Intended Audience

  • ● Individuals who hold a teaching license (Professional Educator License - PEL)

  • ● Individuals who have a bachelor’s degree

  • ● Individuals who seek subsequent endorsements in Early Childhood Education (Birth to Grade 2)

Certifications Earned

  • ● Early Childhood Endorsement, Birth to Second Grade

  • ● IL Gateways Credentials

    • o Early Childhood, levels 1-5

    • o Infant Toddler, levels 1-3


Courses for this program are offered in the evenings and are online synchronous (at a scheduled time). Click the following links to view and download the program overview and coursework .

Course Listing

  • 1. EDEC 6099: Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • 2. EDEC 6550: Family, Community, and Culture (3)
  • 3. EDEC 6551: Field Experience 1 - Infants & Toddlers (1)*
  • 4. EDEC 6560: Science and Social Studies Methods, CRTL & Exceptional Learners (3)
  • 5. EDEC 6561: Field Experience 2 - Preprimary Grades (1)*
  • 6. EDEC 6570: Literacy Methods in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • 7. EDEC 6571: Field Experience 3 - Literacy in Primary Grades (1)*
  • 8. EDEC 7570: Assessment & Differentiated Instruction in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • *Field experiences must be taken at the same time as their corresponding methods course (co-requisite)

Total Courses: 8
Total Hours: 18

Study Plan

Fall only courses (15 weeks)

EDEC 6099

Developmentally Appropriate Practices in ECE




EDEC 6570

Literacy Methods in Early Childhood




EDEC 6571*

Field Experience 3 - Literacy in Primary Grades


FE Hours: 1st or 2nd grade

T or W or R


Spring only courses (15 weeks)

EDEC 6550

Family, Community, and Culture




EDEC 6551*

Field Experiences 1 - Infants & Toddlers


FE Hours: infants/toddlers

T or W or R


EDEC 6560

Science and Social Studies Methods, CRTL & Exceptional Learners




EDEC 6561*

Field Experiences 2 - Preprimary Grades


FE Hours: PreK or K

T or W or R


Summer only courses – Summer Session II (7.5 weeks)

EDEC 7570

Assessment and Differentiated Instruction in ECE









Field Experiences

Field experiences are integrated into program coursework to give students the opportunity to gain valuable training and professional connections.

Our Post-BAC program offers opportunities for job-embedded field experiences. This means that candidates may continue to work in their childcare center for some of the field experience courses. Placement for field experiences can be job-embedded only if it fits grade levels.

More Info

Candidates engage with children and families in a variety of diverse settings in clinical field experiences, which include observing, engaging, and teaching lessons with infants/toddlers, preschool, kindergarten, and primary classrooms in multiple settings across the region.

Candidates work with quality mentor teachers who serve as models, offer opportunities to teach and practice skills, and provide guidance and feedback. 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.

Some field experience placements are already set up, which make it easier because:

  • ● Candidates do not have to find their own placement that is approved

  • ● Candidates are together to support each other

  • ● The schools/teachers are familiar with our program, guidelines, and requirements

Candidates may be able to find their own placements for some field experiences; however, the following guidelines must be met:

  • ● Field experiences must occur at the designated course grade level

  • ● School/center sites must be high quality, licensed, and approved by university supervisor (or on the approved list)

  • ● Sites must be located in a safe neighborhood within a 20-mile radius of the GSU campus

  • ● Candidates, directors/principals, and mentor teachers must follow our field experience guidelines

  • ● Candidates are responsible for getting an MOU agreement with their center/school

  • ● Placement site and day/time must be finalized and approved by the university supervisor and the school prior to the start of the second week of the semester

Program Requirements

Program Admission

Candidates must meet all university requirements for entry into post-BAC programs and the Early Childhood Education program.

List of Admission Requirements

  • 1) Requirements:

    • a. University graduate school requirements (visit Graduate Admissions)

    • b. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher (2.0-2.74 GPA may be accepted with conditions)

  • 2) To apply, candidates must submit the following:

For more information regarding the requirements for admission to this program, visit the GSU Graduate Admissions webpage.

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

Post-BAC Certificate Requirements

Candidates must meet all university requirements for a master’s degree. Candidates must also:

List of Post-BAC Certificate Requirements

  • ● Attain a GPA of 3.0 or better in all Professional Education 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: Endorsements – ISBE

Candidates must submit their transcripts and paperwork to ISBE to receive the subsequent endorsement.

Candidates must also earn a passing score on the Early Childhood Content Area Exam of the Illinois Certification Testing System (ILTS).

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

Additional Approval Considerations: candidates wishing to apply to ISBE for the optional Special Education Approval that can be placed on an ISBE teaching license (PEL) must complete the additional courses.

  • EDEC 8810 Research and Issues in Education I (3)

  • SPED 6101 Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)

Certifications – 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. 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.

Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson
Graduate Advisor
G Building 378

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