Our undergraduate degree programs use the Reggio Emilia Approach to young children’s development. This approach is based on the understanding that knowledge is constructed (i.e., built) through social interactions among children and between children and adults. Children explore their environments and, through these explorations, develop their understandings of the world. Children use multiple languages to construct, represent, and express knowledge. The Reggio Emilia Approach also emphasizes the use of symbolic representation and the arts in early childhood curriculum and classrooms.
• Bachelor of Arts degree program in Early Childhood Education (birth – 3rd grade) that leads to Illinois teacher certification
• Bachelor of Arts degree program in Early Childhood Education (birth – 3rd grade) for current Early Head Start and Head Start teachers who have not yet earned this degree
• Infant/Toddler Credential program
• Education Minor
• Teaching Artist Minor
Our graduate degree programs are designed for the “career changer”—those who have earned a Bachelor’s degree, have often entered the workforce, and have now decided to focus their energy and interests on the education of children and youth. Seniors in good academic standing may enroll in our graduate courses that lead to our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degrees. The Elementary Education and Visual Arts Education programs lead to MAT degrees.
• Elementary Education (K-9) MAT that leads to teacher certification
• Visual Arts Education (K-12) MAT that leads to teacher certification
Our MAT programs offer:
• Evening classes to better fit current work schedules
• Programs that can be completed in two years
• Infusion of the arts throughout the programs
• Scholarships, assistantships, and grant opportunities