The Bachelor of Science program in Early Childhood Education prepares students to teach children birth through third grade in a variety of urban and suburban education settings, including public and private elementary schools and child care centers.
Students learn educational theories and effective teaching practices, participate in field experiences that require observation and participation in teaching activities at multiple schools, and student teaching. Early Childhood students complete six weeks in a preschool classroom and six weeks in a primary classroom to fulfill their student teaching requirement leading to Illinois licensure. Students should meet early and regularly with their advisors to design and monitor their program of study.
Students entering the program must be able and willing to devote themselves to a minimum of 380 hours of daytime field experiences in schools and child care centers (230 hours in early childhood, including special education settings, and 150 hours in bilingual/ESL education settings). These field-based clinical hours are completed in conjunction with curriculum and strategy courses that require students to participate in teaching activities with children ranging in age from birth through eight years. In addition, the student must successfully complete two six-week periods of full-time student teaching as part of their culminating early childhood education experience.
The program incorporates a required concentration in bilingual education and English as a Second Language (ESL). Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to apply for Endorsements in bilingual education or ESL to be added to their early childhood teaching license. Bilingual Endorsements require a test of proficiency in the non-English language.
The required curriculum prepares students in special education and students are eligible for an Approval in ECE Special Education on their teaching license. This qualifies the individual to teach young children with special needs in a preschool setting (ages 3-6). Additional courses are available to prepare individuals to teach special education for the full range of the license (birth-3, primary grades).
Please make sure you consult the Liberal Studies Requirements, Major Requirements, and College Core Requirements for full degree requirements.
Illinois Professional Educator Licensure with Endorsement in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 3), Early Childhood Special Education Approval for Preschool (ages 3-6), and ESL/Bilingual Endorsement. The Early Childhood Education Program at DePaul is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved program.