Early Childhood Education

The early childhood education program is designed for individuals who wish to teach young children (Birth-grade 3), leads to a master of arts degree, and prepares candidates to pursue an Illinois professional educator license endorsed in early childhood education, with the option of earning an early childhood education special education approval and/or an ESL endorsement.

The early childhood studies program (see below) is designed for candidates who wish to earn a master of arts degree in early childhood with earning a professional educator license. Candidates will acquire knowledge about the development and education of young children (Birth-grade 3).

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

General Education Course Requirements for the Licensure Program

The general education courses, which address requirements for Illinois licensure, 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 and health and nutrition. Deficiencies in the areas of literature, math and science must be resolved through coursework.

Graduate students seeking professional educator license endorsed for early childhood education are required to have one course in each of the following areas:

Professional Education Course Requirements for the Licensure Program (40 credit hours*)

Core Course Requirements for the Master's Degree (9-12*)

The program requires *40 credit hours of professional education courses for a license, plus 9-12 credit hours of core courses for the Master's 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. EDGSP 523 will count as one of the optional courses.

Early Childhood Special Education Letter of Approval

Candidates can earn an Early Childhood Special Education letter of approval on their license. To earn the letter of approval, candidates are required to take four courses:

An Early Childhood Special Education letter of approval can only be issued to a teacher holding a Professional Educator License with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education (an early childhood/Type 04 certificate) or a teacher holding a special preschool-age 21 certificate with an LBS I endorsement (Type 10). This approval allows individuals to teach early childhood special education non-categorical for children up to the age of 6.

Early childhood teachers, including SXU alumni, who already hold a Professional Educator License/Type 04 teaching certificate can earn the Early Childhood Special Education letter of approval by completing only the specialization courses along with the requisite field experiences.

ESL Endorsement

In addition to earning a Master of Arts degree and a Professional Educator License with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education, candidates also have the option of earning an ESL endorsement. The following courses are required for an ESL endorsement (18 Credit Hours):

The State of Illinois requires that ESL and/or bilingual clinical experience equal 100 clock hours. The State of Illinois issues a letter of approval for ESL upon successful completion of this program. No additional testing is required for ESL approval. Early childhood teachers, including SXU alumni, who already hold a Professional Educator License/Type 04 teaching certificate can earn the ESL endorsements by completing only the specialization courses along with the requisite field experiences.

Licensure and Degree Requirements for Licensed Elementary Teachers Pursuing a Subsequent Endorsement in Early Childhood Education

Candidates who currently have a Professional Educator License endorsed to teach elementary education and who have had experiences in teaching students at the K-3 level can pursue a subsequent Early Childhood Education endorsement and take additional courses that will lead to a master's degree, as well as an early childhood special education letter of approval.

Candidates need to successfully complete the following prerequisites:

Candidates also need to successfully complete the following requirements:

Candidates with a professional educator license with an Elementary Education endorsement seeking this subsequent Early Childhood Education endorsement can enroll in the following courses to avail of a master of arts in early childhood education, leading to an early childhood education endorsement and early childhood special education approval:

*Candidates complete a 3-credit, 8-week practicum if they have successfully taught or student taught at the primary grade level. Candidates will complete two 8-week practica (16 weeks) if they have never taught at the primary grade level. Practica are typically offered in Fall and Spring semesters.

Candidates seeking a subsequent endorsement in Early Childhood Education may also earn an ESL endorsement by completing the requirements described above. 

Master of Arts in Education/Early Childhood Studies Program Requirements (Non-Licensure)

Graduate students may earn a Master of Arts in Education/Early Childhood Studies, without earning a Professional Educator License for Early Childhood Education. They are required to take 41 hours of coursework:

Core Course Requirements (9 credit hours)

Two-Course Option (6 credit hours) (On Recommendation of Advisor)

All coursework must be completed within five years of admission. A cumulative grade-point average of at least 4.0 must be maintained; a grade of D is not acceptable toward satisfying degree or certification requirements. not more than 6 hours of appropriate graduate credit, taken prior to being admitted to Saint Xavier University and taken within the past five years, may be transferred from another institution.

Field Experiences for Master of Arts in Education/Early Childhood Studies Program

Students are required to participate in field experience in courses. Field experience placements for the non-licensure Master's program typically occur in private early childhood settings (birth to third grade).

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