Developmental Therapy

The developmental therapy major is designed for students interested in child development, early intervention, and a career path in developmental therapy.  This concentration of the early childhood education program prepares a student to become a certified developmental therapist.

Program Highlights

Students in this program receive a broad background in early childhood education, training in instructional methods and assessment strategies for young children, theory and practice concerning school, teaching, and learning in professional education courses, an understanding of the needs of young children with special needs, and strategies for working with families whose first language is not English.

Field Experience

In their senior year, developmental therapy students take a capstone course that includes a seminar and an internship in developmental therapy. Once students have completed the curriculum, they receive the degree necessary to become a credentialed developmental therapist through the Illinois Early Intervention Program.

Our Strengths

The developmental therapy major provides a path for students interested in teaching young children, but also looking at alternative careers in early childhood education.

Learning outcome goals of the program include:

  • Assessing global development by performing informal evaluations of the seven recognized areas of development and other factors that influence the child’s environment.
  • Determining the impact of the child’s sensory processing, perception, memory, and variability of cognitive and personality processes on the child’s physical, cognitive, and psychological development.
  • Planning and implementing appropriate intervention strategies, as well as evaluating the success of those interventions and modifying treatment as may be necessary.
  • Being able to inform and educate parents on how to utilize these strategies in their daily activities.


Departmental Course Offerings

Developmental Therapy Major Courses

  • ED115. Instructional Strategies for Individuals with Learning Disabilities in K-12 Classrooms (3)
  • ED120. Introduction to American Education (3)
  • ED170, 172. Education Internship (1)
  • ED310. Communities of Learners (3) (Optional)
  • ED473 Developmental Therapy Internship (Completed the last semester)
  • ED487 Developmental Therapy Seminar (Completed the last semester)

Sophomore Block - Semester 3 - Fall Only

  • ED202. Early Childhood Methods (3)
  • ED209. Foundations of Bilingual Education (IN251) (3)
  • ED232. Early Childhood Development (3)
  • ED240. Infant and Child Assessment w/ Families (3)
  • ED239. Characteristics Of Young Children w/ Special Needs (3)

Sophomore - Semester 4 - Spring Only

  • ED237. Health, Nutrition, and Welfare (3)
  • ED204. Literacy I: Children’s Literature (3)
  • ED238. Child Language Development and Linguistics (3)

Junior - Semester 5 - Fall Only

  • ED337. Art Integration in Early Childhood and Elementary Education (3)

Junior Block - Semester 6 - Spring Only

(Admission to the School of Education required)

  • ED332. Teaching Language Arts and Social Studies (3)
  • ED335. Children, Families, and Community Engagement (3)
  • ED336. Math and Science Methods (Optional)
  • ED339. Methods in Early Childhood Special Education (3)

Senior Year - Semester 7 - Fall Only

  • ED439. Assessment and Diagnosis of Children with Special Needs (3)
  • ED401. Integrating Culture in the Classroom (ICS) (3)

Sample Plan of Study

This plan of study shows the types of courses you might take as a student in this major. This is presented simply to provide a realistic preview of your coursework. Once you enroll at Millikin, a faculty advisor will guide you through the process of selecting courses that will help you graduate on-time from this program. While this sample demonstrates a plan of study that covers eight semesters, each student’s academic path is unique and your timeline may look different.

Sample Plan of Study
Semester 1 University Seminar
Critical Writing, Reading, Research I
Introduction to Education & Internship
Semester 2 Critical Writing, Reading, Research II
Strategies for Learners with Disabilities
Semester 3 Early Childhood Educational Methods
Early Childhood Development
Infant and Child Assessment with Families
Characteristics of Young Children with Special Needs
Foundations of Bilingual Education
Semester 4 Language
Children’s Literature
Health, Nutrition and Welfare
Child Language Development and Linguistics
Oral Communication
Semester 5 US History
Integrating Culture in the Classroom
Supporting Core Curriculum through Art and Movement
Physical Science
Fine Arts
Semester 6 Creating Communities of Learners
Teaching Language Arts and Social Studies
Methods in Early Childhood, Special Ed
Child, Family, and Program Relationships
Math and Science Methods
Semester 7 Assessment and Diagnosis of Children with Special Needs
Semester 8 Developmental Therapy Internship
Developmental Therapy Seminar