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Early Childhood Education at WIU Quad Cities
Program of Study
Students combine a foundation of general studies with major courses and clinical experiences with children as they complete the Early Childhood Education curriculum. A Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an option in Early Childhood Education leads to Illinois teacher certification in programs serving children from birth through third grade.
In addition to in-depth coursework in the major, students gain extensive experience in observing and teaching children in a variety of educational settings, including both preprimary and primary programs. Students’ participation and responsibilities in these settings begin in the freshman year and gradually increase through the senior year, culminating in a 16-week student teaching experience under the supervision of experienced teachers.
The faculty members in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction have a strong interest in helping all students develop into skilled, competent, and creative professionals. All faculty have practical teaching experience in public schools. Professors in the department have a doctorate or a terminal degree in their field. Faculty are actively involved in a variety of professional organizations; provide continuing education workshops for teachers; and publish books and articles in state, national, and international journals.
A number of scholarships are available to academically talented students through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the College of Education and Human Services. Additional information about these scholarships can be obtained by visiting our department website at http://wiu.edu/coehs/qc/curriculum/undergraduate/early_childhood.php.
Honors in Elementary Education
To be eligible for the Centennial Honors College, entering freshmen must have an ACT composite score of at least 28 OR have a 26 or 27 composite ACT and be in the top 15% of their graduating class OR have an ACT composite score of at least 24 and be in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. Comparable SAT score is acceptable. Transfer and current WIU students who wish to join the Honors College (including the Quad Cities Honors Program) must have a 3.4 grade point average on a 4.0 scale based on 12 or more semester hours. Honors credit is given for honors coursework completed at other accredited institutions. To find out more, visit wiu.edu/Honors.
For More Information
For admissions process and general program information, contact Western Illinois University–Quad Cities at (309) 762-9481. For specific program questions, contact our Advising Center at (309) 762-1988.
Students participate in professional groups such as the Student Education Association and departmental advisory committees. Further information about other student activities and organizations that are available to all Western students can be found at http://osa.wiu.edu or Quad Cities Student Organizations.
The Early Childhood Education program is accredited through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The faculty in the department are committed to meeting the needs of individual students and communicate with them frequently. Courses and experiences within the Early Childhood Education program prepare preservice teachers to support the development of the whole child, to respond with flexible and professional judgment to the differing needs of children and families, and to actively engage children in their own learning. Students apply the knowledge gained in the college classroom as they complete a variety of field experiences and student teaching. An electronic portfolio is developed during the program that can be used to showcase knowledge and skills in a job interview.
The department’s “Outstanding Preservice Teaching Award” recognizes students who have demonstrated excellence in their academic coursework and their teaching experiences.
Nationwide studies indicate selected teacher shortages in some areas and suggest that job opportunities will increase. Career opportunities include positions as prekindergarten teachers, teachers of preschool children with disabilities, early intervention specialists, K-3 elementary teachers, and teachers or owners/directors of childcare centers. After teaching in the classroom several years, some teachers take additional coursework to become qualified to serve as reading specialists, principals, curriculum directors, and superintendents.