Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Early Childhood Education
National Louis University’s Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Early Childhood Education is for students who would like to earn their Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) endorsed for early childhood and self-contained general education (age 0 to grade 3).
Consider getting your Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Early Childhood Education at NLU if you:
- Have a bachelor’s degree in another field but want to receive licensure to become an early childhood teacher
- Want to learn in a highly regarded program with an innovative approach to teacher education
- Want the flexibility to attend full- or part-time, on-campus or online
Learn more about teacher preparation programs at NLU >>
Why Earn Your Master's in Early Childhood Education at NLU?
NLU has a long-standing reputation for its education and teacher training programs, and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Since 1886, we’ve trained thousands of educators and continue to graduate the majority of winners of Illinois’ Golden Apple Award —one of the most prestigious teacher honors in the state.
NLU was at the forefront of the kindergarten movement in 1886, preparing some of the first early childhood teachers to be employed in the Chicago area. Now more than a century later, our National College of Education continues to design and deliver the best in teacher education programs including the M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education. Class size is small and faculty are experienced and well known in the field.
The Master's in Early Childhood Education degree is offered as a 15-18 month full-time program or can be completed part-time in 24-27 months. Students can take courses as traditional students or join a cohort and follow a guaranteed course sequence. The program is also offered in a blended format so students may take some classes online and some on-campus.
What You Will Learn
- Principles of child development that affect teaching and learning
- Different instructional and evaluative methods and their historical and theoretical foundations
- Methods for teaching content and skills in a supportive learning environment
- How to incorporate technology into practice
- Techniques for developing curriculum and lesson plans
- An appreciation of diverse needs and perspectives in working with children and families
- Students will graduate with 100 hours of pre-clinical experiences in infant/toddler, pre-primary and primary school settings during the program.
Wage and salary jobs in child care services are projected to grow about 15 percent over the 2008-18 period. Currently there are not enough elementary school teachers to meet the country’s demand— particularly in urban school districts.
The demand for childcare centers and the professionals to staff them will increase as states implement preschool programs for 3- and 4- year-old children. The number of subsidies for children from low-income families attending child care programs is rising. Additionally, there are a growing number of employers funding and operating child care centers for their employees. This increase in children being served through early child care programs will result in excellent opportunities for teachers within this industry.
Students in the M.A.T. program are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours of pre-clinical experience before student teaching. Fifty hours of observation are required in a primary grade setting, and 25 hours each are required in pre-primary and infant-toddler settings. Students complete 24 of their pre-clinical hours in conjunction with course number ECE580 under the guidance of a university supervisor. Additional hours are met through other coursework and field experiences.
Prepare for the TAP at NLU
Want to enroll in a teacher-preparation program at NLU? If so, NLU offers various options to help you get ready for the ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). This includes three-week intensive courses that feature a personalized learning plan and are designed to develop competencies necessary to pass the TAP. Register today!
M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education Admission Requirements
All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements as well as additional requirements specific to this program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at nl.edu/applyonline.
Get more information today about enrolling at NLU. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist.
Please note: The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may change the state licensure and endorsement requirements at any time and without prior notice. Teacher candidates will be bound by the requirements in place when applying for licensure, not by the licensure requirements in place when beginning their program. That is, the state may specify that a new regulation is immediately applicable to all candidates with no provisions made for candidates who began their work on licensure under different regulations.