-4
EDU 226 Reading Sequence I – Foundations of Early Literacy Research
EDU 227 Math Methods for Pre K-4
EDU 228 Art and Humanities
EDU 229  Reading Sequence II – Lang. Dev. & Early Literacy, Instruction & Assessment
EDU 309  Technology Integration in Education Pre K-8
EDU 314   Reading Sequence III – Early Literacy Instruction & Assessment
EDU 316  Reading Sequence IV – Literacy Instruction, Assessment & Intervention
EDU 351 Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners
SPE 205 Exceptional Person
SPE 231  Mild/Moderate Disabilities in the Inclusionary Setting
SPE 331  Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Methods for Mild/Moderate Disabilities
EDU 414   Classroom Management for Pre K-4
EDU 415 Pre-Student Teaching Pre K-8
EDU 460  Student  Teaching Pre K-8 (12 Credits)
EDU 4000 

Capstone Seminar

PreK-12 Special Education
SPE 232 Students with Complex Needs in the Educational Setting
SPE 332  Research-Based Practices in the Assessment and Instruction of Students

Credit Requirements

A minimum of 120 credits is required for a bachelor’s degree in early education.

This program requires a criminal background check, child abuse clearance, and certain immunizations and other health-related clearances in order to participate in student teaching experiences.

See the undergraduate catalog for more information and course descriptions.


Transfer Opportunities

If you’ve already earned college-level credits at other accredited institutions, you can transfer them to Gwynedd Mercy University. All you need to do is submit your transcript and course description to the Registrar, who will determine whether the course counts towards the credits required for graduation. Read more on our Transfer Credits page.

In addition, Gwynedd Mercy University has articulation agreements with Bucks County and Delaware County Community Colleges, Harcum College, and Manor College to speed your path a teacher certification.

Bucks County Community College
AA in PreK-4 Education to BS Early Education PreK-4 Certification
AA PreK-4 Education to BS PreK-8 Special Education Certification

Delaware Community College
AS Early Education to BS Early Education PreK-4 Certification

Harcum College
AS Early Childhood Education to BS Early Education PreK-4 Certification  
AS Early Childhood Education to BS PreK-8 Special Education Certification

Manor College
AS Early Education to BS Early Education PreK-4 Certification  
AS Early Education to BS PreK-8 Special Education Certification