The Department of Special and Early Education and the School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences offer a collaborative program leading to the B.S. degree with a major in early childhood studies. The program is designed to prepare personnel for professional roles serving children from birth through eight years of age and their families. This program includes the concepts, competencies, and skills required by teachers, child care workers, and other professionals involved in the education and care of young children.
The major includes two emphases: 04 certification and 04 certification with preschool special education approval. Graduates of the program qualify for Illinois Early Childhood Teacher Certification (04) enabling them to teach children from birth through grade three in Illinois public schools. Students pursuing 04 certification with preschool special education approval qualify for Illinois Preschool Special Education Approval to teach children with disabilities from three through six years of age in Illinois public school systems. The early childhood studies program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Requirements for the emphasis in 04 certification are found in the School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences section of this catalog.
Admission to either of the emphases in the interdisciplinary major in early childhood studies is limited. University admission does not necessarily constitute eligibility for admission into this program. Admission policies are described in the “Limited Admissions and Limited Retention Requirements” section of this catalog.
Students must be admitted to the early childhood studies program before they can enroll in any of the professional course work. To continue to enroll, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.50 in all professional education courses.
Students should carefully read the section entitled “Teacher Certification Requirements.”
As part of teacher certification, students will need to pass Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) examinations including the Test of Academic Proficiency (prior to admission) and the subject matter knowledge test (prior to student teaching) in early childhood studies, as required by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Due to the comprehensive nature of the program and required course sequence, all students must plan their program of study with an early childhood studies adviser.
The major GPA in the interdisciplinary major is calculated using course work completed in the Department of Special and Early Education and the School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences.
Students enrolled in the interdisciplinary major as a declared major or pre-major are not permitted to count FCNS courses toward fulfilling general education requirements or to declare a minor in the School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences.
The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.
Check departmental information for any additional requirements.