Alternative Licensure Program

Offered in partnership with the City of Chicago Early Learning Scholarship Program

The UIC Early Childhood Alternative Licensure program is a teacher residency program currently prioritizing teachers working in Chicago Community Agencies.

The program is in partnership City of Chicago Early Learning Scholarship Program. Following a course of study, program candidates complete a two-year residency to earn an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) with an endorsement in early childhood education.

How to Apply & Eligibility

The application process is overseen by the City of Chicago, not UIC. To determine eligibility for the program, potential candidates must first complete the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship Survey.

There are two intended recipients of this scholarship:

  1. Current Chicago Early Learning program staff who are looking to increase their credentials.
  2. Chicagoans interested in entering the early childhood workforce.

For Chicagoans who are not current early learning workers, applicants who are parents of children who are currently enrolled in one of Chicago’s early childhood programs and individuals with financial need will be prioritized. Recipients must be eligible for employment in a Chicago Early Learning Center.

Course information (for current students)

Alternative licensure students work with UIC Extended Campus for course registration. If you are a currently enrolled alternative licensure student, course schedules are listed on the UIC Extended Campus website.

If you want licensure, but do not qualify for this program

If you are looking for an alternative licensure program for Early Childhood Education and do not fit the City of Chicago’s admissions criteria, we strongly recommend our Early Childhood Education master’s program. Like the alternative program, the master’s program is also very flexible. Classes are held in the evenings for working students, the degree can be completed part-time, and the program accepts students with no previous background in education.

With the traditional master’s program, you get your license and an advanced degree in almost the same amount of time as an alternative licensure program, at a lower cost than private universities and without having to leave your current job.

Contacts for this program