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Location: Harper College University Center
Start Term: Fall, Spring, Summer
Program Type: Major, Minor

This program is unique because it addresses the significant need in Chicago and across the nation for college graduates who are committed to working with children and youth in child care agencies, schools, and community organizations. Successful completion of the Early Care and Education concentration entitles students to the Level 5 ECE Credential, an Illinois employment credential that signals substantial training, education, and experience with respect to children birth through age 8. Successful completion of the Youth Development and Education concentration entitles students to a paraprofessional educator endorsement on an Illinois Educator License with Stipulations. Individuals with this license and endorsement can provide instructional support in any school that includes programs supported by Title 1, Part A funds.

As a result of a unique partnership with local community colleges, transfer students with an AAS degree in early childhood can apply all of their community college courses and credit toward this program.

Lilibeth Castillo
, Department Contact

Expectations & Requirements


  1. Field experiences working with children and youth in schools and child care agencies.
  2. Group projects focused on providing support and guidance to children and youth.
  3. Discussions about how to meet the needs of diverse learners.
  4. Research related to compelling educational and social issues.
  5. Clinical experiences working with children and youth.

Minor Requirements

Sample Courses

  • EDUC 202, Child Development
  • SPED 219, Survey of Exceptional Children
  • EDUC 221, Creative Arts in Education
  • EDUC 291, Issues in Metropolitan Education
  • ECHD 370, Infant and Toddler Classroom Teaching and Learning


Graduates of the Early Child Care and Education concentration get jobs as teachers and assistants in private pre-kindergarten settings and Head Start classrooms; administrators of child care programs and businesses; and managers and assistants in child advocacy organizations. Graduates of the Youth Development and Education concentration get jobs as paraprofessionals in public and private schools; teachers in tutoring and after-school programs; and managers and assistants in public and private agencies serving school-age and older children.


This program is a terrific opportunity for undergraduates to learn how to support learners from birth through high school. Our curriculum is aligned with professional standards for early childhood educators, and enables students to advance into high need jobs in early childhood education and student support services.
Toni Potenza
Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education​, Roosevelt University