You’re ready to become a teacher. And you want to be ready for every child that walks into the classroom door. Join the first cohort in this inaugural degree program for the state of Illinois.
Being a teacher today means leading classrooms defined by a multiplicity of languages, abilities, and life experiences. More than 50 percent of your students will be children of color. To create a truly inclusive classroom, you need to know how to build on the strengths of every student and much more. You need to be attuned to individual family dynamics and have a comprehensive understanding of the systemic forces that stand in the way of learning and opportunity.
Start this Summer and earn your ECE degree, initial licensure and three endorsements in a hybrid program.
Prepare to become a licensed teacher for young children.
Study part-time or full-time based on your needs.
The MSECE program leads to the initial Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).
Our program integrates three endorsements in a single course of study: Early Childhood Education, English as a Second Language/ bilingual education, and Special Education.
Collaborate with our nationally recognized faculty, build a respected network of field experts, and learn from the field’s leading voices.
Put theory to practice in one of over 150 Chicagoland field placement opportunities while completing your student teaching requirements.
Work closely with your professors and peers in small classes where personal relationships enrich your learning experiences
Learn resilience and healthy professional practices from experienced practitioners.
Teaching is challenging work, but the rewards are enormous–every effective teacher moves us that much closer to a more equitable society. That’s why the Erikson Institute has created the only program of its kind in Illinois: Master of Science in Early Childhood Education with three embedded endorsements (Early Childhood, English as a Second Language/ Bilingual, and Special Education).
The traditional method of “stacking” endorsements is costly, time-consuming, and falls far short of offering a holistic approach that every child needs. Our initial licensure program integrates three endorsements in a single course of study: Early Childhood Ed, ESL/ Bilingual Ed, and Special Ed.
Beyond traditional student supports, graduates of the program will have access to a 2-year professional learning community and earn professional development hours.
Put theory into practice.
Learning can never be confined to a classroom — nor should it. Student teaching experiences are critical component of your ECE degree work.
For placement, you will be working during the day at custom-selected locations that include multilingual and children with special needs. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to take your learning and lead in your career path.
Add to your credentials with these endorsements embedded directly in your program. Graduates of this program will be eligible to earn these endorsements from the Illinois State Board of Education based on the curriculum inclusive of the requirements and clinical hours. Students may need to pass additional tests from the state.
Early Childhood Birth-2nd Grade Endorsement
After completing this program, you will be eligible to earn the Early Childhood Education Birth-Grade 2 endorsement
Special Education / LBS1 Endorsement
After completing this program, you will be eligible to earn the LBS1 endorsement and Early Childhood Special Education letter of approval.
After completing this program, you will be eligible to earn the bilingual or bilingual/ESL endorsements.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT, GRANT & SCHOLARSHIP OPTIONS
With Erikson’s Educator Impact Grant students may be eligible for all tuition and fees.
Additionally, with dozens of scholarships and other financial aid opportunities, our team is here to help you make your graduate education more affordable.
Based on your unique professional goals, we can help you understand tuition and expenses, and identify possible financial support opportunities.
Join the ECE Program Family for Support at Every Step of Your Journey
At Erikson Institute, our Career Services team works with you every step of the way.
With hundreds of partnerships and robust networks of alumni and field experts, the Career Services team is here to help you put your education into practice.
Once you graduate, you’ll be able to put your degree to work right away. Here are a few of the role Erikson graduates take on after graduation.
Gain expert perspectives working closely with leaders in the field.
Erikson’s Early Childhood Education program faculty are nationally recognized. With specific research interests and decades of experience, each of our faculty enriches your academic experience, connecting you to new networks and the latest data.
Grant eligibility is contingent upon admission, enrollment, and completion of a grant application. Grants are conditioned on recipients, post-graduation, serving underinvested communities for 4 years and participating in 2 years of a professional learning community; failure to meet these conditions will require, in most cases, repayment of tuition and fee amounts. Additional criteria may apply.
If you prefer not to apply to the Erikson Educator Impact Grant or are not awarded the grant, Erikson awards over $2 million in scholarships to students enrolled in our degree and certificate programs. Erikson also participates in the federal Direct Loan programs, and assuming you meet all eligibility requirements, you will have access to both Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans to help finance your Erikson education.
Over 90% of our students work either part-time or full-time as they are pursuing their Erikson degree.
The other factor to consider as you think about your work schedule is whether you want to pursue your master’s degree program in one or two years. While there are always exceptions to this, most students who wish to work full time while enrolled at Erikson opt for the two-year program. Students who have more flexibility in their work schedule or want to complete their program in a shorter period of time while working part-time tend to enroll in the one-year program.
It’s important to note that you will be required to be available during business hours Monday through Friday during your student teaching for your student teaching placement, and you will have evening courses and methods seminars one to two nights per week. We encourage you to plan ahead and communicate as necessary with your employer in advance of your program.
It may be possible to complete your student teaching with your existing employer if you work with an agency that provides site-based early care and education to children under the age of eight. Student teaching requirements may differ based on your situation and could result in two different placements. Given that this is a program with three embedded endorsements in ECE, ESL/bilingual and special education at least one of the placements will need to have multilingual and children with special needs. Staff in our Field Education Office will work with you to find student teaching placements.
The staff in our Field Education and Career Services Office will work with you to prepare you for seeking positions while you’re enrolled at Erikson and upon graduating from the program. You’ll receive feedback on your resume and cover letters, and we also maintain a job board on our campus portal where employers list part-time and full-time positions for which they’re hiring.
The Career Services team also plans an annual social work, early education, and child development job fair for Erikson students and alumni. In concert with the job fair, you can submit your resume to be included in an annual Resume Book that we distribute to organizations and managers who are interested in hiring Erikson students and alumni.
Erikson students live in a wide range of neighborhoods in Chicago and in the suburbs. We do not offer campus housing. While we can’t make specific recommendations about where you should live, we encourage you to find a neighborhood that suits your style, taste, and budget. To help you in your housing search, we work closely with StudentSpace, a free apartment-finding service that specializes in helping graduate students find housing in Chicago.
Because of Erikson’s small size, you’ll have access to a wide range of both informal and formal student support services. These include: