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Early Childhood Education Program Requirements

MA in Teaching with Early Childhood Education Licensure


The North Park University School of Education prepares competent, respectful, and reflective professionals who are dedicated to serving diverse learning communities.

The master of arts in teaching with licensure (MAT) is designed for candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and who wish to earn a master’s degree while completing the requirements for an Illinois teaching license. The early childhood education license will allow you to teach infants through grade 2 in Illinois schools.

Most students will complete the program and obtain licensure within 22 months.


Master’s Degree Requirements

Descriptions for all graduate education courses are available at the bottom of this page.

  • A minimum of 57 semester hours of graduate and licensure coursework
  • The ESL endorsement is required for early childhood education licensure candidates, which is an additional 18 semester hours.

Licensure Courses

  • EDUC 5010: Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 5120: Multicultural Education
  • EDUC 5180: Language Development in Early Childhood
  • EDUC 5220: Assessment and Evaluation
  • EDUC 5300: Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychology
  • EDUC 5310: Curriculum Theory and Instructional Strategies
  • EDUC 5330: Principles and Practices of Play and Language in ECE
  • EDUC 5360: Instruction in Early Childhood
  • EDUC 5500: Practicum A: Assessment of Competencies for the Teaching Profession
  • EDUC 5510: Practicum B: Teacher Aiding
  • EDUC 5520: Practicum C: Mini-Teaching and Seminar
  • EDUC 5540: ESL Practicum
  • EDUC 5601: Intro to Linguistics
  • EDUC 5602: Sociolinguistics and Cross Cultural Differences
  • EDUC 5603: Theoretical Foundations of Teaching ESL
  • EDUC 5604: Assessment of Bilingual Education and ESL
  • EDUC 5605: Methods and Materials of Teaching ESL
  • EDUC 5800: Student Teaching: Early Childhood
  • EDUC 5853: Practicum D: Seminar
  • EDUC 5930: Parent-Child Community Relations

Course Descriptions

Click on the courses names below to read a description of the class.

Please review the full academic catalog for the year you enroll at North Park for official requirements, including prerequisite and corequisite courses. The catalog and your School of Education advisor will assist you in planning your course sequence to complete your MAT degree.

An advanced study of the psychological aspects of human behavior and development applied to the teaching and learning process. Topics include an understanding and function of brain development as it affects behavior and learning, neuropsychological aspects of school-related problems, learning styles, attention span, information processing, short-term and long-term memory, encoding and retrieval mechanisms, categorization, and problem-solving. Candidates will develop a positive classroom discipline model as part of this course.

An examination of the issue of diversity with emphasis on the social, political, and cultural dimensions of school settings. Students will apply findings on this issue to their own classrooms and community contexts. Consideration will be given to the needs of ESL, bilingual, and bicultural students and the ways in which teachers respond to their needs. Legal requirements and funding issues will be addressed. Teacher certification candidates will develop a philosophy of diversity statement as a component of this course.

Methods of dealing with the development of language in the young child, speaking and listening skills, and preparation for reading and writing skills. Relationship to cognitive development. (MATC only)

Introduction to language and literacy development of young children related to reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Emphasis will be on the knowledge of alphabetic code, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, fluency, organization of print, writing, and use of both narrative and informative text. The students will create instructional units that apply goals, learning standards, instructional strategies, and assessments to facilitate literacy and language development.

This course introduces students to research-based instructional strategies along with basic principles and practices of classroom assessment. Special attention will be given to differentiated instruction, maximizing student engagement and learning, formative and summative assessment practices, and the use of data in classroom decision making.

An analysis of both traditional and alternative forms of assessment and evaluation, e.g., portfolio assessment, video performances, and student presentations. Philosophical foundations that form the basis for selected evaluation practices will be considered. Examination of literature on tests and measurements as well as alternative assessment and evaluation procedures will enable students to develop strategies that best meet the needs of their own educational objectives. Attention to grading procedures and other means for reporting student progress will enable teachers to evaluate a variety of strategies for reporting student progress.

Exploration of major theories dealing with stages and changes relating to physical, cognitive, social, personality, and emotional development in childhood and adolescence. Student must have completed an introductory course in Psychology.

This course introduces candidates to the basic principles of unit planning and lesson design with special emphasis on the School of Education lesson plan template. Planning principles are aligned with the Danielson Framework for Teaching, the edTPA, Illinois Learning Standards, and national content area standards. Strategies for supporting the needs of diverse learners are addressed.

Methods and techniques of teaching socialization, art, music, and physical education to the young child along with the materials available and appropriate for the infant and young child.

This first instruction course explores developmentally appropriate approaches, methods, instructional strategies, and assessment for teaching fine arts, health, U.S. history, and geography appropriate to early childhood. The course will also emphasize SEL management skills and communication in classrooms. Creating units based on the understanding of the interrelationships in social sciences will be included.

Methods and techniques of teaching mathematical, social, and scientific concepts to young children. The relation of learning theories to the selection process. Diagnostic and evaluation techniques and procedures.

As the first clinical experience course in the Teacher Education Program, this course requires teacher candidates to observe and teacher aide in a classroom for up to 50 hours in order to demonstrate an understanding of the classroom environment along with instructional and assessment practices. Teacher Aiding experiences include focused reflection on Danielson's Framework for Teaching and edTPA. Prerequisite: Full admission into the Teacher Education Program.

Mini-teachers meet regularly with School of Education faculty to share and reflect on the experience and prepare for the edTPA. There will be a minimum of 35 hours of mini-teaching in a local school in connection with methods courses. The student must meet the required grade point average and have a receipt by the School of Education of meeting the Illinois basic skills requirement.

Minimum of 35 hours of mini-teaching in a local school in connection with methods courses. To be taken in the second year of the program.

The purpose of this course is to observe and assist a teacher in an ESL school setting for a minimum total of 100 clock hours. The requirements for this course may also be met through verification of three months of teaching experience with ESL students. Only those who have verification by a principal or other administrators of three months of teaching ESL students prior to entering the program may take this for no credit. To be taken at the end of the five-course ESL sequence.

Introduction to the basic principles of linguistics, the study of human language. Origins of language, what it means to know a language, comparisons of the difficulty levels of different languages, how children acquire language, and common threads that may connect languages will be explored.

Exploration of various aspects of the relationship between language and society. Culture, sex differences, communities, dialects, and speech will be examined.

Philosophical and theoretical considerations for teaching a second language. An explanation of theories as well as comparisons among the different theories of teaching a second language will be explored. The student will build a personal framework for teaching a second language. Kindergarten through high school student populations will be the focus of attention, including design and sequencing of ESL courses.

As the capstone course in the teacher education program, this course enables students to create personal syntheses of the educational experiences as graduate students and as prospective educators. Students will examine selected philosophies of education in order to develop their own. Minimum of 15 hours of opening day school experience in assigned school, alternating weekly teaching seminar, preparation of student profile, and work with instructional media. Students will assemble professional portfolios, prepare for teacher certification, and outline future areas of inquiry for further professional development.

Exploration of the role families and community services play in the education of young children. Teacher candidates will identify social, economic, and cultural trends that impact families of young children and will develop strategies to communicate with families to disseminate information regarding school and community services.