Early Childhood General and Special Education (ZS) Endorsement

The Early Childhood General and Special Education (ZS) endorsement program is a Michigan Department of Education (MDE) specialty area for elementary teachers to obtain expertise working with young children from birth to 8-years-old or through the 3rd grade. The ZS professional expertise addresses the needs of ALL young children, including children who have a developmental delay or disability, children who are English language learners, and those children and their families who are homeless. The ZS curriculum includes standards-based content on early intervention (EI), early childhood special education (ECSE), and developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). The ZS endorsement, specialty can be obtained as a major or minor with initial elementary certification, as well as an additional endorsement for those teachers who already hold a Michigan Provisional or Professional Elementary Certificate or a K-12 Special Education Certificate.

The College of Education early childhood faculty has designed the ZS endorsement programs in accordance with the Standards for the Preparation of Teachers of Early Childhood General and Special Education (ZS) (Michigan State Board of Education, September 2008).

Candidates may obtain the ZS endorsement as:

  • A 33 semester credit hour major with elementary certification;
  • A 24 credit hour minor with elementary certification; or
  • As a 26 credit hour additional endorsement for those who hold elementary certification or a K - 12 special education certificate. The ZS programs require evidence of supervised student teaching, on the job lead-teaching, or supervised practicum experience in at least two of the three age-groups of early childhood education (ECE) and experience with children who have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in order to received EI or ECSE services.

The age-groups of ECE include:

  • Primary – Kindergarten through 3rd grade
  • Preprimary or Preschool-age – children 2 1/2 through 4-years-old
  • Infant-Toddler – Children who are infants or toddlers in center-based childcare or EI programs.  

Candidates may complete the Undergraduate, Post-Bachelor Certification or the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Programs for initial certification in Elementary Education with the ZS endorsement as a 33 credit hour major or a 24 credit hour minor. Graduate candidates may also obtain the ZS 26 credit hour additional endorsement program through a College of Education Bridge Certificate Program.

To obtain an evaluation and individualized plan for the Early Childhood General and Speical Education (ZS) Endorsement, please call 313-577-0902 and make an appointment to see one of the advisors. Bring photocopies of all college transcripts. 

Contact: Lisa Keiper Ph.D., Lecturer and Interim Program Coordinator
Wayne State University Teacher Education Division