Early Intervention Certificate

The Early Intervention (EI) certificate is primarily intended for individuals interested in working with young children ages 0-3 who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities and their families. Early interventionists deliver services across a variety of settings, including the home and other locations in the community in which children and families participate.

The Early Intervention certificate provides skills and competencies specific to:

  • contemporary and recommended practices in EI that are empirically based,
  • contemporary philosophical orientations about young children and families,
  • supporting families and caregivers to enhance children's growth and development,
  • federal IDEA Part C (EI) legislation,
  • teaming with professionals and family members,
  • ethical conduct in all professional activities,
  • advocacy, and
  • inclusive practices. 

Our goal is for students to become reflective, collaborative, and evidence-based practitioners upon completing student field-based action research in Early Intervention settings. Upon graduation, most students assume roles across Ohio County Boards of Developmental Disabilities as Developmental Specialists, Service Coordinators or other Early Intervention professional roles at the local and state levels.

Early Intervention Certificate Option Flyer

Graduate Certificate Application

Early Intervention Certificate Plan Of Study (PDF) 

Undergraduate Minor in Early Intervention

The Early Intervention Certificate is now offered at the undergraduate level as a minor to students in junior/senior standing, minimum 2.75 GPA. For more information, please contact Dr. Sanna Harjusola-Webb at shwebb@kent.edu.

Early Intervention Resources and Links

Information for New Students

Gainful Employment Disclosures

Gainful employment disclosure on Early Intervention for 2013-14 (post bachelor's)

Scholarship Opportunity (for 2021-22 Academic Year)

OSEP Ideas That Work logo

The Early Childhood Special Education program at Kent State University has received federal funds from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to prepare individuals at the master's degree level to work with families of infants and toddlers with disabilities in Early Intervention settings (home and community contexts). The funding will support up to six students per year in a full-time plan of study. The program is designed for individuals with existing bachelor's degrees in special education and related fields (e.g., teacher licensure or certification) or master's degrees in speech language pathology, but all interested individuals are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be considered for the program.

The training opportunity is a one-year program designed to prepare future Early Intervention practitioners to:

  • provide developmentally appropriate, research-based strategies for infants and toddlers with delays or disabilities
  • provide empowering and capacity-building supports to their families
  • consult with a team of other professionals from related disciplines
  • apply evidence-based practices to promote positive outcomes for young children and families.

The training program includes significant internship opportunities in EI programs (125 hours per semester, including the summer).

Program activities include (a) research-based course work in early childhood special education; (b) internship experiences in early intervention programs; and (c) ongoing coaching and supervision. If a student is funded by the OSEP grant, full-time commitment (1 credit hour = 3 clock hours of work, at minimum; 12 credit hours total per semester = 36 clock hours of work per week, at minimum) is required. The internship will require approximately 8-10 hours per week. Courses are offered in a “hybrid” format (combination of on-campus participation and online participation).

Support provided for full-time students:

  • Full tuition support for one calendar year (fall, spring, and summer semesters)
  • Stipend, including the summer months
  • iPad 

At the completion of this program students are eligible for the state certification in early intervention. Students funded by the US Department of Education are required to fulfill a two-year service obligation (full-time position in early intervention, service coordination or any position that involves direct services to infants or toddlers with disabilities) within seven years of graduation. 

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and meet Kent State University graduate school admission requirements.

Interested individuals can complete the pre-application survey below by May 31, 2021* to be considered for admission for Fall 2021: 

*The pre-application survey is now OPEN

Pre-Application Survey

Due to the high number of applicants for this scholarship, we regret that a confirmation receipt is not automatically provided after completion of the pre-application survey. We will be in direct contact (through email) with candidates who are invited to our initial round of interviews.

Scholarship Opportunity Flyer

This project is supported by the U.S.. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.

Part-Time Option

Students may also elect to attend on a part-time basis using other sources of funding or financial aid. Information on other scholarship options are available below:

College of EHHS scholarships

Division of the Graduate College scholarships/fellowships

Please contact the program faculty below for more information about the part-time plan of study.

Faculty Contacts:

Dr. Sanna Harjusola-Webb (SPED) shwebb@kent.edu

Dr. Sloane Burgess (SPA) sburges8@kent.edu

Dr. Ching-I Chen (SPED) cchen46@kent.edu

EI Project Coordinator:

Kimberly Travers, M.Ed., ABD ktraver2@kent.edu

Community Partners

Many thanks to the following programs who have provided internship placements:
Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Family Child Learning Center, Akron Children's Hospital

Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Nisonger Center, Ohio State University

Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board

Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Student Feedback

"I love my new job as Service Coordinator. As I go through this process from scratch at our county, I feel like I'm light years ahead. I know how to write functional outcomes and develop a quality Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). I know the benefits of the Primary Service Provider model and support it wholeheartedly. I talk often about 'things I learned in class.' We had a visit recently from the state consultant and I think she was impressed with some of the answers I gave about writing functional IFSP outcomes. I think I might surprise my new supervisor with some feedback I provide as well. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but just wanted to let you know that Dr. Sanna Harjusola-Webb and the other professors involved in the program really taught us well."

- Student from 2013-14 cohort

"I am blessed to have had this opportunity! You all created such an amazing program and it prepares students to start their career in Early Intervention with an understanding that others just don't have."

- Student from 2013-14 cohort

"I had my six-month review today at work -- and my supervisor said they have never had a Developmental Specialist start who could jump right in like I was able to.  She credited it to the training I received in the EI program. So it was a great compliment to you all and the program."

- Student from 2015-16 cohort


Visit the EI Program YouTube channel to view videos of student and community perspectives on the EI Certificate Training Program.

Student Work Samples

See samples of our graduate students' work:

2013-14 Cohort

2014-15 Cohort