The Department of Special and Early Education offers a program leading to the B.S. degree with a major in early childhood education. 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 Early Childhood Education major prepares candidates to obtain professional educator licensure with the Early Childhood Education endorsement (eligible to teach children up to second grade in Illinois public schools) and the preschool special education approval (eligible to teach children with disabilities from three through six years of age in the Illinois public school system). The early childhood education program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Admission to the early childhood education program 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 education 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 “Educator Licensure Requirements.”
As part of educator licensure, students are required to pass Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) examinations as required by the Illinois State Board of Education. These requirements include obtaining a passing score on the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) and completing the Safety Tutorial prior to formal admission into the program, a passing score on the subject matter knowledge test (Early Childhood Education) prior to student teaching. The Test of Academic Proficiency may be waived by ISBE based on the applicant’s ACT or SAT scores. See an adviser for current testing requirements.
Due to the comprehensive nature of the program and required course sequence, all students must plan their program of study with an early childhood education adviser.
The major GPA is calculated using course work completed in the Department of Special and Early Education.
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.