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Harper College

Assistant Teacher Certificate

You can change more lives when you change your own

Program factsEducation icon

  • Credit hours: 18
  • Stackable to degree: Yes
  • Potential job outcomes: Assistant teacher

Take the next step in a fulfilling career in education and enroll in this 18-credit-hour certificate program. You’ll develop the skills and knowledge needed to work as an assistant teacher in a
licensed child-care facility. Harper College is known for providing teachers with a high-quality education, and graduates of this program are routinely sought after by local employers.

You’ll take courses in areas such as introduction to early childhood education, child development, assessment and guidance, principles of early child curriculum, health, nutrition and safety, and child-family-community. Additionally, you’ll get hands-on experience working with children under the direction of skilled educational professionals in the Harper College Early Childhood Laboratory School, an on-site preschool facility.

Credit earned for this certificate can be applied to the Early Childhood Education A.A.S. Degree at Harper College.

Certificate program requirements

This 18 credit-hour curriculum will qualify students for the Illinois ECE Credential-Level 2. Students will need to complete an IL Gateways application. This certificate program will provide an assistant teacher in a licensed child care facility with basic knowledge in early childhood care and education.


Number Course Title Credits
ECE 101 3

Description:  Provides an overview of early childhood care and education, including the basic values, structure, organization and programming. Examination of the student’s personal qualities in relationship to expectations of the field. Directed observation in a variety of programs and settings. Six (6) hours of observation required. (NOTE: The program’s health requirements must be completed prior to observation.)

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

ECE 102 3

Description:  Provides a study of human development from conception through adolescence. Includes research methods and developmental theories. Address all major areas of development (physical, social, emotional and cognitive, language, and aesthetic) and the interaction among these areas. Also examines current research and major developmental theoretical points of view, including those of Piaget, Erikson, Vygotsky, Skinner, Gardner and others. Explores child development in the context of gender, family, culture, socio-economics, race, ethnicity, religion, and society. Emphasis is on the implication for early childhood professional practice. IAI ECE 912

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

ECE 115 3

Description:  Provides an overview of principles involved in planning, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate curriculum. Includes lesson plans, emerging curriculum, scheduling, room arrangement, materials and equipment; individual, small and large group activities; short and long term goals; and teacher’s roles and responsibilities in curriculum development. Three (3) hours of observation required.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in ECE 102 with a grade of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

ECE 226 3

Description:  Understand concepts of appropriate assessment, expected educational outcomes, the teacher's responsibility in assessment and how young children develop and learn. Students will understand how appropriate assessments can measure and evaluate child growth and development and how the use of assessment tools can influence decisions in early childhood education with an emphasis on appropriate guidance techniques and strategies. Four (4) hours of observation are required.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in ECE 102 with a grade of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

ECE 250 3

Description:  Focuses on personal health of the individual, including nutrition and health and safety issues, with emphasis on meeting health needs for children in group settings. A healthy lifestyle, preventive health and community health are examined. One (1) hour of observation is required.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

ECE 252 3

Description:  Concentrates on teacher's role in working with children within the context of family and community. Stresses effective communication, diversity, professionalism and social policy. Includes an in-depth study of community resources. Two (2) hours of observation are required. IAI ECE 915

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

Related programs

Students interested in early childhood education may also be interested in:


Next steps

For more information about teaching courses at Harper College, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.

Last Updated: 4/8/24