Master of Arts in Education

Early Childhood Education (Type 04 Certificate)

The early childhood education program is designed for individuals who wish to teach young children (ages 0 to grade 3), leads to a master of arts degree, and prepares candidates to pursue an Illinois Type 04 teaching certificate.

The program requires successful completion of general education courses, professional education courses and core courses, as outlined below:

General Education Course Requirements

The general education courses, which address requirements for Illinois certification, may have been met within the candidate's undergraduate studies. A review of the candidate's transcript(s) will indicate if any general education deficiencies exist. Candidates may choose to take the CLEP exam to resolve deficiencies in the areas of fine arts, history or American government, health and nutrition. Deficiencies in the areas of literature, math, and science must be resolved through coursework.

Graduate students seeking an early childhood certificate (Type 04) are required to have one course in each of the following areas:

Professional Education Course Requirements for the Cerificate (38 Credit Hours*)


Language Development and Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners
(this course may be used as one of the two optional courses)
Language Disorders and Instruction
EDGSP 413 Survey of Students with Exceptionalities for the Regular Classroom Teacher (3)
Early Childhood Education Practicum 
(for certified teachers who have taught on an issued certificate for a minimum of three months)
(3 - 6)
EDGEC 426 History and Philosophy of Early Childhood Education (3)
EDGEC 427 Child, Family and Community Relationships (3)
EDGEC 429 Methods and Curriculum of Pre-primary Education (3)
EDGEC 401 Lab - Pre-Primary Methods (1)
EDGEC 430 Methods and Curriculum of Primary Education (3)
EDGEC 402 Lab-Primary Methods (1)
EDGEC 431 Methods of Reading with an Emphasis on the Young Child (3)
EDGEC 432 Developmental Assessment of Young Children (3)
EDGEC 443 Directed Teaching - Early Childhood Education (6)
EDGEC 445 Seminar in Teaching and Learning (All sections of 445 are cross listed) (2)
EDGEC 470 Orientation to the Profession of Teaching (0)
EDGEC 506 Advanced Child Development (Cross Listed with EDGEL 506) (3)

Core Course Requirements (12 or 15 Credit Hours*)

EDGCC 511 Foundations of Education (3)
EDGCC 512 Assessment of Instruction and Learning (Requirement for certification) (3)
EDGCC 513 Educational Research Design and Development (3)
EDGCC 514 Scholarship of Teaching: Finalizing the Inquiry Process (3)

*40 credit hours of professional education courses for a certificate, plus 12 or 15 credit hours of core courses for degree.

Candidates for a master of arts degree in individualized education who are enrolled in the early childhood program must complete EDGCC 511, 512 and 513.  

Candidates who choose to complete the research study must enroll in EDGCC 514. In lieu of enrolling in EDGCC 514 and completing a research study, candidates may enroll in two additional graduate courses in education at Saint Xavier University. The two courses should further the candidate's professional goals, and the courses selected must be approved by the faculty advisor and the associate dean of graduate studies. EDGRS 523 or EDGSP 523 will count as one of the optional courses.

Certification and Degree Requirements for Certified Elementary Teachers (Type 03) Pursuing a Subsequent Certificate in Early Childhood (Type 04)

Candidates who currently have a Type 03 (elementary education) certificate and who have had experiences in teaching students at the K-3 level can pursue a subsequent Type 04 (early childhood education) certificate and take additional courses that will lead to a master's degree, as well as a special education approval.

Candidates need to successfully complete the following prerequisites:

  1. valid, current, elementary education teaching certificate (Type 03)
  2. student teaching experience or one-year, full-time teaching experience in the K-3 grade level in an accredited school
  3. evidence of passing the Illinois Basic Skills test

Candidates also need to successfully complete the following requirements:

  1. admission to SOE
  2. portfolio to document impact on K-3 student learning

Type 03 certified candidates seeking this subsequent Type 04 certificate can enroll in the following courses to avail of a master of arts in early childhood education, leading to early childhood education certification and early childhood special education approval:

*Candidates complete a 3-credit, one-summer practicum if they have taught or student taught at the primary grade level.  Candidates will complete two practica if they have never taught at the primary grade level.

( ) = credit- hours / / = classroom hours