The College of Education offers an undergraduate major in Early Childhood Education that prepares future teachers for teaching children birth through age eight and offers two study track options. Students successfully completing the degree program in either study Track Option I or II obtain a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, with meeting the requirements in Track Option I leading to eligibility for the Professional Educator License in Early Childhood Education as well as the Early Childhood Special Education Approval issued by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Students choosing to pursue this program should contact the Undergraduate Advising Office in the Division of Education before enrolling in any courses. Students must commit to study Track Option I (leads to IL Teacher Licensure), or study Option II (prepares for optional EC credentials) within the first 15 hours of early level coursework: EDEC-3310, EDEC-3320, EDEC-3099, SPED-2100 and EDCP-2101. Upon completion of these five courses, no student will be allowed to progress in study Track Option I without documented proof of passing the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or its equivalent (e.g. ACT or SAT).
Study Track Option I for Teacher Licensure
Study track Option I is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for recommendation of the Initial Early Childhood License by entitlement. Students completing this program may also obtain the Early Childhood Special Education Approval on their Licenses. Four courses required for this approval are offered in the program: EDEC-3380, EDEC-4440/EDEC-4441, EDEC-4450/EDEC-4451, and EDEC-4430. To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, candidates must complete at least 48-49 hours in general education, 62 hours in professional education requirements, and credit hours of approved course electives at the 3000 or higher level if needed to meet the 120 minimum credit hours for graduation.
To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching license, the candidate must present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency, Content Area, and Assessment of Professional Teaching examinations of the Illinois Teaching Certification Testing System. Candidates must earn a grade of “B” or better in EDEC-4999 Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education.
Candidates must meet other requirements for licensure through approved programs listed in the Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals section in this catalog.
Study Track Option II for Optional EC Credentials
Study track Option II is for those seeking a career in an Early Childhood Educational setting which does not require the IL Early Childhood Type 04 Teaching License. The students must complete at least 48-49 hours in general education, 55 hours in professional education requirements, and credit hours of approved course electives at the 3000 or higher level if needed to meet the 120 minimum credit hours for graduation.
Admission to Teacher Education
After meeting the university admission requirements, students must meet the following requirements to continue in the Early Childhood Education program:
** Note: Option I Candidates must pass the ICTS Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) within the first 15 hours of entry level coursework (EDEC-3310, EDEC-3320, EDEC-3099, SPED-2100 and EDCP-2101) before enrolling in any field based course (i.e. EDEC-4441, EDEC-4451, EDEC-4481, and EDEC-4491, as well as EDEC - 4999 Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education (12)).
All candidates for study Track Option I AND Option II are required to submit the GSU approved criminal background check prior to their initial field experience in the schools. Also, some assigned field site locations may, due to state licensing, require students to submit a brief physical including a TB test, as well as a finger print background check. For more information, please consult with your advisor.
The faculty monitors and evaluates candidate progress continually. The section, Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals, in this catalog provides a general description of the standards used to evaluate candidate progress. A more detailed statement of the standards and processes followed by the Early Childhood Education faculty is available in the Undergraduate Early Childhood Education Student Handbook.
The faculty may permit a candidate to continue conditionally. In such cases, faculty reviews of the candidate’s records identify evidence that the candidate will likely be successful in the program. The status of all candidates allowed to continue under conditions is reviewed by the faculty each semester, and the candidates are informed in writing of the conditions necessary for them to be transferred to good standing status. When conditions are met, the candidate is informed in writing of the transfer to good standing status. A candidate may not be admitted to student teaching without being in good standing status
The Undergraduate Early Childhood Student Handbook referred to in this catalog is available at www.govst.edu/education.
Requirements Regarding Admission to Lab Courses for Option I and II
Before enrolling in EDEC-4441, EDEC-4451, EDEC-4481, or EDEC-4491 students must:
- before entering labs 3 (EDEC-4481) and 4 (EDEC-4491), complete the general education requirements of ENGL-2910, MCOM-4250, MATH-2131, and MATH-2141 (or equivalent courses) along with one science and one social science course with a grade of “C” or better;
- successfully complete all prerequisite course work, as stated on a student’s study plan;
- maintain a cumulative 2.75 general education G.P.A.;
- continue to maintain a 3.0 professional education G.P.A.; and
- for Option I only, students must submit to their advisor verification of a passing score on the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP).
Admission to Option I Student Teaching or Option II Practicum
Before enrolling in student teaching, students must:
- complete at least 48-49 hours of general education requirements with a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher (for courses taken at GSU) with a grade of “C” or better in each course;
- complete all professional education course requirements with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher with a grade of “B” or better in each of the following courses EDEC-3099, EDEC-3310, and EDEC-3320 and a grade of C or better in all other courses;
- complete a minimum of 100 clock-hours of pre-student teaching field experiences;
- have no more than a total of nine approved general education/specialization hours outstanding; and
- for Option I only, students must verify successful completion of the early childhood content area state examination of the Illinois Certification Testing System.