The Human Development and Family Science/Special Education Double Dawg Program allows students to complete coursework and pursue eligibility for Georgia Teacher Certification in Birth Through Kindergarten and Preschool Special Education.

Degrees Earned

Students who successfully complete this program will earn a B.S. Degree in Human Development and Family Science as well as a Masters of Teaching in Special Education with an emphasis in Birth through Kindergarten.  By adding the Masters of Teaching degree, candidates will be eligible for Georgia Teacher Certification, creating job opportunities they would not have with a stand-alone BS degree. Graduates will be eligible to teach in Georgia’s Pre-K program, general education kindergarten, and preschool special education. They will also be prepared to teach in Head Start and Early Head Start, Babies Can’t Wait and other home visiting programs.


Both undergraduate and graduate coursework will focus on the care of all young children, those typically developing and those with special needs.  Students will gain a unique understanding of young children as they interact with them across the following age bands: (a) infant-toddler, (b) preschool-age, and (c) kindergarten. Students will have hands-on experiences in a variety of placements such as, private childcare centers and lab schools (e.g., CDL at McPhaul), Head Start, Early Head Start, ECSE classrooms, collaborative classrooms, and Babies Can’t Wait (Part C) home-based placements as part of their earlier field placements.   Full time internships will take place in school-based Pre-k or Kindergarten classrooms.

Program of Study

Who is eligible?

Human Development and Family Science majors can apply to the Double Dawg MAT Birth through Kindergarten pathway if they have a minimum GPA of 3.0. They also must have a passing score on the GACE Program Admissions Assessment or exempt the GACE Program Admissions Assessment with one of the following:

       a. Combined minimum SAT score of 1000 (Verbal and Math scores)

       b. Combined minimum ACT score of 43 (English and Math scores)

After students are admitted to the pathway, they are required to have a GaPSC pre-service certificate prior to taking SPED 4440 (Practicum in B-K). Pre-Service Requirements and instructions

Pathway Application, Fall of year 4

Students will apply to the MAT degree program in Special Education with an emphasis in Birth through Kindergarten in the fall of year 4. Applications must be submitted by October 31 to the College of Education, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education. Students will also need to apply to the Graduate School.

Students will be required to provide a statement of purpose, 3 letters of recommendation (including a recommendation from their practicum classroom lead teacher) and a resume. Students will be required to provide a transcript demonstrating achievement in their coursework, including a 3.0 overall GPA, and grades of “B” or better in all Special Education classes (to include SPED 7170, SPED 7100, SPED 4440). Final decisions for admission will be based on meeting the above criteria and the recommendation of the admission interview committee.


October 31, 2017 for Spring 2018 start; March 31 for summer or fall 2018 start.