Early Childhood Requirements

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The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers three majors in its undergraduate program: early childhood, child and family services, and elementary education. The department also offers courses for students pursuing the history education and biological sciences majors. Teacher candidates are prepared to qualify for the following Illinois Professional Educator License with one of the following endorsements: Early Childhood Education (for teaching ages 0-8); Elementary Education (for teaching in grades 1-6); Social Science-History Education and Science-Biological Sciences Education (for teaching in grades 9-12). Teacher candidates may enter the department (1) directly from within the College of Education and Human Services, (2) from the Exploratory Student Advisement program, (3) from other academic units, or (4) from other institutions of higher education. Transfer courses to be considered toward specific Curriculum and Instruction program requirements will be reviewed for possible articulation by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

The Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Social Science-History programs in Curriculum and Instruction are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Preschool Primary Specialization


This program encompasses the professional training needed to assume a variety of roles such as infant development specialists; early childhood teachers and administrators; teacher and parent educators; family service workers; and teachers of children in elementary schools (pre-kindergarten through second grade).

Early Childhood Major - Preschool/Primary Specialization

Teacher candidates interested in teaching children 0-8 years of age in private or state-approved settings may elect to participate in the early childhood major leading to an early childhood endorsement. Specifically designed to prepare future teachers of children up to the age of eight, this program will lead to the State of Illinois Professional Educator License.

There are sequential steps for advancement in the Preschool/ Primary specialization of the Early Childhood major. Such advancement is based not only on continued satisfactory academic performance, but also on acceptable professional behaviors and competencies as reflected in the state standards for licensure (Illinois Professional Teaching Standards), the NAEYC Professional Teaching Standards, the Early Childhood Content Area Standards, and the Social Emotional Standards for all teachers. Teacher candidates are required to demonstrate their mastery of these standards through their performance in their courses and in the field.

Teacher candidates must satisfactorily complete the requirements for admission to the Teacher Education Program in order to begin their clinical practice in this major. CI 318A CI 318B and CI 405A CI 405B may not be taken more than two times, and teacher candidates must have the consent of the department to repeat these courses. Teacher candidates must earn a grade of C or better in EDUC 214 to enroll in CI 318A, CI 318B and CI 405A, CI 405B.

To be eligible for student teaching, teacher candidates must have attained a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in the major, attained a minimum overall grade point average of 2.75, and completed the following courses with a grade of C or better: CI 217, CI 225, CI 318A, CI 318B, CI 337, CI 361, CI 388, CI 405A, CI 405B, CI 413, CI 418, CI 419, CI 426, CI 431, CI 432, CI 434, EDUC 211, EDUC 214, EDUC 301, EDUC 302, EDUC 303, EDUC 313, EDUC 308, EDUC 319, EDUC 401A, KIN 202, and SPED 412; have made preliminary application for student teaching; and be approved by the faculty of the early childhood major based on performance in the above courses. Applications for student teaching must be submitted within the first two weeks of the semester during which the teacher candidate is enrolled in CI 337.

Preschool/Primary Specialization

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
To include MATH 108; HED 101; POLS 114 and HIST 110; ENGL 101, ENGL 102; SCI 210A, SCI 210B; CMST 101; UNIV 101; EDUC 211; 3 credit hours in Fine Arts (Fine Arts options: AD 100A, AD 100B, AD 101; HIST 201; MUS 103; THEA 101), and 6 credit hours in Humanities (Humanities options: CLAS 270, CLAS 271; CP 358I; EA 102; ENGL 121, ENGL 204; HIST 101A, HIST 101B, HIST 358I; LING 200; MATH 300I; PHIL 307I).
Preschool/Primary Specialization Requirements 56
CI 217, CI 225, CI 318A, CI 318B, or AD 328, CI 337, CI 361, CI 388, CI 405A, CI 405B, CI 413, CI 418, CI 419, CI 426, CI 431, CI 432, CI 434; MATH 120, MATH 220; KIN 202; and SPED 412.
Professional Education Sequence 27
EDUC 214, EDUC 301, EDUC 302, EDUC 303, EDUC 313, EDUC 308, EDUC 319, EDUC 401A.
Total 122

Child and Family Services Minor

The minor in child and family services is designed to provide students with basic knowledge in early childhood and family studies. The selection of coursework is flexible so that courses can be adapted to the special interests of students with diverse backgrounds and goals. Students are expected to honor all prerequisites in their selection of courses. A minimum of 18 hours of coursework is required as follows:

CI 227, EDUC 214 - 6; electives to be chosen from the following: CI 217, CI 327, CI 337, CI 390H, CI 390Q, CI 403, CI 413, CI 419, CI 498H, CI 498Q - 12.

A grade of C or better must be earned for all courses in the minor.