Apply for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarship Program!

As a member of the Early Childhood Incumbent Workforce, you may be eligible to receive financial aid through the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program. To see if you qualify, please check out our "Financial Support" section below to view the requirements for the scholarship, as well as additional financial aid opportunities.

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The time to earn your teaching license has never been greater.

As an established professional in the field of early childhood education, the moment for you to take your career to the next level is now. Governors State University's Early Childhood Incumbent Workforce program is specifically designed for you to receive the academic, financial, professional, and personal resources you need to earn your degree and become a licensed teacher. Whether you need tutoring assistance for a class or help funding childcare, we are here to support you every step of the way.

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Governor Pritzker signed legislation HB 2878–creating the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity–and designated a $200 million investment towards training, mentorships, and scholarships for childcare workforce professionals to pursue advanced credentials over the next two years.

With the support of these developments, Governors State is incorporating the statewide consortium into its early childhood education programs with the purpose of serving the needs of the incumbent early childhood workforce, advancing racial equity, as well as meeting the needs of employers by streamlining, coordinating, and improving the accessibility of degree completion pathways at Illinois institutions of higher education.

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• No prior teaching credentials required to start program.

• Hybrid courses (evening and online) that accommodate your busy schedule.

• Applicable courses and associate's degree can be transferred to streamline earning your initial licensure and degree.

• Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) can be applied towards degree and licensure based on work experience.

• Opportunities for job-embedded experiences are available.

• Leads to an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Professional Educator Licensure in Early Childhood (Birth – Grade 2) with an Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement.

• Leads to Gateway Level 5 and 6 credentials.

• We partner with school districts through a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to allow you as paraprofessionals/teachers assistance or employed as an early childhood educator to earn a degree and Professional Educator Licensure while keeping your job with the support of a Mentor. The MOU agreement with your school allows you to complete job-embedded field experiences and student teaching. You can still join the program without a signed MOU; however, you are required to complete traditional field experiences and student teaching.

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Admissions & Advising

Admissions Office

Need help with the admissions process? We're here to help! Reach out to us and we will make sure your transition to Governors State is seamless.

Admissions Office

Dual Degree Program

Are you currently enrolled at one of our partner community colleges? If so, you may be eligible to join Governors State's Dual Degree Program (DDP). DDP provides full-time students an accessible and affordable pathway to earn their degrees.

To find out if you and your community college qualify for DDP, please visit the program's dedicated webpage.

Dual Degree Program

Academic Advising

From admission to graduation, your academic advisor is your partner towards success. Once you're admitted, make sure to reach out to your advisor for guidance throughout the program. Advisors for our early childhood programs are listed below:

Eileen Lally, Undergraduate Advisor for Early Childhood Education
Office: C3388
Phone: 708-534-4399

Carla Johnson, Graduate Advisor for Early Childhood Education
Office: G378
Phone: 708-235-3989

Bryce Johnsen, Undergraduate and Graduate Advisor for Non-Degree Seeking Students
Office: F2601
Phone: 708-235-7527

For any additional advising-related resources, please visit the Academic Advising portal.

Academic Advising Portal
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Early Childhood Programs

We have developed flexible course schedules for our early childhood education programs so you can proceed working full-time. Hybrid classes–including online, evening, and weekend coursework–are available for both undergraduate and graduate programs to help accommodate your busy work schedule.

Early Childhood Undergraduate

The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education program offers weekday evening and Saturday morning courses to help incumbent workforce professionals continue working full-time. However, if desired, traditional daytime courses will be available as well.

Incumbent Workforce and Para to Teacher Program Documents:

For more information regarding the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education program, please visit the program page.

B.A. in Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Graduate

The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education program offers a hybrid schedule with evening lectures and online element to meet your needs for course availability.

To view the course schedule and other graduate program information, please visit the dedicated graduate program page.

M.A. in Early Childhood Education
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Financial Support

Designed to support students in need, the Early Childhood Incumbent Workforce has many opportunities for financial aid to help fund tuition, stipends, and childcare. Check out the links below to find the many financial resources available to you.

Financial Aid Office

Need information on the financial aid process for Governors State and other general resources for funding? Please contact the Office of Financial Aid to learn more.

Financial Aid Office


Visit Governors State's scholarship portal to see all the internal and external scholarship opportunities we offer.

Scholarships Portal

Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarship Program

As a member of the Early Childhood Incumbent Workforce, you may be eligible to receive financial aid through the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program. To qualify for the scholarship, students must meet the following requirements:

  • • Be admitted as a GSU student
  • • Be an Undergraduate Early Childhood Candidate
  • • Be a member of the Early Childhood Incumbent Workforce
  • • Complete the FAFSA
  • • Complete the Gateway Registry

To learn more about the scholarship and how to apply, please visit the ECACE Scholarship's dedicated page.

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Academic Support

Your success is our top priority. With a vast amount of academic resources for you to access, your path from admission to graduation will be well-supported.

Academic Resource Center

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides student support that goes beyond the classroom to help you achieve your academic and personal goals. We equip you with the necessary tools for success. We offer a variety of support services and work closely with students, faculty, and staff to provide writing assistance, subject tutoring, academic recovery plans, disabilities services, and any other resources you may need.

Academic Resource Center

Writing Center

Want to improve your writing skill? Or, maybe you just want a second set of eyes to review your research paper? No matter your need, the Writing Center can help you amplify your paper and writing ability through the process of revision, reading, and perspective. Schedule an appointment with a writing consultant or send your paper via email to begin your path towards becoming a more well-rounded, independent writer.

Writing Center

Content Test Tutoring

Coming soon.

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Coming soon.

Teaching and Learning Podcast

Hear from our alumni and faculty on how Governors State's educator preparation programs are addressing the teacher shortage.

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