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Program Overview

The 60 credit-hour curriculum is designed to provide students with the requisite skills and theoretical knowledge to work in a variety of facilities for young children. Upon completion of courses for the specialized area of teacher, students need to complete an IL Gateways application to qualify for the Illinois ECE Credential Level 4 and Illinois Infant/Toddler Credential Level 4.

This sequenced degree plan is one of two options that students may pursue to earn the Early Childhood Education Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. While there are multiple specializations, this particular degree can be awarded only once.

F = Fall only course S = Spring only course U = Summer only course

Program Requirements

F = Fall only course, S = Spring only course, U = Summer only course


Number Course Title Credits Category
ECE 101 3 Program Requirement

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. Fifteen (15) hours of observation required. (NOTE: The program’s health requirements must be completed prior to observation.)

ECE 102 3 Program Requirement

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

ECE 115 3 Program Requirement

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.

ENG 101 3 AAS General Education

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

Mathematics1 3 AAS General Education


Number Course Title Credits Category
ECE 111 3 Program Requirement

Description: Examines the theories and research (including early intervention) related to infants and toddlers with a focus on methods of care given in home-based and school-based infant programs. Five (5) hours of observation of infants/toddlers and related program are required.

ECE 226 3 Program Requirement

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.

ECE 250 3 Program Requirement

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.

EDU 219 3 Program Requirement

Description: Presents the historical, philosophical and legal foundations of special education as well as an overview of the diverse characteristics of individuals with exceptional cognitive, physical, social and emotional needs, including, but not limited to, children identified as learning disabled. Covers identification, intervention strategies, cross-categorical methods of instruction and programs to meet their needs, including, but not limited to, assistive technologies, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), behavioral interventions, and Universal Design. Studies applicable state and federal laws and requirements, including Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), Individual Education Plan (IEP), Response to Intervention (RTI) and inclusive programming. This course addresses the coursework identified in the Illinois Administrative Code 25, Section 25:25 for professional educator licensure. There is a mandatory fifteen (15) hour clinical component in this course; therefore, the student must pass a criminal background check for successful completion of this course. IAI ECE 913

PSY 101 3 AAS General Education

Description: Investigates human and animal behavior with emphasis on the scientific nature of contemporary and classic psychological investigation. Emphasizes psychological theories, principles, and research applications. Introduces the divisions of the American Psychological Association. References biological processes, sensation, perception, learning, memory, thinking, emotional life, mental disorders, intelligence, aptitude, personality, development, daily life and everyday problems. IAI S6 900


Number Course Title Credits Category
ECE 209  F   3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides an in-depth knowledge and understanding of language development, the stages involved, the role that adults play, and the relationship of language to other aspects of development. Introduces the student to a wide variety of language activities appropriate for young children and develops skills in preparing, presenting and evaluating language activities.

Prerequisite: ECE 115.

ECE 210  F   3 Program Requirement

Description: Examines the theoretical framework for art, creativity, music and movement. Acquaints the student with a variety of creative art materials and methods appropriate for use in programs for young children. Includes firsthand experience with materials and planning an arts program. Stresses the relationship of creative experiences within the curriculum and the role of creative experiences within the early childhood program.

Prerequisite: ECE 115.

ECE 291 3 Program Requirement

Description: Emphasizes the practical application of principles and theories in early childhood education within a supervised setting, while working with young children. The student will be supervised by a qualified professional for 160 documented hours at an approved site and attend weekly seminars. (NOTE: The program's health requirements, background check and CPR Basic Rescuer certification must be completed prior to placement in practicum).

Prerequisite: ECE 101, ECE 102, ECE 115, ECE 209, ECE 226 and ENG 101 with grades of C or better, or consent of instructor.

EDU 220 + 3 AAS General Education

Description: Provides an introduction to diversity issues in schools and society today. Examines how schooling is shaped by the social contexts in which it occurs, particularly in multicultural and global contexts. Includes examination of both social and global perspectives.

SPE 101 3 AAS General Education

Description: Theory and practice of oral communications. Development of poise, confidence and skill in speech organization and delivery. Emphasis on frequent speaking, development of standards of criticism and selection and organization of material. IAI C2 900


Number Course Title Credits Category
AAS General Education elective2 3
ECE 221  S   3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the theory and practice related to math and science for young children. Emphasis will be placed on the development and evaluation of developmentally appropriate activities and instructional materials.

Prerequisite: ECE 115.

ECE 252 3 Program Requirement

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

ECE 292 3 Program Requirement

Description: Emphasizes the practical application of early childhood education principles and theories in a supervisory capacity, while working with young children aged 0-3 years. The student will be supervised by a qualified professional for 160 documented hours at an approved site and attend a weekly seminar (NOTE: The program’s health requirements, background check and CPR Basic Rescuer certification must be completed prior to placement in practicum).

Prerequisite: ECE 111 and ECE 291 with grades of C or better, and consent of instructor.

ECE elective3 3 Program Requirement

1 - The mathematics requirement for this degree (MTH 065) can be met with Math Competency. See Math Competency options for information. Students who utilize Math Competency to meet the mathematics requirement must complete an additional three credit-hour AAS General Education elective. See full list of of AAS General Education Electives.

+ - This course meets the World Culture and Diversity graduation requirement.

2 - See full list of of AAS General Education Electives.

3 - ECE elective: Any ECE course.

Program Learning Outcomes


  • 1a: Know and understand young children's characteristics and needs
  • 1b: Know and understand the multiple influences on development and learning
  • 1c: Use developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments


  • 2a: Know about and understand diverse family and community characteristics
  • 2b: Support and empower families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
  • 2c: Involve families and communities in their children's development and learning


  • 3a: Understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment
  • 3b: Know about and use observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches
  • 3c: Understand and practice responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child
  • 3d: Know about assessment partnerships with families and with other professionals


  • 4a: Understand positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with children
  • 4b: Know and understand effective strategies and tools for early education
  • 4c: Use a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning practices
  • 4d: Reflect on their own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.


  • 5a: Understand content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines
  • 5b: Know and use the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
  • 5c: Use their own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curricula for each child.


  • 6a: Identify and involve oneself with the early childhood field
  • 6b: Know about and uphold ethical standards and other professional guidelines
  • 6c: Engage in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice
  • 6d: Integrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education
  • 6e: Engage in informed advocacy for children and the profession

NAEYC Supportive Skills

  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 1: Students will assess their own goals, strengths and needs and know how to advocate for their own professional needs.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 2: Students will understand foundational concepts from areas such as science, mathematics, literature and the behavioral and social sciences. They can apply these concepts in their work as early childhood professionals.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 3: Students have effective skills in written and verbal communication and are technologically literate.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 4: Students respect and draw upon their past or current work experience. They are able to reflect critically upon their experience.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 5: Students know how to identify and use credible professional resources from multiple sources. They use these resources to better serve children and families with a wide range of cultures, languages, needs and abilities.
Last Updated: 11/2/18