Early Childhood Education
Make a difference in the lives of young children, their families and society as a whole. Become an early childhood education professional. At Heartland you enjoy hands-on experience through observation and interaction at the Child Development Lab. Your classes prepare you to assess children's unique needs and then design and implement developmentally appropriate practices to help them flourish.
As a future educator, you'll want to join TEACH-HCC's student education organization. Enjoy unique service learning initiatives that include helping local children with disabilities as they perform in theatre productions through the Penguin Project.
Employment of preschool teachers is expected to grow by 25% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
There are different paths into this field. Consider your career goals and personal interests, and then choose the option that best meets your needs.
1. Complete the HCC - ISU Early Childhood Practitioner Preparation Partnership (ECP3):
If you chose this path you'll earn:
- an Associate in Arts (AA) degree with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Heartland
- credit for early childhood education courses that articulate into Illinois State University's professional educator's license for teaching programs serving children birth to age 7 (grade 2)
- a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University with a with a professional educator's license for teaching programs serving children birth to age 7 (grade 2)
- the Gateways Level 3 Early Childhood Credential
2. Earn your Heartland degree and transfer to a four-year college or university:
If you want to complete the first two years of study leading to a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education at another four year institution in Illinois, an AA with a concentration in Early Childhood Education is ideal.
3. Earn your Heartland degree and transition directly into the workforce:
If your goal is to have your own classroom or work as a childcare center director, choose the AAS in Early Childhood Education option.
4. Earn your certificate or industry credential at heartland:
If you plan to enter the workforce immediately, consider the Early Childhood Education Credential Sequence or the Early Childhood Education Infant-Toddler Credential Sequence. Both offer you a way to earn Level 2, 3 and 4 credentials.