Early Childhood Education with ESL Endorsement (Birth–Grade 2)

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Dean Cantu
Department Chair

The Degree

Bradley’s Department of Teacher Education offers an undergraduate curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. The purpose of the program is to prepare candidates to become educators who work with children from birth through grade two. The State of Illinois Early Childhood Special Education Approval is included as part of the Early Childhood Education major. This approval qualifies the graduate to teach in Early Childhood Special Education programs for young children from birth through age five. The Early Childhood educators will graduate with experiences enabling them to work in nursery school, preschool, kindergarten or the primary grades. Successful completion of the program leads to the State of Illinois Professional Educator’s License with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education and an English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement, which allows them to also teach English Language Learners.

State and National Accreditation:        

  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

National Program Recognition:

  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)


Early Childhood Education students may begin observing in local classrooms during the first semester of their freshman year and continue in the classroom throughout their senior year.  This opportunity allows students to gain a better understanding of the teaching process and prepares them for student teaching during their final semester.  In addition, students spend 100 hours in the field for the ELS endorsement. 

Bradley’s Teacher Education faculty aligns curriculum with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and with the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards to ensure that Bradley University coursework, projects, assignments, and experiences prepare students to obtain certification and licensure nationwide. Bradley faculty cultivate special relationships with eight professional development schools where the students gain insight through their field experiences and novice teaching and student teaching.

Opportunities at Bradley

Outside the classroom, Bradley Teacher Education majors enjoy many co-curricular and cooperative learning experiences.

Students may become involved in campus chapters of professional organizations that relate to various programs in Teacher Education, including:

  • Bradley Student Education Association (BSEA)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children through BAEYC
  • Golden Apple

Phi Delta Kappa and Pi Lambda Theta are two education honor societies that have chapters on the Bradley University campus. Students may also be involved in the Best Buddies Program or tutor children through America Reads. 

Beyond Bradley

All program graduates have earned a 100 percent pass rate on the Illinois licensure tests. Bradley Teacher Education graduates enjoy a high job placement rate and find rewarding careers upon graduation. Graduate school opportunities at Bradley University consist of master’s degree programs in Leadership in Educational Administration, Human Development Counseling and Curriculum and Instruction - with focus areas in Special Education, Reading, and Multidisciplinary.