Intended Audience

  • ● Individuals who want to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university

  • ● Individuals who seek initial licensure with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education (Birth to Grade 2)

Degree Earned

  • ● Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Early Childhood Education

Certifications Earned

  • ● Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL)

  • ● Early Childhood Endorsement, Birth to Grade 2

  • ● Early Childhood Special Education Approval (Pre-Kindergarten only)

  • ● ESL Endorsement, PreK-12th grade

  • ● Illinois Gateways Credentials

    • o Early Childhood, levels 1-5

    • o Infant Toddler, levels 1-3


Early childhood courses for this program are offered in the daytime and are face-to-face (on campus). A few introductory courses are offered in the evenings and are face-to-face (on campus). Most ESL courses (BBED) are offered online asynchronous (not at a scheduled time). Click the following links to view and download the program overview and coursework.

Course Listing

Introductory Courses (12 hours)

  • ● EDUC 2310: Foundations of Education (3)

  • ● EDUC 2330: Educational Psychology I - Child Growth and Development (3)

  • ● SPED 2100: Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)

  • ● EDCP 2101: Introduction to Educational Technology (3)

  • ● ENGL 2131: Children’s Literature (3) *part of GenEds

Professional Education (42 hours)

  • ● EDEC 3099: Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Education (4)

  • ● EDUC 3410: Classroom Management (1)

  • ● EDUC 3440: Educational Psychology II - Learning, Assessment, Classroom Management (3)

  • ● EDEC 3570: Assessment & Differentiated Instruction in Early Childhood (3)

  • ● EDEC 3590: STEAM in Education (3)

  • ● EDEC 4550: Family, Community, and Culture (3)

  • ● EDEC 4551: Field Experience 1 - Infants, Toddlers, and Families (1)

  • ● EDEC 4560: Curriculum, Literacy, & Exceptional Learners in Preprimary Grades (3)

  • ● EDEC 4561: Field Experience 2 - Preprimary (1)

  • ● EDEC 4570: Literacy in Early Childhood Education (3)

  • ● EDEC 4571: Field Experience 3 - Literacy in Primary Grades (1)

  • ● EDEC 4580: Math, Science, and Social Studies in Early Childhood Education (3)

  • ● EDEC 4581: Field Experience 4 - Math, Science, and Social Studies in Primary Grades (1)

  • ● EDEC 4999: Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education (12)

*Field experiences must be taken at the same time as their corresponding methods course (co-requisite)

Teaching Specialization - ESL Certificate (18 hours)

  • ● BBED 4501 Teaching English as a Second Language (3)

  • ● BBED 4520 Foundations of Bilingual and ESL Education (3)

  • ● BBED 4525 Assessment of Language of Minority Students (3)

  • ● BBED 4530 Methods and Materials for Teaching in Bilingual Programs (3)

  • ● BBED 4538 Cross Cultural Education (3)

  • ● BBED 4977 Reading Strategies in the Bilingual and ESL Classroom (3)

Gen Eds (49 - 52 hours)

  • ● Math: (6)

  • ● Science: (10)

    • o 3 life

    • o 3 earth

    • o 3 physical

    • o 1 lab

  • ● Written communication: (6)

  • ● Oral communication/speech: (3)

  • ● Health: (3)

  • ● World Geography: (3)

  • ● Psychology: (3)

  • ● American Government: (3)

  • ● U.S. History: (3)

  • ● Humanities: (3)

  • ● ENGL 2131, Children’s Literature: (3)

  • ● Fine Arts: (3)

  • ● Non-Western Humanities or Third World Culture: (3) *only if art does not count

Total Hours: 121

Field Experiences

Field experiences are integrated into program coursework to give students the opportunity to gain valuable training and professional connections. Candidates will complete more than 200 hours of diversified clinical experiences throughout the program prior to student teaching.

More Info

Candidates engage with children and families in a variety of diverse settings from birth to 2nd grade in clinical field experiences and observations prior to student teaching. These experiences include observing, engaging, and teaching lessons with infants/toddlers, preschool, kindergarten, and primary classrooms in multiple settings across the region.

Support is provided and scaffolded throughout the program for field experiences prior to student teaching. Instructors and qualified mentor teachers in the field guide students to build their confidence and gradually increase their responsibilities as a classroom teacher.

Partner districts are selected for their commitment to a team approach in creating an inclusive culture focused on responsiveness to the educational needs of racially, culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse students.These placements are made to such districts as New Lenox, Harvey, Homewood, Tinley Park, Chicago, Kankakee, Oak Lawn, and Dolton.

Student teaching placement is based upon candidate selection across Chicagoland districts. Candidates work with quality mentor teachers who serve as models, offer opportunities to teach and practice skills, and provide guidance and feedback. Student teaching for this program is 8 hours per day, 5 days per week for 15 weeks. Candidates also participate in strategically planned monthly seminars that include topics such as equity and diversity, best practices, gender expression, and navigating the interview process.

