Early Childhood / Elementary Education

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Dean Cantu
Department Chair

The Degree

Bradley University’s Department of Teacher Education offers an undergraduate curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. The purpose of the combined ECE/ELE program is to prepare candidates to become educators who work with children from birth through grade nine.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will earn both the Illinois Type 04 Early Childhood Certificate and the Illinois Type 03 Elementary Certificate. Students in the combined program choose one concentration; they may pick from English/Language Arts, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages (including German, French and Spanish), Mathematics, General Science and General Social Studies. Students may also earn the Middle School Endorsement by taking an additional 6 hours. The total number of required credit hours for the major is 153.

Program Recognition:

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

Program Accreditation:

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)


Bradley’s teacher education faculty aligns the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards with NCATE 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 several 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, including College Live Text software, the Institute for Gifted and Talented Youth and the Multimedia Production and Preview Center. Students may become involved in campus chapters of professional organizations that relate to various programs in teacher education, including:

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

Beyond Bradley

Recent graduates have earned a 100 percent pass rate on the Illinois Certification Test. Bradley teacher education graduates enjoy a near 99 percent job placement rate. Graduate school opportunities at Bradley University consist of master’s degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, Leadership in Educational Administration and Human Development Counseling.