Endorsements & Credentials

The MEd Early Childhood Education program welcomes both students seeking an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) and currently licensed teachers.  This program satisfies all the requirements to earn a PEL.

If you are pursuing the PEL, the required coursework for the license will automatically earn the Illinois State Board of Education Early Childhood Education Special Education Endorsement and the Illinois Gateways Level 5 Early Childhood Education Credential.

If you are already a licensed teacher, you are eligible to earn the same endorsements and credentials, and the others listed below, but you must select the appropriate coursework to earn the endorsements and credentials, as these courses may not be part of required curriculum.  Contact Cathy Main, program coordinator, at cmain@uic.edu for more information.

Illinois State Board of Education Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsements

The Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsements are for undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing, or who have earned, an Illinois Professional Educator License. The endorsements enable students to teach in a bilingual and/or English as a second language setting.

Illinois State Board of Education Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement

This endorsement qualifies teachers with a Professional Educator License to teach children with disabilities from birth to age 5, and qualifies teachers with an LBS I certificate to teach children with special needs, ages 3 through 5.

Illinois Gateways Level 5 Early Childhood Education Credential

This credential is recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development. It meets Gold Circle of Quality staff qualification requirements in ExceleRate Illinois.  Information on how to apply for the credential.

Required Coursework

  • EPSY 426 – Development, Health and Wellness: Conception to age 8 – 4 hours
  • EPSY 405 – Educational Assessment and Evaluation – 3 hours
  • EPSY 429 –  Constructivist Approaches to Development: Piaget and Vygotsky – 3 or 4 hours – OR – EPSY 420 – Social Development of Urban Children – 3 or 4 hours
  • SPED/EPSY 482 – Collaborating with Families, Community, and Professionals – 3 hours
  • SPED/EPSY  466 – Language Development, Diversity, and Disabilities – 3 hours
  • SPED 463 – Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners in Elementary School – 3 hours
  • SPED 506 – Characteristics and Assessment of Young Children with Disabilities – 4 hours
  • SPED 508 – Methods of Instruction & Assessment of Young Children with Disabilities – 4 hours
  • EPSY 520 – Introduction to Curriculum and Practice in Early Childhood Education – 6 hours

Illinois Early Intervention Developmental Therapist Credential

This credential is awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Early Intervention.  This credential qualifies graduates to provide and bill for early intervention services either independently or with an agency in Illinois.  Graduates apply and are entitled to this credential through Provider Connections.

Course Requirements

  • SPED 506 – Characteristics and Assessment of Young Children with Disabilities – 4 hours
  • SPED 508 – Methods of Instruction & Assessment of Young Children with Disabilities – 4 hours
  • SPED/EPSY 466 – Language Development, Diversity, and Disabilities – 3 hours
  • SPED/EPSY 482 – Collaborating with Families, Community, and Professionals – 3 hours

Additional field hours in Early Intervention may be required for credential.  Contact Cathy Main, program coordinator, at cmain@uic.edu for more information.