Graduate Specialty Concentration (6 credits + fieldwork)

Include this interprofessional concentration (track) in your graduate degree to develop specialty knowledge and skills in early intervention to be a strong advocate for young children and their families.

  • RISE interprofessionally prepares graduate students to advocate for change, to work with families in culturally responsive and trauma-informed ways, and to promote the overall development and well-being of young children (0-8 years), and children with different abilities. 
  • RISE is ideal for graduate students in allied health (art therapy, music therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapysocial work, and speech-language pathology) and inclusive early childhood education programs who want to work with young children and families in healthcare, education, or social service settings. 
  • The RISE experience includes coordinated fieldwork; stackable one-credit, self-paced courses developed by field experts; and a final capstone experience mentored by a community partner. 

RISE is Ideal For

  • Matriculated graduate students in the allied health professions (art therapy, music therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, and speech-language pathology) AND inclusive early childhood education teacher candidates.
  • Professional educators can use vouchers toward tuition.

Career Information

  • Early intervention improves the long-term health, educational and social outcomes for children with disabilities. However, a local and regional provider shortage denies children with disabilities necessary services to support development.
  • RISE addresses workforce shortages by preparing early intervention specialists with specialized knowledge and skills in interprofessional, culturally and linguistically responsive services for children 0-5 years that are evidence-based, family-centered, and provided in naturalistic environments.
  • Employers in disciplines such as education, speech-language pathology, nursing, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and the medical professions are seeking candidates who have this specialized knowledge.

 What to Expect

  • Interprofessional coursework, field work, and community partnership experiences. 
  • Stackable courses offered in hybrid and self-paced formats to ensure graduate students complete without extending their program of study. 
  • Coursework and fieldwork preparing graduates for New York State Association of Infant Mental Health endorsement.
  • Access to an on- and off-campus professional learning community focused on special topics in early childhood.

Curriculum (6 credits)

The RISE concentration (track) is NOT designed to extend your graduate program but to be incorporated into it. RISE scholars work with their grad program advisor to plan out their coordinated fieldwork and coursework to align with their graduate program requirements.

  • Special Topics in Early Childhood (Choose three of these 1-credit courses offered across fall, spring, and summer semesters)
    • Playful Learning: Integrating STEAM and Media
    • Equity-Focused Consulting and Coaching in Childcare Settings
    • Trauma-Informed Practices in Early Childhood
    • Family Partnerships in Early Intervention
    • Intervention Models in Developmental Services
    • Exploring Early Literacy: Foundations and Equity
  • Coordinated Fieldwork (per graduate program requirement) with a Reflective Practice Seminar (1-credit, hybrid)
  • Infant Mental Health Seminar (1-credit, hybrid, summer session)
  • Planning for Change Seminar (1-credit capstone, hybrid, spring semester)

Registration Process

  • Prospective graduate students for any of the programs in Nazareth’s School of Health and Human Services or School of Education inclusive early childhood education programs: Email the RISE project directors at
  • Current Naz students accepted into or enrolled in a Nazareth graduate program: Talk to your academic program director to determine if you are eligible to enroll. If you are a student from a traditionally underrepresented group and want to apply for grant support, use the RISE Scholar Interest Form.
  • Registration occurs on a rolling basis for fall and spring semesters; students work with the graduate program director and RISE advisor to plan an individualized RISE experience. 
  • If you have questions, contact the RISE directors listed below.

Tuition and Fees

See Nazareth’s Graduate School of Education tuition per credit hour.

Project Directors


Undergraduate minor

For students earning a bachelor’s degree, Nazareth offers an 18-credit interdisciplinary minor (courses and service-learning) to develop a foundation of knowledge for working well with children 0-8 years old and their families.

Developing Child & Families >