Idaho CareLine: Dial 2-1-1 or 800-926-2588
Idaho Early Childhood Education (ECE) & Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
What is a Blended Certificate?
The Best and the Brightest
If you have a desire to learn, and an even greater desire to help Idaho's kids reach their potential, then the Blended ECE/ECSE Teacher Certificate degree program is for you.
Enroll today and start making a difference in your life and in the lives of Idaho's young children!
A Blended Certificate is a new, exciting undergraduate program that focuses on the skills needed to effectively teach every young child between birth and grade three.
The Blended Certificate program combines general early education and early special education teacher training into one four-year undergraduate teacher preparation program now offered at Idaho’s three state universities. Interested post-graduate students also can inquire at their Idaho university about pursuing the Blended Certificate.
The Blended Certificate is Idaho’s response to the daily program/classroom reality of inclusive settings for all young children and the critical need for highly trained early childhood professionals to know how to teach and work in those inclusive settings with every young child.
Participants can concentrate their studies on the development and education of young children who come to teachers/caregivers with a wide range of abilities and needs. The Blended Certificate program promotes “best practices” affirmed by the latest brain research and standards that reflect nationally shared values about early childhood care and education. The Blended Certificate offers students an unprecedented level of comprehensive knowledge and skills that directly applies to their everyday work with young children! These include:
Child development and learning;
Curriculum development and implementation;
Assessment and evaluation of young children;
Strengthening family and community relationships;
Professionalism in early childhood settings; and
Appropriate application of instructional technologies.
Why Pursue a Blended Certificate?
If you have a desire to learn how to work and teach in the current inclusive early childhood settings for young children, then the Blended Certificate degree program is for you! A Blended Certificate offers graduates the skills and opportunities for a wide range of employment choices, including:
Flexibility in early childhood program assignments;
Multiple “career pathways”;
Continuity between early childhood programs; and
Job satisfaction and professional growth.
Blended certificate holders will have options for these different age-level assignments: Infant, Toddler, Preschool, and Grades K-3. Certificate holders also will qualify for a variety of other public/private sector positions in early childhood settings.
You truly will be making a difference in the lives of young children and their families, since researchers continue to find that early childhood education is “critical” to success later in school and also in adult life. The skills you master will help you to identify and address the needs of those children at risk for developmental delays or school failure in your program and channel the necessary resources on their behalf.
How Does One Get a Blended Certificate?
The Blended Early Childhood Education (ECE)/Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Certificate is a new program available at Idaho’s three public universities: University of Idaho College of Education or College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Boise State University, College of Education; and Idaho State University, College of Education.
Those individuals completing a Blended Certificate will meet the following four standards upon completion of the program:
Idaho Core Teacher Standards for all Teachers;
Elementary Education Standards (appropriate to children in grades K-3);
Idaho Foundation Standards for Special Education Teachers; and
Idaho Standards for Blended Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education.
Furthermore, students will be able to demonstrate competency in a core body of knowledge nationally recognized and approved by early childhood professionals, including:
Human development and learning;
Adapting instruction to individual needs;
Multiple instructional strategies;
Communication skills, assessment of student learning;
Professional commitment and responsibility; and
For more information, please contact the Idaho Careline by dialing 2-1-1.
What Scholarships Are Available?
There are significant scholarship opportunities available to Blended Certificate students!
The J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation is providing approximately $1.8 million in scholarship funding over the next several years to Idaho resident students attending Boise State University, University of Idaho, and Idaho State University. We are inviting other private and public funders to add to these scholarship opportunities, knowing that they realize that the early years are prime learning years, and we have to have the skilled workforce to make those years count for Idaho’s young children!
Each university will determine which students will be offered scholarships, but normally, the scholarship recipients should have attained junior or senior standing to be eligible for a scholarship. However, well-qualified freshmen, sophomores, or graduate students also may apply at some institutions.
Current educators or those individuals seeking a second career also are invited to seek information about scholarship funding for the Blended Certificate.
For more information, contact one of the three universities that received scholarship funding. Scholarship eligibility criteria and application deadlines may vary at each institution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for the Blended Certificate program?
Undergraduates, including students transferring from two-year programs, postgraduates, and individuals seeking a second career and interested in pursuing this program may apply.
Who can apply for a scholarship?
Scholarships are available to a wide group of interested individuals, but may vary slightly at each of the three state universities offering the Blended Certificate. Juniors and seniors at all three institutions may get priority eligibility, but highly qualified freshmen and sophomores also could be invited to apply. Also, postgraduate students (possessing a baccalaureate or higher degree) may also be eligible for a scholarship if they can complete requirements for the Blended Certificate in two years.
Is there a need for a Blended Certificate?
Absolutely! Research has demonstrated that early childhood education is critical to success in school and even adult life. Highly qualified teachers who can work effectively with all children, including those whose development may be delayed or who may have a disability, are key to successful early childhood care and education.
Will the K-3 limit on the certification hinder my teaching career prospects?
The Blended Certificate equips educators to work with children from birth through age eight. In addition to qualifying individuals to work in the Idaho Infant Toddler Program, the Early Childhood Special Education Preschools, and to teach primary grades K-3, it opens up a whole range of career opportunities for important assignments working with younger children in preschools, hospitals, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
How many credits and/or years will it take to get the certificate?
Credits and years vary depending on the student’s prior experience and education. The Blended Certificate requires completion of a baccalaureate degree and demonstrated evidence of the Idaho Standards for Blended Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education.
Can I be a part time-student, be in this program, and also qualify for a scholarship?
Yes. Check with your college advisor for more information.
What will administrators do who cannot find people with this certificate and they must have an ECSE teacher now?
The goal of the program is to provide a pool of highly trained individuals to meet the need of working/teaching in inclusive environments for young children. It is a new way of thinking and “best practices” with young children. The teacher/caregiver needs to educate administrators on this new process and still try to meet their needs within the program/school district.
What if I was partially through the coursework to get the former Early Childhood Special Education endorsement?
Then you should be a strong candidate for the ECE/ECSE Blended Certificate. Contact your advisor. It may be possible for you to complete the program in less time — and possibly get some scholarship funds as well.
Where can I get more information?
Contact the 2-1-1 Idaho CareLine at 1-800-926-2588 toll-free or one of the following partners:
Special Education Programs at:
Boise State University 208/426-1278
Idaho State University 208/282-2448
University of Idaho 208/885-6546 or 208/885-5707