May 28, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Early Childhood Education (B.S.)


The B.S. degree with a major in early childhood education is a program 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.

Early Childhood Education, Professional Educator Licensure

The early childhood education major prepares candidates to obtain professional educator licensure (PEL) with the early childhood education endorsement (eligible to teach children up to second grade) and the preschool special education approval (eligible to teach children with disabilities and special needs in pre-kindergarten) in the Illinois Public School System. Candidates who meet the PEL requirements will automatically be eligible to receive the Gateways to Opportunity Level 5 Early Childhood Education (ECE) credential. The early childhood education program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and Gateways to Opportunity.

Licensure and Endorsement Requirements

Candidates who major in early childhood education are required to meet Illinois licensure requirements including at least three semester hours of cultural diversity course work. To advance to the first professional semester, candidates must have a) achieved an NIU GPA of 2.50 or better, b) a grade of C or better in HDFS 230, PSYC 102, SEEC 201, SESE 240, and c) completed the safety tutorial. To continue to enroll, candidates must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.50 in all professional education courses. The major GPA is calculated using course work completed in the Department of Special and Early Education.

As part of educator licensure,candidates are required to pass Illinois Licensure Testing System examinations as required by ISBE. Prior to student teaching, candidates must earn a passing score on the content area test (Early Childhood Education). During student teaching, candidates must earn a passing score on the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA). Failure to earn a passing score on the edTPA may result in the candidate receiving a degree without university recommendation for licensure.

Due to the comprehensive nature of the program and required course sequence, all candidates must plan their program of study with an early childhood education advisor. Some districts where candidates are placed for clinicals and student teaching may require a TB test. For information on additional requirements, candidates should carefully read the catalog section entitled “Educator Licensure Requirements.”

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.

Professional Educator License with Early Childhood Education Endorsement and Preschool Special Education Approval


Candidates in the Early Childhood Education PEL program must earn a grade of C or better in SEEC 201, SEEC 230, SEEC 300, SEEC 340, SEEC 343, SEEC 403, SEEC 410, SEEC 425, SEEC 430, SESE 240, SESE 423, SESE 424, SESE 426, HDFS 230, HIST 260 (or HIST 261), LTIC 301, LTIC 445, LTLA 305, LTLA 361, LTRE 309, POLS 100, PSYC 102, any course used to satisfy the NIU quantitative literacy requirement, and in courses meeting Other Core Curriculum requirements. Additionally, candidates must earn a grade of S in early clinical, practicum, and student teaching courses (SEEC 282, SEEC 382, SEEC 485A, and SEEC 485B). Candidates who do not meet these requirements must retake the course(s). Teacher candidates transferring to NIU with an A.A.S. degree in early childhood or education are encouraged to consult departmental advisors for guidance.

Requirements in Department (55)


Requirements outside Department (27)


Other Core Curriculum Requirements for Licensure


Candidates must satisfy licensure requirements for science and social science, per current ISBE guidelines. Candidates are expected to consult departmental advising for current guidelines.

Total Hours for Professional Educator License with Early Childhood Education Endorsement and Preschool Special Education Approval: 82