NIU Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Program

Are you working with young children and looking to advance your career? Now is the time.

Northern Illinois University is proud to be a member institution for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarship (ECACE) program. NIU offers two bachelor’s degree completion programs for members of the early education workforce in Illinois. Current and prospective students can apply for the ECACE scholarship which can cover the applicant’s total cost of attendance to complete either of these programs at NIU.

The ECACE scholarship program was created to address the shortage of qualified early childhood professionals in Illinois. Recipients are expected to continue to return to teaching or direct services in early childhood care and education in Illinois after completion.

Explore our two degree paths and then let us know you are interested in learning more by filling out our information form on this page. We’ll send you detailed next steps related to the scholarship application process.

B.S. in Early Childhood Education — if you're looking to teach PreK-2 in a school setting.

B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences — Child Development/Early Education emphasis if you're looking to teach/work with infants and young children in a community-based setting.

Why the B.S. in Early Childhood Education at NIU?

  • Faculty are recognized for addressing the needs of diverse learners and for teaching online.
  • Field experiences are completed in your paid position with participating districts.
  • Tutors assist with study and technology skills and preparation for Illinois licensure tests.
  • We will make every effort to accommodate family/work responsibilities via online, evening and/or weekend classes.
  • You can earn a B.S. with Early Childhood Educator licensure (PreK-2) and:
    •  Special education approval (birth through age 5).
    •  English as a Second Language and/or Bilingual endorsement (K-12).

Why the B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences — Child Development Emphasis at NIU?

  • You'll learn from expert faculty and gain real-world experience in our award-winning Child Development and Family Center — accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and rated at the highest level of distinction from the state’s ExceleRate program.
  • Our unique areas of study in child development and early education are aligned with state and national certification programs that prepare you to teach, work and lead in a variety of settings with young children and their families.
  • The Child Development emphasis is entitled to several Illinois Gateways to Opportunity credentials including Early Childhood Education Level V, Infant/Toddler Level V, and Illinois Director Level II.
  • Coursework and real-world experience prepare you for future certification as a Child Life Specialist or Developmental Therapist.

Review frequently asked questions related to the NIU Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Program. 

Next Steps - Register with NIU

Complete the information request form and you'll be the first to know when we share additional information. We’ll stay in touch to guide you, step by step, so you can take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

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