NIU offers early childhood teacher certification through an undergraduate interdisciplinary program with two emphases.
The School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences (FCNS) in the College of Health and Human Services offers an initial certification emphasis leading to a Bachelor's of Science degree (B.S.) with a major in early childhood studies.
This program will prepare candidates for various professional roles serving children from birth through eight years of age and their families. Graduates qualify for Illinois early childhood teacher certification (Type 04), which authorizes them to teach children from birth through grade three in Illinois public schools. Students in the FCNS early childhood education certification emphasis are prepared to teach a diverse student population in inclusive classrooms.
The Department of Teaching and Learning (TLRN) in the College of Education offers an emphasis leading to a Bachelor's of Science degree (B.S.) with a major in early childhood studies. Candidates who complete the TLRN early childhood certification program are also eligible for the Type 04 early childhood education certificate and may teach children from birth through grade three.
In addition, TLRN has been approved by the State Board of Education to provide coursework for the preschool special education approval. Candidates who complete the TLRN early childhood certification emphasis are therefore also eligible for the preschool special education approval, which authorizes them to teach students with disabilities from birth up to kindergarten.
The TLRN Department offers a graduate program leading to a Master's Degree in Education (M.S.Ed.) in early childhood education. Requirements for the Type 04 early childhood education certificate and the preschool special education approval can be incorporated into the master's program.
For specific information about NIU early childhood education programs, contact the program advisors.