Early Childhood Special Education, B.A.

Degree + Professional Educator License + Endorsements

Provide an array of services in educational settings by obtaining three endorsements with one program.

The Early Childhood Special Education program at Lewis University grants students the tools and knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of young children and their families, regardless of ability, income level or cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Additionally, Lewis is partnered with more than 60 school districts, seven counties and 130 schools in the Chicago area, allowing students to become exposed to a variety of cultures and communities during their field experience hours. Most importantly, since students can acquire three highly-sought endorsements with one program, they will be highly competitive in the job market upon graduation.










Three Endorsements through One Program

Lewis University’s program is one of the only early childhood degree programs in Illinois to offer all three endorsements within one major:
  • Early Childhood Education – Regular education classrooms, birth through 3rd grade.
  • Early Childhood Special Education – Special education classrooms, birth through 3rd grade.
  • English as a Second Language – Classrooms with students learning English as a second language, Pre-K through grade 12.

These endorsements are quickly becoming the required qualifications for teachers of preschool and primary children in the state of Illinois. Many schools and districts seek candidates with these three endorsements for teaching positions at lower grade levels.

2+2 Program Option

Through a unique partnership with Joliet Junior College (JJC), students may attend JJC for the first two years of the program and complete the final two years at Lewis University's main campus in Romeoville, for a discounted tuition rate. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education degree from Lewis University. For more information and full admission requirements for 2+2 Teaching Education programs, please contact Joan Williams at williajo@lewisu.edu or (815) 836-5268.

The Early Childhood Special Education with ESL Endorsement program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and fully approved by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Scholarship Options

Visit the Financial Aid for Educational Studies page for more information on education scholarships.

Sample Courses:

  • Foundations of Early Childhood Education
  • Child, Family, Culture and Community
  • Beginning Linguistics and Development of Speech and Language in Early Childhood
  • Collaboration and Adaptations for Special Needs in General Education Settings
  • Assessment and Intervention for Classroom Teachers
  • Exceptional Learners in Inclusive Communities

Career Areas:

  • Public School Teacher in Regular or Special Education – Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Grades 1-3
  • Child Care Center Director
  • Head Start Personnel
  • Social Services Agencies
  • Home Visitation/Parent Education Programs

On Campus Opportunities

  • Teachers of Tomorrow
  • Best Buddies Illinois

Admission Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Completion of an introductory-level methods course

NOTE: Passing the Basic Skills Test is required by the state of Illinois before the student teaching semester. While this is not a requirement for admission to any of our programs, we strongly recommend that students seeking a Professional Educator License complete this requirement as quickly as possible. Students are considered to be a provisional candidate for the education program until the Basic Skills requirement is met. The tests that meet the Basic Skills requirement are the following:

  • Test of Academic Proficiency
  • Score of 22 or higher on the ACT plus a minimum score of 6 on the Writing Exam
  • Score of 1110 or higher on the SAT (evidence-based reading and writing + mathematics = 1110 or higher) and a minimum score of 26 on the writing and language

Please refer to the Office of Admission for application requirements and specific next steps.


Related Programs

For more information contact the Office of Admission at admission@lewisu.edu or call (815)836-5250.