Suggested Plan of Study

Introductory Courses (along with ENGL 2131)

EDUC 2310

Foundations of Education


EDUC 2330

Educational Psychology I: Child Growth and Development


SPED 2100

Survey of Students with Exceptionalities


EDCP 2101

Introduction to Educational Technology


Semester 1 (fall/spring)

EDEC 3099

Developmentally Appropriate Practice in ECE


EDUC 3410

Classroom Management


Semester 2 (summer)

EDEC 3570

Assessment & Differentiated Instruction in ECE


EDEC 3590

STEAM in Education


Semester 3 (spring/fall)

EDUC 3440

Educational Psychology II


EDEC 4550

Family, Community, & Culture


EDEC 4551

Field Experience 1: Infants, Toddlers, and Families


EDEC 4560

Curriculum, Literacy, & Exceptional Learners in Preprimary Grades


EDEC 4561

Field Experience 2: Preprimary Grades


Semester 4 (fall/spring)

EDEC 4570

Literacy in ECE


EDEC 4571

Field Experience 3: Literacy in Primary Grades


EDEC 4580

Math, Science, Social Studies in ECE


EDEC 4581

Field Experience 4: Math, Science, Social Studies in Primary Grades


Semester 5 (spring/fall)

EDEC 4999

Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education


Teacher Specialization, ESL (fall/spring, unless otherwise noted)

BBED 4501

Teaching English as a Second Language


BBED 4520

Foundations of Bilingual & ESL Education (fall, spring, summer)


BBED 4525

Assessment of Language Minority Students


BBED 4530

Methods and Materials for Teaching in Bilingual


BBED 4538

Cross-cultural Education (summer)


BBED 4977

Reading Strategies in the Bilingual and ESL Classroom (summer)


Program Schedules

Program Requirements

Program Admission

After meeting the university admission requirements, students must meet the following requirements to continue in the Early Childhood Education program.

List of Admission Requirements

  • ● Requirements:

    • ○ Be admitted to Governors State University and be in good academic standing

    • ○ Must have a grade of “B-” or better in all general education courses used for program requirements

    • ○ Freshman students:

      • ■ Earned fewer than 24 semester hours of college credit to start GSU as a freshman

      • ■ Must have a minimum of 2.0 unweighted high school GPA on a 4.0 scale

    • ○ Transfer students:

      • ■ 24 or more semester credit hours of college coursework

      • ■ A 2.5 or higher cumulative GPA (2.3 or higher GPA may be accepted with conditions)

  • ● To apply, candidates must submit all of the following:

    • Application

    • ○ Resume

    • ○ Official transcripts

    • ○ Test scores (optional)

    • ○ Fee

For more information regarding admission to this program and university, visit the GSU Undergraduate Admissions webpages for freshman and transfer students. Additionally, visit the Admissions Resources and FAQs webpage.

For questions or help with admissions and application process, set up a virtual appointment to speak with someone or email the Admissions Office,

Degree Requirements

Candidates must meet all university requirements for a bachelor’s degree, except candidates must complete the 49-52 hour General Education Requirement for Teacher Licensure instead of the University General Education Requirement. Candidates must also:

List of Degree Requirements

  • ● Attain a GPA of 2.75 or better in all General Education coursework, earning a grade of “B-” or better in all courses

  • ● Attain a GPA of 3.0 or better in all Professional Education coursework, earning a grade of ‘B-’ or better in all courses

  • ● Attain a GPA of 3.0 or better in all Teaching Specialization coursework, earning a grade of ‘B-’ or better in all courses

  • ● Complete all coursework at Governors State University within five calendar years

  • ● Be in good standing with the university and program

  • ● Earn satisfactory scores on assessments of professional dispositions and exhibit expected dispositions

  • ● Maintain satisfactory candidate progress as defined in the Early Childhood Education Program Handbook

  • ● Successfully complete all key assessments and field placements, including student teaching

Licensure Requirements – ISBE

In order to obtain a teaching license, candidates are responsible for completing all program requirements listed, as well as submitting all documentation to ISBE. Candidates must:

List of Licensure Requirements

For more information about licensure, visit the GSU webpage Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals.

Certification Requirements – Illinois Gateways to Opportunity

Candidations can earn Illinois Gateways Credentials: Early Childhood Education and Infant Toddler. Candidates must be a member of Gateways and submit an application at the beginning of the program and after graduation. Candiadtes must register for a free account with Illinois Gateways.

Program Advisor

From admission to graduation, your academic advisor is your partner towards success. Our academic advisor is here to answer any questions you have and help you navigate the requirements needed for the program. Once you are admitted, make sure you reach out to your advisor for guidance throughout your program.

Eileen Lally

Eileen Lally
Undergraduate Advisor
C Building 3388

<b>How to Apply</b>

How to Apply

If you are ready to take the next step, you can create an account and apply here. For information and help with admissions, visit the admissions webpage.

<b>Cost and Financial Aid</b>

Cost and Financial Aid

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<b>Program Catalog</b>

Program Catalog

You can find the complete guide to graduation requirements for your degree, as well as descriptions for each course, in our program catalog.

<b>Program Faculty</b>

Program Faculty

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<b>All Academic Programs</b>

All Academic Programs

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<b>On-campus Residence</b>

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<b>Campus Location</b>

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