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Early Childhood Education

Offered in: CHICAGO

Birth through grade 3

The program in Early Childhood Education is interdisciplinary in scope and practical in orientation. Its purpose is to prepare students to become highly qualified, capable, and dedicated educators in Head Start, child care, and preschool programs, as well as kindergarten and primary grades. Students complete diverse field placements and clinical experiences in public schools and private agencies serving children from infancy through third grade. Students who complete the program earn a State of Illinois teaching license, with early childhood and early childhood special education endorsements.


Students are formally admitted to the teacher preparation program when they earn a passing score on the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency, have a minimum 2.7 GPA in all undergraduate courses, and have demonstrated professional dispositions. Students may take general education requirements, academic concentration courses, and the following five education courses without having earned admission to the program.

  • EDUC 210 Child Development for Educators: Infancy Through Adolescence (3 semester hours)
  • EDUC 321 Creative Arts in Education (3 semester hours)
  • EDUC 385 Technology in the Classroom(3 semester hours)
  • ECHD 303 Health for Educators(3 semester hours)
  • SPED 319 Exceptional Children & Youth(3 semester hours)

In order to enroll in the remainder of the academic major, students must have earned admission to the teacher preparation program, or acknowledged their preference for the Gateways ECE Credential Level 5. Acknowledgement of the Gateways ECE Credential is done through an advisor in the College of Education.

  ECHD 305 Assessment in Early Childhood .....3
  ECHD 309 Child, Family and Community .....3
  ECHD 311 History & Philosophy of Early Childhood Education .....3
  ECHD 332 Pre-Primary Science, Math & Social Studies Concepts in Early Childhood Education .....3
  ECHD 333 Primary Science, Math, and Social Concepts in ECE .....3
  ECHD 334 Language Development .....3
  ECHD 336 Literacy in ECE (pre-kindergarten) .....3
  ECHD 337 Literacy in ECE (primary grades) .....3
  ECHD 338 Early Childhood Curriculum: Infant/Toddler/Preschool .....3
  ECHD 374 Student Teaching and Seminar in ECE .....12
  ECHD 382 Early Childhood Special Education Methods .....3

Field and clinical experiences
Field and clinical experiences in early childhood education involve urban and suburban placements and must include culturally diverse learners. Students are placed in pre-primary and primary settings, and engage in individual, small group, and whole class instruction, observation, and participation in community based activities. A minimum of 120 hours of field experiences and service learning are required prior to student teaching.

Placement in student teaching is planned with consideration for each student’s needs and interests. A College of Education faculty member as well as a resident, experienced teacher supervises each student. Formal application is required approximately two semesters in advance of student teaching. Applicants are expected to be in good physical health and academic standing, and must provide evidence of competency with regard to professional dispositions, including the passage of a criminal background check.

To earn admission to student teaching, a student must have passed the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency and the Early Childhood Content Test. In addition, all students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 in their undergraduate courses, and a 3.0 GPA respectively in their academic concentration and academic major. All general education, academic concentration, and academic major course requirements must be completed with grades of C or higher (C- grades are unacceptable). The edTPA should be taken during student teaching if the student is seeking the Illinois teaching license. No other course may be taken, nor may a student be employed, during student teaching.

Licensure requirements
In order to qualify for Roosevelt University's recommendation for the Illinois teaching license and Early Childhood endorsement, student must meet all general education and academic concentration requirements that are in effect at the time of their application.

The academic concentration in Early Childhood Education consists of 18 hours of course work in Bilingual and ESL teaching methods, which leads to the Bilingual and/or ESL endorsement.

Before issuing a license, the Illinois State Board of Education also requires satisfactory scores on the Test of Academic Proficiency, the Early Childhood Content Test, and the edTPA. Students must consult a College of Education advisor to determine which general education courses are acceptable toward fulfillment of licensure requirements.

Licensure Course Requirements

Communication Skills

  Written Communication .....6


  Total Required Humanities (must include American History) .....9


  MATH 105 Foundations of Arithmetic .....3
  MATH 110 Quantitative Literacy (or higher than MATH 110) .....3

Non-Western/Third World/Multicultural

  Asia, African, Central/South America or Native American or their descendants in the US (may also be counted in Humanities or Social Science) .....3

RU Mission-Related Courses

  ACP 101 First Year Seminar .....3
  ACP 110 Primary Texts .....3
  ACP 250 Grounds for Change .....3
  LIBS 201 Writing Social Justice .....3


  Must include biological and physical science, including at least one lab .....7

Social Science

  Total Required Social Science (must include American Government) .....9


  Total General Education Hours .....46-52