Early Childhood Education, B.A.

The Early Childhood Education program is designed for those interested in teaching children in a pre-kindergarten environment through age eight. Successful completion of the program enables students in Illinois to apply for a Professional Educator License, endorsed for early childhood and self-contained general education (age 0 to grade 3).

Special Admissions Requirements:

Admission to the Early Childhood Education program is a two step process. Students must first be admitted to National Louis University.

Applicants to the Early Childhood Education program must:

Program Details:

  • Requires 180 QH, including 61 QH of General Education, for completion 
  • 60 QH of coursework must be completed at NLU
  • Credit by examination is accepted for general education and elective credit
  • The Professional Education Sequence and ELL courses must be taken at NLU
  • A minimum grade of “C” or better in all courses in the program is required
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required
  • Students must be admitted to NCE before taking the Professional Sequence and ELL Endorsement Courses
  • Requires student teaching
  • Requires practicum
  • Requires observation hours

Required Courses


LAE101English Composition I

LAE102English Composition II

LAT210Effective Speaking


LAE307Literature for Children

Fine Arts

Choose 4 QH of introductory coursework that includes content for the appreciation of art, and/or music, and/or drama. The courses listed below meet that description, though others may be accepted.

LAA101Art Appreciation I

LAA102Art Appreciation II

LAA110Introduction to Art

LAA200Arts in Chicago

LAT220Introduction to Theatre

LAU110Introduction to Music

LAU220Music as Social Experience

Quantitative Reasoning

LAM112Math Content for Teachers I

LAM213Math Content for Teachers II

Physical and Life Sciences

LAN110General Biology

LAN150Survey of Physical Science

Note: One course must have a lab.

Social Sciences

LAS120Introduction to American Politics


LAS200U.S. History and Culture: 1492-1828


LAS201U.S. History and Culture: 1828-1898


LAS203U.S. History and Culture: 1898-Present


LAS300Contemporary World Cultures


LAS110Introduction to Cultural Anthropology


LAS302Asian History and Culture


LAS303Sub-Saharan African Cultures


LAS304Middle and South American Cultures

Notes: LAS 300 is preferred. Another U.S. History course may be accepted. Another non-Western social science course may be accepted.

Behavioral Science

LAP100General Psychology


LIBR200Digital Information Literacy

Additional General Education Requirements

LAM101Thinking Mathematically


LAM110College Mathematics: Application of Mathematical Ideas

Notes: For students who achieve the required COMPASS score, the requirement for LAM 101 or LAM 110 is waived and the students may select appropriate electives with advisor approval. LAP 201 is strongly preferred. 

Undergraduate Core - 16 QH

ECE210History and Philosophy of Education

EPS300Educational Psychology: Theory in Classroom Practice

SPE300Survey of Exceptional Children and Adolescents

TIE300Introduction to Technology in the Classroom

Foundational Coursework - 12 QH

ECE205Observation and Assessment: Infants, Toddlers, and Two Year Olds

ECE215Speech and Language Development

ECE220Child, Family, and Community

Professional Sequence - 56 QH

CIS480AMethods of Teaching Social Studies

ECE324Integrated Preprimary Methodology in Early Childhood Education

ECE337Ethics and Professionalism in Early Childhood Education

ECE345Curriculum, Differentiation, and Assessment

ECE350Early Childhood Education: Pre-Primary Practicum Field Experience

ECE351Early Childhood Education: Pre-Primary Practicum Seminar

ECE450Early Childhood Education Primary Practicum Field Experience

ECE451Early Childhood Education Primary Practicum Seminar

ECE470Early Childhood Education: Student Teaching

MHE480AMethods of Teaching Mathematics

RLL330Foundations of Emergent Literacy

RLL478Literacy Methods I: K-4

SCE480AMethods of Teaching Science

Note: Application to participate in ECE 470 must be made two quarters prior to the quarter of the student teaching experience.

ELL Endorsement Courses - 30 QH

CIL300Foundations of ESL and Bilingual Education

CIL305Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language

CIL306Methods and Materials for Teaching Bilingual Education

CIL310Assessment of ESL and Bilingual Education Students

CIL312Reading in a New Language: Linguistic Considerations

CIL331Cross Cultural Education

Note: 100 pre-clinical hours are required in ELL.

Early Childhood Education Student Teaching Enrollment Requirements

Admission to and continuance in student teaching are contingent on the following actions.

Candidates must:

  • Be accepted into the National College of Education
  • File, by the designated deadline, the application form for student teaching
  • Submit to their advisor a report of a TB test taken within 90 days of the student teaching placement, results of criminal background check and acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter status form
  • Turn in a signed log of all the pre-clinical hours specified in their pre-clinical hours required for the program
  • Pass the Early Childhood Content Test (107) before student teaching
  • Complete all of their licensure courses except for ECE 470 (Student Teaching)
  • Pass all methods courses at National Louis University with a grade no lower than a B
  • Participate in faculty assessment and receive approval of his or her portfolio (Livetext)
  • Provide evidence of emotional stability, adequate personality adjustment and competency as indicated by licensure coursework and departmental assessments