May 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Catalog

Early Childhood Education, M.A.


Note: This Program is subject to be changed due to a pending proposal.  Please watch for changes by June 1, 2024.

The College of Education and Human Development offers a graduate degree in Early Childhood Education that allows individuals who have a bachelor’s degree in any area to earn initial licensure with an endorsement for teaching birth to grade 2. 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 to Grade 2), as well as the Early Childhood Special Education Approval.

Degree and Certifications

Degree Earned

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Early Childhood Education

Certifications Earned

  • Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL)
  • Early Childhood Endorsement, Birth to Grade 2
  • Early Childhood Special Education Approval Endorsement, Birth to Grade 2
  • Illinois Gateways Credentials
    • Early Childhood, Levels 1-6
    • Infant-Toddler, Levels 1-3

Program Expected Learning Outcomes

1. Child Development: Graduates should demonstrate a deep understanding of child development theories and milestones, including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and language development, across the early childhood years at an 85% proficiency level.

2. Curriculum Planning and Implementation: Graduates should be able to design and implement developmentally appropriate curriculum and learning experiences that promote the holistic development of young children at an 85% proficiency level. This includes planning activities and lessons that are engaging, hands-on, and aligned with early learning standards.

3. Play-Based Learning: Graduates should demonstrate an understanding of the importance of play in young children’s learning and be able to create and facilitate play-based learning environments that encourage exploration, creativity, problem-solving, and social interaction at an 85% proficiency level.

4. Literacy and Language Development: Graduates should demonstrate knowledge of effective strategies and approaches to support early literacy and language development, including phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, emergent reading and writing skills, and fostering a love for reading at an 85% proficiency level.

5. Mathematics and Numeracy: Graduates should be able to teach foundational mathematical concepts and skills appropriate for young children, including number sense, counting, patterns, measurement, and basic mathematical operations at an 85% proficiency level.

6. Assessment and Observation: Graduates should be skilled in using a variety of assessment and observation methods to gather data on children’s learning and development at an 85% proficiency level. They should be able to use assessment data to inform their instruction and individualize learning experiences.

7. Inclusion and Diversity: Graduates should demonstrate an understanding and appreciate the diverse needs and backgrounds of young children and their families. They should be able to create inclusive and culturally responsive learning environments and adapt instruction to support children with diverse abilities and backgrounds at an 85% proficiency level.

8. Family and Community Engagement: Graduates should possess and demonstrate effective strategies for building positive relationships and partnerships with families and caregivers. They should be able to communicate and collaborate with families to support children’s learning and well-being at an 85% proficiency level.

9. Professionalism and Reflective Practice: Graduates should demonstrate professionalism, ethical behavior, and a commitment to ongoing professional growth. They should engage in reflective practice, continuously

assessing and improving their teaching practices to meet the evolving needs of young children at an 85% proficiency level.

10. Research & Skills: Graduates should demonstrate an understanding of current issues and use research to support their knowledge in the field and apply it to practice. They should be able to demonstrate graduate-level skills related to writing, technology-use, and presenting.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted into the Early Childhood Education post-BAC program, candidates must meet the university admission criteria for entry into graduate school, as well as meet these admission criteria:

  • have earned a bachelor degree from an accredited university
  • have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted and a grade of at least a “B-” in current graduate coursework
    • Candidates with a GPA of 2.4 to 2.74 may be considered and admitted with conditions, which means the candidate must earn a “B-” or above in all coursework during the first 2 semesters in the program in order to continue in the program.
  • have completed  and have earned a grade of at least a “B-” in all prerequisite coursework (EDUC 2310, EDUC 2330, ENGL 2131, EDCP 2101, SPED 2100) or evidence of currently taking the courses

Application

To apply to the ECE MA program, candidates must meet the university admission requirements. Additionally, applicants must provide:

  • an application to the Early Childhood Education Program
  • official transcript(s) showing a bachelor’s degree and a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted and a grade of at least a “B-” in current graduate coursework
  • current, up-to-date, resume
  • valid teaching license (PEL)

Program Requirements

All candidates in this program must complete 40 hours of program coursework at the graduate level (this does not include the 15 hours of prerequisite coursework - 5 courses) to meet the 40 credit hours for graduation. All candidates must complete over 120 hours of clinical experience in the field, in addition to student teaching. Candidates must also earn a passing score on the ILTS EC Content Exam.

