Pre-School/Primary Specialization | Curriculum and Instruction | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

Pre-School/Primary Specialization

Undergraduate Early Childhood majors choose between two specializations: Preschool/Primary and Child and Family Services.

Students in both programs take courses in:

  • Child Development
  • Family Studies
  • Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Early Childhood Instructional Methods


For the Preschool/Primary Specialization, coursework can be completed for a state endorsed approval to work with preschoolers with a variety of disabilities. These courses are also approved to meet a number of requirements for the Illinois Early Intervention credential. Their coursework includes a number of methods courses in Curriculum & Instruction and three courses in Special Education.

Students have practicum experiences with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through the Southern Region Early Childhood Program.

As a teacher candidate, you will demonstrate your achievement and competence through course activities, projects, and presentations. Throughout your coursework you will be guided in developing an electronic portfolio which will serve as a culminating demonstration of your knowledge and skills as you exit the Teacher Education Program (TEP). This specialization leads to the State of Illinois Early Childhood Certificate/License.


The University Core Curriculum, required of all students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at SIU, will provide you with a sound background of knowledge as you progress in the realm of higher education. The University Core Curriculum shapes the structure of general education at SIU. The Core Curriculum consists of 41 credit hours of coursework distributed across three general areas:

  • 15 credit hours of Foundation Skills in English Compo­sition, Foundations of Inquiry, Speech Communication, and Mathematics designed to strengthen students' writing, oral, and mathematical skills.  
  • 23 credit hours of Disciplinary­ary Studies in Fine Arts, Human Health, Humanities, Science, and Social Science designed to introduce students to the universe of human knowledge.
  • 3 credit hours of Integrative Studies designed to increase students' respect for and appreciation of human diversity.

 To learn more about University Core Curriculum requirements, click here.


In addition to the University Core Curriculum requirements, some majors may require students to take additional required coursework. Some courses in this specialization will require entrance into the Teacher Education Program (TEP). 

Preschool/Primary Specialization Requirements

Students will need to complete a total of 128 credit hours to complete the program. Students will be required to complete:

  • 41 credit hours of UCC coursework
  • 93 credit hours of program-related coursework (see below)

VIEW CURRICULUM GUIDE (PDF) | Pre-school/Primary


  • A Minimum "C" grade is required for all major and Education courses
  • Consult you academic advisor for registration details
Course ID Credit
Course Title Required for
CI 317 3 Guiding Play as a Learning Medium
CI 318A 3 Instructional Methods for the Preschool Child
CI 318B 1 Practicum in Instructional Methods for the Preschool Child
CI 325 3 Young Children and the Arts
CI 337 3 Early Child Development II
CI 361 3 Social Studies Teaching Methods
CI 405A 2 Methodologies For Group Care of Infants and Toddlers
CI 405B 2 Practicum in Methodologies for Group Care of Infants and Toddlers
CI 413 3 Language Development of the Young Child
CI 418 3 History and Philosophy of Early Childhood Education
CI 419 3 Child, Family and Community Involvement
CI 426 3 Introduction to Elementary School Science
CI 431 3 Literacy Foundations and Instructional Models
CI 432 3 Literacy Development and Assessment
CI 434 3 Literacy Diagnosis and Interventions
EDUC 301 1 Clinical I: Reflective Instructional Practices
EDUC 302 1 Clinical II: Methods of Instructional Practices
EDUC 303 1 Clinical III: Advanced Instructional Practices
EDUC 308 3 Characteristics and Methods for Teaching the Exceptional Child
EDUC 311 3 Diversity, Culture, and Education in a Pluralistic Society
EDUC 313 3 Reflective Classroom Planning, Organization, and Management
EDUC 314 3 Human Growth, Development, and Learning in a Digital Age Widgets

EDUC 401 12 Student Teaching
KIN 202 1 Physical Activity for Children and Youth
SPED 412 3 Introduction to Assessment and Curriculum Methods in Early Childhood Special Education