New Student Programs

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

About ECE

The Early Childhood Education program at Columbia College Chicago provides students with the opportunity to obtain both their Bachelor of Arts and a professional teaching license. Students who successfully complete the program earn an IL Early Childhood Teaching License, which enables them to teach children, birth through the second grade. The program is unique in its emphasis on exploring and implementing the Reggio Emilia approach through the arts,inquiry, collaboration and reflection. The arts are valued for their own merit and are used as tools for instruction in other forms of learning. Students complete 15-18 credit hours of work in a focused course of study in the fine, performing, media, or language arts; language and culture; or an academic discipline.

ECE Website

For Orientation

On Campus: Freshmen & Transfer Students

Students requesting to transfer any education credits to Columbia College Chicago must have their official transcripts on file at the College. Students must also bring course descriptions for all education related coursework taken at other institutions.

Distance: Freshmen & Transfer Students

You should have received an email from the Early Childhood Education department outlining which courses (if any) have been applied towards your major. If your transfer credits are approved, you will be able to register for advanced classes during Distance Orientation.

If you have classes that are currently or recently in progress, you may submit unofficial transcripts directly to Larissa Mulholland ( as soon as grades have been entered. You will receive preliminary approval to register for upper level courses if any of these courses can be accepted. When you submit your official transcripts, you are required to notify Larissa Mulholland to ensure that you are fully approved for upper level classes.

If you are planning to register for 2000-level classes, you will be cleared to do so. If you are hoping to register for 3000-level classes, you will need to review your materials with Larissa Mulholland and apply to the Methods sequence before you can be cleared. You may contact her at to set up a time to speak on the phone to review your materials and the application.

Recommended First-Semester Classes

We recommend you take the following classes in your first semester as an Early Childhood Education major:

  • • 52-1111 Writing and Rhetoric I* (3 credit hours)

This course is a co-requisite for Foundations I: History and Introduction to ECE and Lifespan Development. A COMPASS test score with a 97 or higher in Writing or an ACT score of 30 or higher in English could be substituted for Writing and Rhetoric I. Students must achieve a B- or better to enroll in further Early Childhood Education classes.

  • • 38-1100 Foundations I: History and Introduction to ECE (3 credit hours) see co-requisite above

  • AND/OR

  • • 38-1125 Lifespan Development (3 credit hours)

These classes are pre-requisites for upper level classes in the major which require faculty permission.  

View the Full Course Catalog