Few occupations have as much direct impact on the life of young people as that of an educator. If you want to make a difference daily, a career in teaching is a great choice. Elgin Community College offers several degrees and certificate programs to prepare you for immediate employment or career advancement as an educator or to transfer to a four-year university to complete a bachelor's degree.

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Elementary Education

Elgin Community College offers relevant education coursework for students who aspire to become licensed elementary teachers in Illinois. Foundational coursework includes historical origins and philosophy of education, cultural awareness, technology, and emerging issues. Education-related courses in literature, math, music, and physical education are also offered.

Students interested in pursuing this path are urged to develop an educational plan with an academic advisor to map out the selection of all courses. The courses you take at ECC with plans to transfer to a four-year college or university will differ based on the institution you choose to attend.

NIU 2+2 Program

Upon earning an approved associate degree at ECC, elementary education students can continue to complete their bachelor's degree with Northern Illinois University on the ECC campus through a 2+2 partnership. The Program offers a B.S.Ed. Elementary Education with Bilingual/ESL Endorsement is designed to prepare educators to work with students in grades 1-6. Learn more about the program highlights and requirements

Education—Early Childhood

Early childhood educators (ECE) teach and nurture young children during one of the most important periods in human development—infancy to school age. Patient and empathetic, ECEs help toddlers blossom into curious, confident, and well-adjusted children. If you have an enthusiastic passion for children and want to make a difference in each child's life, explore early childhood education at Elgin Community College.

ECC's Early Childhood Education program will prepare you for employment as a childcare worker or director. The department establishes a high standard of professionalism in the childcare field through knowledgeable and experienced instructors. As a student, you will benefit from experiential learning through observation at the college's Early Childhood Lab School, an on-site childcare center for ECC students and employees, with the potential to gain hands-on experience. In addition to the appropriate certificate or degree, students in the career program will receive the appropriate Gateways to Opportunity Credential.

Take advantage of a free introductory course

Did you know that Early Childhood Education is a part of the Early Transitions Bridge program? ECC's early childhood education programs prepare you to work as child care workers or directors. But how do you know if this is the career for you? ECC's Bridges program can help by offering an Introduction to Education - Early Childhood course free of charge. This Program gives you an overview of ECC certificates and degrees to help you understand if this profession is a fit for you and can help you move forward if you're interested. Learn more about the Early Childhood Education Bridges program.

Getting a Job in Early Childhood Education

Why choose education as a career? Educators can study for a certificate or AAS option at Elgin Community College. The US Department of Labor estimates Childcare Workers are projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Childcare Workers, (accessed December 21, 2021). You can find the median wage for Early Childhood Educators on Elgin's Career Coach site

Program Highlights

Prepare for Immediate Employment

Associate of Applied Science

Vocational Certificate

Basic Certificate

ECACE Scholarship Information

The Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program is available for students who are currently working in the early childhood care and education field and are pursuing a degree or credential in early childhood education.


Guided Transfer Pathway Available

Learn more about a plan ECC offers to guide you toward courses relevant to your interests and based on the requirements of certain 4-year institutions. See all of our Guided Transfer Pathways.

Learn more about the Education Department at ECC!

Earning an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

Apply today