Degree Requirements

Candidates must meet all university requirements for a master’s degree. Additionally, candidates must also:

  • attain a GPA of 3.0 or better in all Professional Education coursework, earning a grade of at least a “B-” in all courses;
  • complete all course work at Governors State University within five calendar years;
  • successfully complete all key assessments;
  • successfully complete all field experience hours and assessments;
  • receive a positive rating on Summative Student Teaching Evaluation with a grade of at least a “B-“;
  • earn a passing score on the edTPA or C-Past assessment;
  • complete and submit the GovState approved Criminal Background Check and trainings (FERPA, Mandated Reporting, Behavior Intervention/Conflict Resolution, and Emergency Response) prior to the initial field experience in the schools. Some assigned field site locations may, due to state licensing, require students to submit a brief physical exam, including a TB test, as well as a fingerprint background check;
  • earn satisfactory scores on assessments of professional dispositions; demonstrate professional dispositions in all interactions with faculty/staff and students, as well as teachers and children in schools during field experiences;
  • be in good standing with the university and program;
  • maintain satisfactory candidate progress as defined in the Early Childhood Education Program Handbook;
  • remain in positive progression via the Early Childhood Education Student Progress Committee
  • display, or be judged as developing, the dispositions expected of graduate students as listed in the section, Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals

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 at least a “B-” in all coursework. Candidates can be dismissed from the program for not earning a grade of at least a “B-” 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

All coursework must be completed before the candidate’s student teaching semester begins. Candidates must also pass the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Early Childhood Content Exam prior to student teaching. Before enrolling in student teaching or practicum, candidates must:

  • submit the application for student teaching by the deadline;
  • attain a GPA of 3.0 or better in all Professional Education coursework, earning a grade of at least a “B-” in all courses;
  • complete and document a minimum of 120 clock-hours of clinical field experiences prior to student teaching;
  • be in good standing with the university;
  • receive a positive recommendation from Early Childhood Education faculty;
  • earn a passing score on the Early Childhood Content Area Exam of the Illinois Certification Testing System (ILTS)

Candidacy

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 GovState 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

Teacher Licensure Requirements - ISBE

In order to obtain a teaching license and any endorsements, candidates must complete the degree and program requirements listed. Candidates must also meet the requirements listed in the Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals section of this catalog. Candidates are responsible for submitting all documentation to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, candidates must:

  • apply for licensure within 6 months of completing the program;
  • complete and provide documentation for at least 120 hours of clinical field experiences (not including student teaching);
  • complete and provide documentation for all Professional Education and Teaching Specialization (ESL) coursework with a grade of at least a “B-” in all program coursework, including EDEC 8999 Student Teaching;
  • earn a passing score on Pass the edTPA portfolio or C-Past evaluation;
  • earn a passing score on the ILTS Early Childhood Content Area Exam prior to student teaching

Degree Requirements


Total - 40 Hours


Total semesters: 5 (2 years)

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

Academic Advising


Academic Advising

From admission to graduation, your academic advisor is your partner towards success. The Division of Education provides professional academic advisors to serve the needs of all of its candidates. Your program’s academic advisor is the ideal first contact for:

  • individuals considering transfer into this degree program
  • newly admitted candidates who need to develop a plan of study, including evaluation of transfer credits
  • continuing candidates who have questions or comments on program policies, procedures, and requirements
  • individuals considering transfer into this degree program.

Contact Information

Graduate Academic Advisor for Early Childhood Education: Carla Johnson

Office: G378

Phone: 708-235-3989

Email: cjohnson@govst.edu

Advisor Expectations

Your advisor is here to answer any questions you have and help you navigate the requirements needed for the program. Your advisor will:

  • Review your application and transcripts, as well as help you with transferring credits
  • Communicate the programs curriculum, requirements, policies and procedures
  • Determine your study plan based on course offerings and program schedule, including personal schedules
  • Provide you with an outline of your program and courses
  • Help you with registering for classes 
  • Encourage and support you in fulfilling your academic goals

Student Expectations

Once you are admitted, make sure you reach out to your advisor for guidance throughout your program. Students are responsible for talking to their advisor regularly and keeping up with their study plan. As a student, you are expected to carry out the following responsibilities to ensure you receive the adequate advising services you need for success:

  • Keep track of all of your advising materials
  • Come to advising appointments prepared with questions
  • Fully understand your degree requirements and how to access university and program policies and procedures
  • Be fully aware of all deadlines. Check the University Academic Calendar regularly
  • Accept responsibility for your actions, decisions, and academic performance
  • Check your GovState email regularly

Information and guidelines about advising can be found at Academic Advising at GovState.