Jun 07, 2023  
2021-2022 Governors State University Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Governors State University Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Education, M.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Education

The College of Education  graduate degree in Early Childhood Education offers to candidates who have a bachelor degree in any area, the opportunity to seek initial teaching licensure in Early Childhood Education. 

Teacher Licensure

This program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for recommendation of the Initial Early Childhood License by entitlement (Professional Educator Licensure in EC, Birth-Grade 2), as well as the Early Childhood Special Education Approval.

Certifications earned:

  • Illinois Professional Educator License
  • Early Childhood Endorsement, Birth to Grade 2
  • Special Education Approval

To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, students must complete the requirements listed for this program and meet the requirements listed in the Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals  section of this catalog. Additionally, candidates must apply for the licensure within 6 months of completing the program.

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching license, the candidate must present evidence of having passed the ILTS Content Area examination (Early Childhood) and the edTPA.


Candidates must first apply to the university and meet all requirements for entry into graduate school.  After meeting university admission requirements, candidates must submit to the College of Education a supplemental application packet containing:

  1. transcript showing a valid Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university
  2. transcript showing a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted and a grade of “B” or better in current graduate course-work;
  3. transcript showing completion of and a grade of “B” or better in all prerequisite coursework (EDUC-2310 , EDUC-2330 , ENGL-2131 , EDCP-2101 , SPED-2100 ) or evidence of currently taking the courses
  4. copy of the GSU approved criminal background check
  5. certificates showing proof of completion within 6 months of submitting the application: FERPA, mandatory reporting, and emergency response
  6. current up-to-date resume
  7. cover letter outlining rationale behind getting this degree and future goals
  8. a physical from a medical professional including a TB test (within the last 6 months)*
    *Note: this, as well as fingerprint background check may be required by some centers.

After the candidate has submitted these items, the faculty will review this information and make a decision regarding the candidate’s admittance into the program.

Program Requirements

Candidates must meet all university requirements for a Master’s degree. In addition, candidates must:

  • complete all coursework on the approved program study plan
  • maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in all courses
  • be in good standing with the university and program
  • maintain up-to-date trainings (FERPA, mandatory reporting, and emergency response)
  • complete all coursework, including transfer credits, within 4 calendar years
  • complete student teaching
  • pass the ILTS Content Area Examination (Early Childhood) from the State of Illinois
  • pass the edTPA during student teaching
  • submit an approved culminating research project (part of it is done for coursework)
  • pass a written comprehensive examination

Student Progress

The program faculty members monitor and evaluate student progress continually. The section, Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals , in this catalog provides a general description of the standards used to evaluate student progress.

To continue in the program, candidates must earn a grade of “B” or better in all coursework. Candidates can be dismissed from the program for not earning a grade of “B” or better in all program coursework, as well as for dispositional and professionalism issues.

The faculty may permit a candidate to progress conditionally. In such cases, faculty review of the applicant’s record and performance identifies evidence that the student is likely to be successful in the program. The status of all students permitted to progress conditionally is reviewed by the appropriate professional (i.e. advisor, program coordinator, chair, other faculty, etc.) each semester, and students are informed accordingly of the conditions necessary for them to be transferred to good standing status. When conditions are met, the candidates are transferred to good standing status. Students may not be admitted to the culminating project without achieving good standing status. Conditional continuation is an option for program decisions. Candidates neglecting to meet state requirements for teacher licensure are not eligible to progress conditionally.

Admission to Student Teaching

In order for to be admitted to student teaching, candidates must:

  • submit the application for student teaching
  • complete all program coursework maintaining a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better
  • have no more than a total of nine approved hours outstanding (but all must be completed before starting student teaching)
  • verify successful completion of the Early Childhood Content Area state examination
  • be in good standing
  • earn approval from the Early Childhood Program faculty
  • successfully complete ILTS Early Childhood Content Test


To qualify for candidacy, a student must:

  • hold a Bachelor’s degree with a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher
  • complete all prerequisite coursework equivalent to EDUC-2310 , EDUC-2330 , ENGL-2131 , EDCP-2101 , SPED-2100 , earning a grade of “B” or better
  • have Criminal Background Check clearance (from GSU approved site)
  • complete all trainings within 6 months of application (FERPA, mandatory reporting, and emergency response)
  • display, or be judged as developing, the dispositions expected of graduate students as listed in the section, Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals
  • be recommended for candidacy by the Early Childhood Education program faculty

Degree Requirements

Total - 42 Hours

Total semesters: 5 (2 years)

Course Modality: Hybrid (face-to-face and online/remote)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Education