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Early Childhood Education

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

The Early Childhood Teacher Education program at Illinois State will prepare you for a professional educator's license for teaching programs serving children birth to age 7 (grade 2). The program is recognized by the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and is a nationally recognized model of standards-based and performance-based teacher education.

Throughout the coursework, teacher candidates will gain the professional knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to become a highly effective parent-infant educator, special education preschool educator, public school pre-kindergarten, child care, or kindergarten through second grade teacher.

Why Study Early Childhood Education?

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers play a vital role in the development of children. Individuals working in education introduce children to the basics of math, languages, sciences and social studies. The educators try to instill good study habits and an appreciation for learning.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Strong work ethics and professional manners
  • Listen, interpret and communicate effectively
  • Good knowledge about child development
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Works well in a team environment and individually
  • Integrate technology into the education programs
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Effective writing capability
  • Creativity – using sounds, color, imagery and art

Related Fields

  • Camp Director
  • Day-Care Center Director/Owner
  • Day-Care Teacher
  • Early Childhood Teacher (Certified birth – 3rd grade)
  • Governess/Nanny
  • Head Start Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Principal
  • Professor
  • Recreational Professional
  • Researcher
  • Superintendent
  • Trainer
  • Tutor
  • Writer/Author

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Renee Carrigan  110 Student Services Building  (309) 438-2200 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Amber Bostwick  DeGarmo 232  (309) 438-5461 
Jill Donnel  DeGarmo 251  (309) 438-8769 
Carolyn Rutherford  DeGarmo 61N  (309) 438-5024 
Amanda Parrott  DeGarmo 58C  (309) 438-5029 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA


Middle 50% GPA

3.14 - 3.51

Required Courses


Recommended Courses

  • Child growth and development (C&I 210)
  • Teaching diverse student populations: birth to eight years (C&I 111)
  • Exceptional Learner (SED 101)

Additional Information

It is strongly recommended that students meet the Basic Skills Requirement prior to enrollment. Visit the College of Education's website for details on acceptable ACT or SAT scores which can be used to meet this requirement.

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Heidi Doddek  DeGarmo Hall 56  (309) 438-5873  Current Majors 

Middle 50% GPA

3.14 - 3.51

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

September 1 - September 14, February 1 - February 14, May 1 - May 31

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on

Major Requirements

To be considered for acceptance into any of the Curriculum and Instruction majors, you must meet the following requirements. These requirements do NOT guarantee acceptance into the major.

  • Must have completed 12 hours of graded college-level coursework.
  • Must have passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) by application deadline. Information about TAP is available in the Cecilia J. Lauby Teacher Education Center (TEC) in DeGarmo 56 and Regional Education Offices throughout the state. Tutoring for the Test of Academic Proficiency is offered through the Julia N. Visor Academic Center.
  • Pass ENG 101 with C or better.
  • Pass COM 110 with C or better.
  • The number of students admitted varies based on space availability and the quality of the pool of applicants. The range should not be viewed as a minimum for acceptance into these programs. After acceptance into a program, a minimum 2.50 GPA must be maintained to complete these programs. The following represents the middle 50 percent GPA range of admitted students for the last three semesters:
    • Early Childhood Education: 3.18–3.60
    • Elementary Education: 3.20–3.61
    • Middle Level Education: 2.90–3.62
    • Bilingual Education: 2.88–3.0

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Heidi Doddek  DeGarmo Hall 56  (309) 438-5873  Current Majors 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016