Early Childhood

Southern Illinois University



Early Childhood

For the Early Childhood Preschool/Primary program, coursework can be completed for a state endorsed approval to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and young children, birth through 2nd grade.

Students have practicum experiences with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through the Southern Region Early Childhood Program as well as the public schools. Our program prepares student to work with people from diverse economic, racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. They study alongside, and work collaboratively with, carefully selected mentor teachers who model the best practices in their field.

As a teacher candidate, students demonstrate their achievement and competence through course activities, projects, and presentations. Throughout the coursework students will be guided in developing an electronic portfolio which will serve as a culminating demonstration of the knowledge and skills gained through the Teacher Education Program (TEP). This major leads to the State of Illinois Professional Educator's License (PEL) with an endorsement in Early Childhood.

Want to learn more? Complete our information request form.


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 39 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.  
  • 21 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.

Learn more about the University Core Curriculum requirements.


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). 

Students will need to complete a total of 120 credit hours to complete the program. Students will be required to complete:

  • 39 credit hours of UCC coursework
  • 81 credit hours of program-related coursework (see below)

CURRICULUM GUIDE (PDF) | Pre-school/Primary


  • A Minimum "C" grade is required for all major and Education courses
  • Consult your academic advisor for registration details