The BA in Early Childhood Education (ECHD) prepares teacher candidates to address the learning and socio-emotional needs of children from birth to third grade. This intensive, field-based program prepares every candidate to work democratically with diverse children and families, including those with special needs and second language backgrounds. It leads to a combination of Illinois teaching credentials.
The program is a part of Roosevelt's New Deal Teacher Academy. Each program in the NDTA fulfills the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by fostering inclusive and engaging relationships among teacher candidates, faculty, school practitioners, and learners; immersing teacher candidates intensively in diverse school and community cultures; nurturing social justice leadership skills and dispositions; and coaching candidates toward career success.
Teaching is an immensely rewarding profession, but requires a lot of time and effort. Students can expect focused and practical assignments, engaging discussion and small group projects, and intensive field experiences in diverse schools and classrooms. During the final semester, students complete a 15 week student teaching experience under the guidance of a mentor teacher and a university supervisor.
The Bilingual/ESL Education minor is required for Early Childhood Education majors.
Typically, graduates are employed as early childhood teachers serving preschool students and children in K - 2 classrooms. Occasionally, graduates choose to work in community agencies and organizations committed to serving young children and their families.
The program has a 100% pass rate on the edTPA--the capstone assessment required for teacher licensure in Illinois. It also is nationally recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
My students are going to be social justice change agents. Early childhood teachers are the first educators in children’s lives who help them navigate the future and advocate for them in cases of injustice. It’s imperative that they learn about social justice, multiculturalism and anti-bias curriculum, which is an approach that respects and embraces differences—something I care deeply about given my own experiences.