Majors & Minors
What is the Definition of Early Childhood Education (ECE)?
- Birth Through Second Grade
- Early Childhood Education involves the understanding of the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of the "whole" child.
Why is ECE a Growing Field?
- Elementary licensure will not entitle candidates to teach kindergarten. Elementary school principals will be required to hire candidates who hold Early Childhood licenses.
- There is a growing need for Early Childhood Education teachers with endorsements in Bilingual Education, ESL, or Special Education.
What Does Judson Offer in ECE SPECIAL Education?
- Judson offers two options for Early Childhood and Special Education:
- The Special Education: Early Childhood major is a complete program that will entitle the candidate to teach regular education or special education from age three to second grade.
- The Early Childhood major with a Special Education endorsement adds a few courses to the early childhood major and will entitle the candidate to teach regular education from age three to second grade and special education from kindergarten to second grade.
- Upon completion of the program you will be able to teach Preschool, Pre K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-2.
What are students saying about Judson's ECE Program?
"The Early Childhood Education program is wonderful. You learn so much about the development of children and the small class size makes it very easy to learn."
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Elementary Education majors at Judson receive a broad liberal arts education through general requirements, gain a thorough knowledge of teaching methods, and participate in a wide range of practical experiences.
General education requirements include writing, math, science, social sciences, and Bible classes. This encompassing curriculum allows students to receive a balanced education to prepare them for the content that is taught in the elementary or middle school classroom.
Methods courses include practical activities and assignments to fully prepare students for their careers. Professors present, model, and engage candidates in lessons that are directly applicable to elementary and middle school classrooms and students. The plethora of strategies presented will equip future teachers to better ensure that all students learn.
Practicum experiences happen every year at Judson. Elementary education majors participate in a wide range of activities that include after-school programs, private school settings, and public school classrooms. These experiences also incorporate a variety of grade levels within diverse settings.
The Judson elementary education program entitles teachers with a Professional Educator License for grades 1-6. In addition to the core classes in the major, Judson requires candidates to choose an endorsement to add to their licenses. The options are Bilingual, ESL, or LBS1. Each of these endorsements requires additional coursework that has been built into the four-year program. These additional endorsements will make the candidates more marketable for employment by intentionally learning more about a specific high-needs area.
Early Childhood Special Education focuses on developmental milestones, learning how to meet the needs of Special Education students from birth through second grade.
Judson University’s Early Childhood Special Education Program follows all the Illinois state standards required of teachers. Freshmen begin their careers at Judson with field experiences observing and working with children with special needs, and take an “Introduction to Special Education” class. Throughout your four years at Judson, you will have five practicums with many ages – toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners and primary elementary students in special needs classrooms.
A Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Special Education will:
- Receive a Professional Educator License in Early Childhood Special Education
- Learn American Sign Language
- Discover how to assess special education children
- Educate with the proper interventions
- Focus on the needs of the “whole child”
- Stay updated with the latest research
- Learn how to write IEPs and IFEPs
- Experience working with children who have special needs as a freshman
- Work in four placements before student teaching
- Understand appropriate teaching strategies
- Realize the importance of “family”
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In Illinois secondary teacher candidates must pursue licensure in a particular academic content area. Judson University offers secondary licensure in the following academic disciplines:
- Physical Education (K-12 certification also available)
- Science / Biology
- Science / Chemistry
- Social Science / History
The "Certificate Only" program at Judson University is designed for individuals who already have at least a bachelor's degree and are looking to obtain their license to teach in the state of Illinois.
A minimum of five semesters and the ability to take classes during the daytime (as well as an occasional night class) is required to complete the sequence.
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