Intended Audience

  • ● Individuals who hold a valid teaching license (Professional Educator License – PEL) and an Endorsement in Early Childhood Education. (Note: candidates cannot earn a the EC SPED approval on their PEL if they do not already have an Early Childhood Endorsement)

  • ● Individuals who have a bachelor’s degree

  • ● Individuals who seek subsequent endorsement in Early Childhood SPED Approval (Birth to Grade 2)

Certifications Earned

  • ● Early Childhood SPED Approval (Pre-Kindergarten only)


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

Professional Education Coursework (6 courses)

  • 1. EDEC 6550: Family, Community, and Culture (3)
  • 2. EDEC 6560: Science and Social Studies Methods, CRTL & Exceptional Learners (3)
  • 3. EDEC 6570: Literacy Methods in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • 4. EDEC 7570: Assessment & Differentiated Instruction in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • 5. EDEC 8810 Research and Issues in Education I (3)
  • 6. SPED 6101 Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)

Total Courses: 6
Total Hours: 18

Study Plan

Fall only courses (15 weeks)

EDEC 6570

Literacy Methods in Early Childhood



EDEC 8810

Research and Issues in Education I



Spring only courses (15 weeks)

EDEC 6550

Family, Community, and Culture



EDEC 6560

Science and Social Studies Methods, CRTL & Exceptional Learners



Summer only courses – Summer Session II (7.5 weeks)

EDEC 7570

Assessment and Differentiated Instruction in ECE



Fall/Spring courses (15 weeks)

SPED 6101

Survey of Students with Exceptionalities


FE Hours: 15





Field Experiences

Field experiences are integrated into program coursework to allow students to gain valuable training and professional connections. A total of 15 field experience hours are completed during SPED 6101.

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.

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 Early Childhood Endorsement - Birth to Grade 2 that can be placed on an ISBE teaching license (PEL) must complete the additional courses.

  • EDEC 6099: Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDEC 6551: Field Experience 1 - Infants & Toddlers (1)
  • EDEC 6561: Field Experience 2 - Preprimary Grades (1)
  • EDEC 6571: Field Experience 3 - Literacy in Primary Grades (1)

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

<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 GSU, 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!