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: professional educator license with Early Childhood Education endorsement, (eligible to teach children from birth through grade three in Illinois public schools) and professional educator license with Early Childhood Education endorsement and preschool special education approval (eligible 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. See the catalog for the School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences for specific requirement for the emphasis in professional educator license with Early Childhood Education endorsement.
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 “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 Studies) 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 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.