Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Residence Halls

Alternative Licensure Early Childhood Education


The alternative licensure path is an option for prospective Early Childhood Education teachers who need to earn a salary while pursing a teaching license. This Early Childhood Education Alternative Licensure Program enables candidates to hold a paid position as the teacher of record while pursuing an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).

The Illinois Administrative Code (23 Illinois Administrative Code 25, Section 25.60) provides an alternate route for non-licensed college graduates to obtain a PEL in Illinois. Similar to any other licensure program, alternative licensure programs follow rigorous guidelines that include accelerated coursework, field experiences, teaching experiences, and licensure testing. Candidates enroll in six semesters of program coursework including two intensive summer sessions as they complete 42 credit hour program leading to a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

The Early Childhood Education alternative licensure program simultaneously combines accelerated coursework with classroom experiences and one-to-one mentoring. Candidates in this program will have the guidance and support of a mentor teacher, a University coordinator and a site coach throughout the two years of required provisional teaching.

This program requires that applicants have:

  • a degree in English/language arts, mathematics, one of the physical sciences, or one of the social sciences, OR
  • the equivalent of a degree - 32 credit hours in English/language arts, mathematics, one of the physical sciences, or one of the social sciences, OR
  • 32 credit hours in a combination of the four core content areas - English/language arts, mathematics, physical sciences and social sciences.

Program Admission Requirements

The Illinois State Board of Education and the Education Department require that potential candidates meet the following admission requirements:

  • Undergraduate GPA: Minimum 3.0
  • Pass Illinois Basic Skills Requirement (ACT, SAT or TAP)
  • Pass Early Childhood Education Content Area Test (206)
  • Successful Admission Interview
  • Obtain a State of Illinois Provisional Alternative Educator License -- the Educator License with Stipulations for Alternative Provisional Educator.
  • Complete VIRTUS Training
  • Successfully complete a Criminal Background Check/Fingerprinting

Program Benchmarks

Admission   Exit
Year 1 Year 2
GPA: Minimum 3.0 Maintain 3.0 or above; all coursework grades must be "C" or above. Maintain 3.0 or above; all coursework grades must be "C" or above. GPA: Minimum 3.0; all coursework grades must be "C" or above.

Bachelor's Degree in ELA, Reading, mathematics, a physical science or one of the social sciences, OR

an ISBE review to determine equivalent of a degree -- 32 semester hours - in ELA, Reading, mathematics, a physical science or one of the social sciences, OR

an ISBE review to determine 32 credit hours in a combination of ELA, Reading, mathematics, a physical science or one of the social sciences.

Complete the Professional Dispositions Pre Self-Assessment

Complete course of study that includes:

  • Instructional planning
  • Instructional strategies
  • Special education
  • Reading
  • English language learning (ELL)
  • Classroom management
  • Assessment of students
  • Use of data to drive instruction
  • 30 hours of field experiences

Passing scores on Educators Symposium and E-Portfolio 1st Review

Complete additional coursework relative to the standards set forth in 23 Ill. Adm. Code 24 (Standards for all Illinois Teachers, the early childhood content area standards (NAEYC/CAEP), and the State Board of Education's Social and Emotional Learning Standards.)

Satisfactory instructor assessments of professional dispositions

Successful completion of all program coursework.

Professional Dispositions Post Self-Assessment

Department of Education Admission Interview

Pass Illinois Basic Skills Requirement (ACT, SAT or TAP)

Pass Early Childhood Education Content Area Test (206)

Apply for Educator License with Stipulations (ELS)

Complete VIRTUS Training

Pass Criminal Background Check/Fingerprinting

Maintain GPA of 3.0 or above

Satisfactory instructor assessments of professional dispositions

Pass the edTPA by the end of fall II semester

Maintain GPA of 3.0 or above

Target Performance on the Early Childhood Education InTASC E-Portfolio Final Review

Recommended: Pass the edTPA by the end of spring I semester

Target performance on the summative Danielson evaluation.

Curriculum competency evaluation rating of 3 or above in each criteria aligned with the Illinois Administrative Code, Part 26 Standards for Endorsement in Early Childhood Education 26.125, 26.135, 26.140, & 26.150, & NAEYC #5.

Completion of SXU graduation requirements.

Rating of "proficient" or higher at the conclusion of the comprehensive assessment required under subsection (c)(7) by which candidates are recommended for the PEL.

Sequence of Professional Education Courses (42 credit hours)

Courses are designed for hybrid/blended delivery; all face-to-face class meetings are scheduled for evenings.

Spring/Summer 1 (2019)

  • Education Orientation (online) (0)
  • Methods of Reading and Reading in the Content Area (3)
  • Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language (3)
  • Cycle of Effective Teaching (2)
  • Pre-residency Field Experience Block (1)
  • Survey of Students with Exceptionalities for the Regular Classroom Teacher (3)

Fall 1 (2019)

  • Physical, Psychosocial and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood (2)
  • Emergent Literacy and Language Development (2)
  • Residency 1 (2)

Spring 1 (2020)

  • Integrated Curriculum and Methods in PreK (2)
  • edTPA Seminar (2)
  • Residency 1 (2)

Summer 2 (2020)

  • Foundations, Curriculum and Methods of Teaching Literacy and Social Studies in K-2 (3)
  • Foundations, Curriculum and Methods of Teaching Mathematics and Science in K-2 (3)

Fall 2 (2020)

  • Infants and Toddlers: Environments, Programs, Activities (2)
  • Inquiry and Play: Birth to Kindergarten (2)
  • Residency 2 (2)

Spring 2 (2021)

  • Capstone/Research Seminar (4)
  • Residency 2 (2)

Requirements in this program are subject to change within the time span of one's University career due to changing requirements at national, state and local levels.