Students in the MAT program in early childhood education at Elmhurst University are required to successfully complete a total of 69 semester hours.
Students specialize in one of three areas:
- Early intervention (birth to age 3)
- Early childhood special education (age 3–5)
- Early primary (grades K–2)
You will participate in field experiences from the start of your graduate studies. In fieldwork placements, you will work in a variety of settings with typically developing infants and young children, as well as children with special needs.
All students in the program complete an Early Intervention Internship totaling 250 clinical clock hours and engage in two eight-week student teaching placements, one in early childhood special education and the second in early primary (K–2). These are required to meet professional educator licensure requirements.
An Early Intervention Internship requires a minimum of 250 clinical hours working with a Developmental Therapist (DT) who is serving infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. This internship begins in Spring Term of Year 1 and can continue into the summer if necessary.
Students will not be able to begin this internship until all coursework related to early intervention is completed. Upon completion of coursework and internship requirements, students will be eligible to submit an application for an Early Intervention Credential to the state.
A full-time, eight-week student-teaching experience in Early Childhood Special Education is required as part of the program requirements. Students can take on this experience only after completing all coursework and passing the Early Childhood Content Test #107.
This student-teaching experience is scheduled to take place in the second year of the MAT program, during the first eight weeks of Spring Term. During this placement, licensure students will also complete an edTPA performance assessment required by the State of Illinois.
Students are also required to complete a full-time, eight-week student-teaching experience in an early primary K-2 classroom. Students can take on this experience only after completing all coursework and passing the Early Childhood Content Test #107.
This student-teaching experience is scheduled to take place in the second year of the MAT program, during the second eight weeks of Spring Term.
Illinois Professional Educator License Requirements
The MAT program at Elmhurst enables you to obtain an Illinois State Board of Education Professional Educator License with a focus in Early Childhood Education with an ESL Endorsement and an Early Childhood Special Education Letter of Approval. The licensure will allow you to teach in the public schools at the following levels: pre-school (3- to 5-year-olds) with special needs, and typical kindergarten through second grade.
Tests After Admission
During the MAT program, teacher candidates will be required to take and pass:
- The Early Childhood Content Exam (test #206) (to be taken in year two of the program in the Fall Term prior to student teaching).
- ED-TPA performance-based exam (to be completed during the first eight-week student teaching placement. Students will complete this performance-based assessment and upload it to Pearson in their final semester of year two. A passing score on this must be achieved to receive a teaching license in Illinois.
Unique Program Features
To ensure the participation of a family voice in program development, our faculty includes a family involvement specialist—the parent of a child with a disability. The specialist plans courses, co-teaches classes with faculty, collaborates with field site placement professionals, and supervises students in the family mentor program.
This program creates a dynamic learning partnership between families and graduate students. In year one, each student is linked with a family mentor who engages students in a set of specific learning tasks that correspond with graduate coursework. Linking students directly with families as partners in learning encourages students to integrate a family-centered philosophy into their work.