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MAT in Early Childhood Education

Be There at the Start

Elmhurst’s MAT program in early childhood education is the only one in the Chicago area that blends the disciplines of early intervention, early childhood education, special education and English as a second language (ESL).

Therese Wehman, program director, talks about what makes Elmhurst’s MAT in early childhood education program special.

Designed for candidates who are seeking initial Illinois licensure in early childhood education, Elmhurst University’s interdisciplinary MAT program will prepare you to work with young children with and without disabilities and their families. The program requires a full-time, two-year commitment.

The program leads to:

  • An Illinois Early Intervention Birth-Three Credential as a Developmental Therapist
  • A Professional Educator License in Early Childhood Education with an ESL Endorsement and an Early Childhood Special Education Letter of Approval

As an MAT student at Elmhurst, you’ll learn to work with children of all abilities and establish strong, collaborative relationships with families. You’ll complete challenging hands-on field experiences and build partnerships with seasoned professionals. And you’ll prepare to reach your potential as a teacher and a leader.

Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to receive the Gateways to Opportunity Level 5 Early Childhood Credential.

Program Format

The MAT program is a full-time, on-campus program with classes meeting in both day and evening time slots across the week. Some daytime activities are required, including classes, observations and field experiences, an early intervention internship, and student teaching in two classroom placements (Early Childhood Special Education and Early Primary K-2).

Built on a cohort (team-focused) model, the program embraces the University’s belief that students play a significant role in supporting one another’s learning, motivation and success.


The Higher Learning Commission accredits all programs at Elmhurst University. The MAT in Early Childhood Education is also approved by the State of Illinois Board of Education as a masters-level professional educator licensure program in Illinois.

Elmhurst is a Gateways to Opportunity Credential Entitled College—learn more.

Elmhurst College is a Gateways to Opportunity Credential Entitled College.

Therese Wehman, Ph.D.

Professor, Education; Program Director, MAT in Early Childhood Education and M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education
Department of Education

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