Who is this degree for?

Erikson’s teacher licensure program prepares you to teach young children from birth through third grade and receive the Illinois early childhood teaching license.

The program sets a high standard, presenting the latest findings and theories in child development while engaging teacher candidates in critical and reflective thinking about their role and impact on the lives of young children and their families in schools.

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Choose a specialization

You can take your study even deeper by adding a specialization:

Bilingual/ESL endorsement

Meet the needs of the increasing number of new language learners in a culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate manner.

Early childhood special education letter of approval

Learn to educate students with varying learning abilities, developmental delays, and/or disabilities, especially as more of these learners enter inclusive classrooms and demand for special education teachers remains high.


Teacher candidates take a combination of courses in child development and early childhood education, plus teacher preparation courses and methods seminars that meet the state’s teacher licensure requirements. The program can be completed over two or three years.


Teacher candidates must be available for daytime study and student teaching during their internship year. Student teaching is a full-time, 10-week commitment during spring semester. When not student teaching, candidates spend nine hours per week in the internship and have a biweekly tutorial.

Candidates also complete 150 clock hours of field experience and participation in early childhood programs, as follows:

Infants/Toddlers 25 hours
Special Education 25 hours
Preschool/Kindergarten 50 hours
Primary Level 50 hours

Teacher candidates generally complete these hours in conjunction with course assignments.

Qualifying for licensure

There are several additional requirements set by the Illinois State Board of Education to qualify for the early childhood teaching license.

  • The Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency, a prerequisite for admission to teacher candidacy.
  • The Illinois Test for Early Childhood, which teacher candidates must pass prior to their yearlong student teaching placement
  • The Illinois Assessment of Professional Teaching Standards, which candidates take upon completion of course requirements.

In addition, Erikson’s licensure officer reviews transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate course work, along with previous professional experiences, to verify that candidates have the requisite content knowledge in math, science, U.S. history, and U.S. government. Competence in other content areas, including English language arts, social sciences, physical growth and development, and the fine arts, are assessed based on candidates’ performance in Erikson course work.

Course Work

Sample course schedules

Prerequisite Courses:

Core Courses: