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 (12 hours)

  • ● SPED2100: Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)
  • ● EDCP2101: Introduction to Educational Technology (3)
  • ● EDUC2310: Foundations of Education (3)
  • ● EDUC2330: Educational Psychology I - Child Growth and Development (3)
  • ● ENGL2131: Literature of Children and Adolescents (3) *part of GenEds

Professional (42 hours)

  • ● EDUC3550: Applied Educational Psychology (3)
  • ● EDUC3410: Classroom Management and Responsive Learning Environments (2)
  • ● EDEC3099: Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • ● EDEC3570: Assessment & Differentiated Instruction in Early Childhood (3)
  • ● EDEC3590: STEAM in Education (3)
  • ● EDEC4550: Family, Community, and Culture (3)
  • ● EDEC4551: Field Experience 1 - Infants and Toddlers (1)
  • ● EDEC4560: Science and Social Studies Methods, CRTL & Exceptional Learners (3)
  • ● EDEC4561: Field Experience 2 - Preprimary Grades (1)
  • ● EDEC4570: Literacy Methods in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • ● EDEC4571: Field Experience 3 - Literacy in Primary Grades (1)
  • ● EDEC4580: Math in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • ● EDEC4581: Field Experience 4 - Math in Primary Grades (1)
  • ● EDEC4999: Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education (12)

Teaching Specialization - ESL Certificate (18 hours)

  • 1. BBED4501: Teaching English as a Second Language (3)
  • 2. BBED4520: Foundations of Bilingual and ESL Education (3)
  • 3. BBED4525: Assessment of Language of Minority Students (3)
  • 4. BBED4530: Methods and Materials for Teaching in Bilingual Programs (3)
  • 5. BBED4538: Cross Cultural Education (3)
  • 6. BBED4977: Reading Strategies in the Bilingual and ESL Classroom (3)

Total hours for program coursework: 72

Field Experiences

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

Course Number

Course Title


FE Hours


Introductory Courses (taken as needed)

ENGL 2131

Literature of Children and Adolescents (part of GenEds)



F2F, Online

EDUC 2310

Foundations of Education




EDUC 2330

Educational Psychology I: Child Growth and Development




SPED 2100

Survey of Students with Exceptionalities



F2F, Online

EDCP 2101

Introduction to Educational Technology




Semester 1 (fall/spring)

EDEC 3099

Developmentally Appropriate Practices in ECE




EDUC 3410

Classroom Management & Responsive Learning Environments (spring)




BBED 4520

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



Online, F2F

BBED 4501

Teaching English as a Second Language (fall, spring)



Online, F2F

Semester 2 (summer)

EDEC 3570

Assessment and Differentiated Instruction in EC




EDEC 3590

STEAM in Education




BBED 4538

Cross-cultural Education  (summer)



Online, F2F

BBED 4977

Reading Strategies in the Bilingual and ESL Classroom (summer)



Online, F2F

Semester 3 (fall/spring)

EDUC 3550

Applied Educational Psychology




EDEC 4550

Family, Community, and Culture




EDEC 4551

Field Experience 1 - Infants & Toddlers




EDEC 4560

Science and Social Studies Methods, CRTL & Exceptional Learners




EDEC 4561

Field Experience 2 - Preprimary Grades




BBED 4525

Assessment of Language Minority Students (summer)



Online, F2F

Semester 4 (fall/spring)

EDEC 4570

Literacy Methods in Early Childhood




EDEC 4571

Field Experience 3 - Literacy in Primary Grades




EDEC 4580

Math Methods in Early Childhood




EDEC 4581

Field Experience 4 - Math in Primary Grades




BBED 4530

Methods and Materials for Teaching in Bilingual (fall, spring)



Online, F2F

Semester 5 (fall/spring)

EDEC 4999

Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education




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

Candidates 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. Candidates 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

Our tuition estimator helps you calculate your cost of attendance. Our Financial Aid Office is dedicated to helping you find ways to fund your education.



At GovState, many scholarships are available and can make your education even more affordable!

<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

Our favorable faculty-student ratios ensure lots of individual attention from our dedicated faculty members.

<b>All Academic Programs</b>

All Academic Programs

We offer many options for undergraduate degrees and minors, and even several 5-year programs that lead to completion of a Masters degree as well!

<b>Student Organizations</b>

Student Organizations

Student Clubs and Organizations at Governors State University enrich your educational experience, allowing you to gain and hone skills applicable to the classroom and life beyond. Click here to find more resources in the Jaguar Student Success Guide.

<b>On-campus Residence</b>

On-campus Residence

Prairie Place, our on-campus housing, provides many options to accommodate the needs of our diverse student population.

<b>Campus Location</b>

Campus Location

If you have been wondering, "Where is Governors State University?" Learn more about our campus, and get directions to come visit us or take a virtual tour!