Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

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Children With Special Needs

Early Education & Child Development–Children With Special Needs program fact sheet

Diploma (624.4)

The Children With Special Needs diploma 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 diploma program to gain specialized parenting skills.

Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will:

  1. Integrate appropriate theories and practices, general and content knowledge and professional and pedagogical knowledge to create and implement developmentally appropriate experiences for children and their families.
  2. Employ appropriate discipline terminology and professional tone in written and oral communication in descriptive and applied observation and documentation strategies to positively influence children's growth and development.
  3. Find community resources to support families and their children's development, learning and well-being.

Students can apply the credits earned in the diploma program toward a certificate or associate's 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, TSW’s (therapeutic support workers), child care worker or as a respite care worker.

See the graduation checksheet for this program in printable PDF form.

Diploma Requirements

Minimum Credits to Graduate: 18

First Semester

Course #       Course NameCredits


Introduction to Early Education &
Child Development



Introduction to Sociology



Community Resources



Total Credits  


Second Semester


Practicum: Observation & Assessment       



Children With Special Needs



Clinical Skills with Children or
Family Systems



Total Credits  


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