Alternative Licensure Program
Offered in partnership with the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship Program
The UIC Early Childhood Education Alternative Licensure Program (ALP) is a teacher residency program for the incumbent Chicago early childhood workforce. The program is in partnership Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship Program. Following a course of study, program candidates complete a four-semester residency to earn an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education.
How to Apply & Eligibility Heading link
UIC Alternative Licensure Program Application Process
The UIC Early Childhood Education Alternative Licensure Program (ALP) works in partnership with the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship (CELWS) team. The recruitment process begins through Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship Survey. All potential applicants must first complete this survey. The application for the next cohort, Cohort 6, will open in mid-January. Once you complete their application and if you are eligible, we will invite you to complete our UIC application process. The scholarship covers books and tuition.
Criteria for Eligibility
- Must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Must be working in a Chicago Early Learning program
- Must have a minimum of 9 aligned hours in ECE (can be from bachelor’s and/or associates degree)
Cohort cycles last almost two years (a total of 6 semesters – 2 semesters of courses and 4 semesters of residency). The Cohort 6 cycle would begin January 2024 – December 2025. In this program, you must be working full-time in a pre-K classroom since you would be doing residency in a Pre-k classroom for 4 semesters.
During the first two semesters, classes are held once a week during the evenings. During the residency phase (4 semesters, which would begin August 2024 – December 2025), classes are held every other week during the evenings.
Completers of the program obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License with an endorsement in Early Childhood.
If you want the Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) but do not qualify for this program Heading link
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. 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 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.
If you are interested in other UIC teaching licensure programs, please see the UIC Council on Teacher Education website for a complete list programs and contact information.
Contact for the Alternative Licensure Program Heading link
Contact for the Master's in Early Childhood Education Program Heading link
Course information for current ALP students Heading link
If you are a currently enrolled alternative licensure student, course schedules are listed on the UIC Extended Campus website.