Licensure, 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 with endorsements in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE).

If you are pursuing the PEL, the required coursework for the license will automatically earn 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.

Early Childhood Special Education Approval

This approval qualifies teachers with a Professional Educator License and an endorsement in Early Childhood Education 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.

Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsements

The Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsements are for 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.

Learning Behavior Specialist I (Special Education) Endorsement

Master’s in Early Childhood Education students can add the Illinois Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) endorsement, which enables teachers to work with students with a wide range of disabilities, ages 5–21, in several instructional delivery models that include teaching in inclusionary settings through consultation and collaborative teaching, and with small groups and in small class settings.

All students in this master’s program complete SPED 461 (Political and Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Special Education), so only three additional courses in the College of Education are required:

1. Characteristics requirement (choose one)

SPED 465 | Understanding Students with High Incidence Disabilities (3 hours)
Semester(s) offered: Summer (Session 1), Fall
or
SPED 467** | Understanding Students with Low Incidence Disabilities (3 hours)
Semester(s) offered: Summer (Session 2)
**Required for SPED 471

2. Assessment requirement

SPED 462 | Assessment for Individuals with Disabilities (3 hours)
Semester(s) offered: Fall, Spring

3. Methods requirement (choose one)

SPED 563 | Adolescent Literacy for Diverse Learners (3 hours)
Semester(s) offered: Spring
or
SPED 471** | Curricular Adaptations for Learners with Significant Disabilities (3 hours)
**Requires you take SPED 467 first.
Semester(s) offered: Fall

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 is a symbol of professional achievement that show your knowledge, skills and experience in caring and educating for children, and meets Gold Circle of Quality staff qualification requirements in ExceleRate Illinois.

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.

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