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Early Childhood Education


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 either a State of Illinois Type 04 teaching certificate, with an early childhood special education approval, or an ECE Credential Level 5. The ECE Credential Level 5 is awarded through Gateways to Opportunity, and provides evidence of knowledge and skills needed to work with children birth to age 8.


Students are formally admitted to the Type 04 teacher preparation program when they earn a passing score on the Illinois Basic Skills Test or the Test of Academic Proficiency and have a minimum 2.7 GPA in all undergraduate courses. 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 ECE Credential Level 5. Acknowledgement of the 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 337 Literacy in ECE (Reading & Lang Arts) .....6
  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. Procedures for Student Performance Reviews, available on the COE website, will be followed if students are rejected for clinical placement at least 3 times due to concerns about academic or interview performance.

To earn admission to student teaching, a student must have passed the Illinois Basic Skills Test or 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). An APT test should be taken during student teaching if the student is seeking the Type 04 teaching certificate. This test is required for certification. No other course may be taken, nor may a student be employed, during student teaching.

Certification Requirements

In order to qualify for Roosevelt University's recommendation for the early childhood teaching certificate (Type 04), students must meet all general education and academic concentration requirements that are in effect at the time of their application for the certificate. The academic concentration in early childhood education consists of 18 hours of course work in one discipline, approved by an advisor. Nine semester hours in the area of concentration must be taken at the 300 level. The 18 semester hours in the area of concentration may not be used to meet general education requirements. All academic concentration courses require a grade of C or higher, and an overall GPA of 3.0 is required. Before issuing a certificate, the Illinois State Board of Education also requires satisfactory scores on the ICTS Basic Skills Test or Test of Academic Proficiency, the Early Childhood Content Test, and the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT). Students must consult an education advisor to determine which general education courses are acceptable toward fulfillment of certification requirements. Because requirements for certification, graduation, and continuing enrollment are subject to change, undergraduates must consult frequently with their education advisors. The advising plan developed at program admission provides the most up-to-date and authoritative information with respect to all program and certification requirements.


Requirements - General Education

Communication Skills

  Written Communication .....6


  Must include American History .....
  Total Required Humanities .....9


  Math 105 and Math 110 or higher .....6

Non-Western/Third World/Multicultural

  Asia, African, Central/South America or Native American or their descendants in U.S. .....
  May also be counted in humanities or social science .....
  Total Required .....3

RU Mission-Related Courses

  ACP 101, 110 and 250 .....9
  LIBS 201 .....3
  Total Required in Mission-Related Courses .....12


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

Social Sciences

  Must include American government .....
  Total Required Social Sciences .....9


  Total general education hours .....46-52