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K-12 Elementary Education

Student holding books in childcare lab

Department: Education

Program Type: Education and Liberal Arts

Planning to Transfer? Learn more about the transfer process including the importance of choosing a major and transfer school.


No other profession has an impact on the lives of young people as teaching. As an educator, you can make a difference every day. Beginning a career in Education at Elgin Community College is an excellent choice. Here, you can fulfill your general education prerequisites while concentrating on education-specific coursework to prepare for a teaching career in Illinois. The courses you take at ECC will vary depending on your transfer institution and degree program, so it is essential to select your classes wisely with the guidance of an advisor.

Teachers must be certified by the state in which they live and work. In Illinois, you must hold a degree in education and be certified with an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL). When you start your career at ECC, we will assist you every step of the way to ensure you are on the right path to achieving your goal of becoming a teacher.

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The US Department of Labor estimates Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers are projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, (accessed May 07, 2024). Positions in this area include but are not limited to:

Refer to Career Coach for more information regarding similar occupations and compensation.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the plan of study and course descriptions.

Associate Degree

Vocational Specialist Certificate

Basic Certificate

Considering pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education?

Students can study for an Associate in Science (AS) or Associate in Arts (AA) at Elgin Community College, then transfer to an accredited institution to complete their desired degree in Education. Depending on the specific program and concentration chosen, Students can specialize in areas such as Elementary Education, Secondary Education, or Special Education. Students are encouraged to connect with an Academic Advisor to develop an education plan to map out selected courses. 

What Do Teachers Do?

  • Create lesson plans for different subjects like reading, science, and math.
  • Observe students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Instruct an entire class or smaller groups of students.
  • Grade student assignments.
  • Communicate with parents or guardians about their child’s progress.

Why Start your Education Degree at Elgin Community College?

Elgin Community College provides various programs to prepare students for success in the field of education. These programs include partnerships with Northern Illinois University, emphasizing Elementary Education with Bilingual/ESL Endorsement. Additionally, ECC collaborates on initiatives like the PLEDGE Program, focusing on diversifying the educator workforce in Illinois. These efforts are complemented by the Golden Apple Scholars Program, which supports aspiring teachers with scholarships and mentoring. At ECC, you can finish your basic education requirements and take classes specific to education. We offer classes in literature, math, music, psychology, and physical education. If you want to become a teacher in Illinois, working with an academic advisor at ECC is important to plan your educational path. The courses you'll need to take at ECC before transferring to finish your Bachelor’s degree, which is required for licensure, will depend on where you plan to go. 

Starting your career in Education at ECC provides you with the opportunity for clinical experience, which is a crucial component of its education program. Each semester, students participate in immersive classroom settings where they observe and develop the essential knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions required for teaching effectively in real-world environments.


Northern Illinois University 2+2 Program

Upon earning an approved Associate Degree at ECC, Students can continue to complete their Bachelor's Degree with NIU 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 through 6. Learn more about the program highlights and requirements

To schedule an appointment with a representative from Northern Illinois University, please call 815-753-0446 or email

Partnering to Lead and Empower District-grown Educators (PLEDGE) Program

The Partnering to Lead and Empower District-grown Educators (PLEDGE) Program also focuses on Elementary Education with a Bilingual/ESL Endorsement, aiming to diversify Illinois' K-12 educator workforce through innovative strategies and partnerships. In collaboration with Elgin Community College (ECC) and Northern Illinois University (NIU), this program enables ECC students to smoothly transition to NIU while staying at ECC.

The B.S.Ed. Elementary Education program prepares educators for grades one through six, aligning with the Illinois State Board of Education and TESOL standards. Completing this program leads to a recommendation for the Bilingual/ESL endorsement on a teaching license. The curriculum includes four clinical experiences focusing on different education elements, such as literacy teaching diverse learners and teaching in local districts using a co-teaching model. The program offers the same curriculum as NIU's main campus in DeKalb, with intensive clinical placements in each professional semester. It operates on a cohort model, fostering strong peer and faculty relationships and mutual support over a rigorous two-year period. 

Anyone interested in Education and the Pledge Program should contact Marlen Ruiz or Tracy Vittone.

Golden Apple Scholars Program

The Golden Apple Scholars Program in Illinois is a teacher preparation and tuition assistance program for students who have the determination to be highly effective teachers in Illinois schools-of-need. We prepare aspiring teachers for immediate and lasting success in culturally and geographically diverse teaching environments. The program offers scholarships, financial aid, mentoring, classroom experience, job placement assistance, and more to students pursuing teaching careers. It focuses on diversity and commitment to underserved communities. The program highlights teacher preparation and tuition assistance for students who are determined to be highly effective teachers in Illinois. The application cycle is from September through April.

Scholars Receive:

  • Up to $23,000 in total financial assistance (yearly amount will be determined according to academic level) for college, including paid Scholar Institutes.
  • Extensive classroom teaching experience.
  • Academic and social-emotional support.
  • Job placement assistance.
  • Mentoring from our award-winning teaching faculty.

Any ECC student pursuing a degree in education with teaching licensure and planning to transfer to a 4-year Illinois partner institution should apply before transferring. *Strong ECC/NIU PLEDGE Program applicants will automatically be given priority status and become finalists. You can learn more about ECC’s student success with our Scholar Class of 2024.

Anyone interested in the Golden Scholars Program should contact Norma De La Rosa for more information.

Clinical Experience

Elgin Community College partners with local school districts to provide students in its Education Program with valuable clinical experience each semester. This experience allows students to observe and learn essential skills for effective classroom teaching. This immersive experience introduces the role of a licensed teacher and begins their journey toward becoming professional educators. Progress is assessed using Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, emphasizing the application of classroom learning in real-world settings. Before participating, students must undergo a $40 background check through the Kane County Regional Board of Education. 

Please contact our Clinical Coordinator, Deborah Hackbarth for more information.

District Partners:

U-46, D300, D301, D303, D304

Conceptual Framework of the Clinical Experience:

  • Introductory Knowledge
    • Observe diverse teaching and learning styles.
    • Observe classroom management strategies.
    • Observe classroom setting organization and set-up.
    • Observe learning and teaching objectives.
    • Observe various types of assessments.
  • Key Elements of Observations
    • Observe and understand how teachers enable learning.
    • Observe and understand how diversity impacts/influences learning.
    • Observe and understand the necessity of individualized learning.
    • Observe and understand the importance of technology in the classroom.

Clinical Hour Requirement per Course:

  • EDN 100 - Introduction to Education: 15 total hours (5 elementary school, 5 middle school, 5 high school hours).
  • EDN 204 - Exceptional Individual: 30 hours
  • EDN 211 - Pre-Student Teaching: 32+ hours
  • PSY 211- Educational Psychology: 5 hours 

Learn more about Education Training at ECC!

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

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Admissions & Recruitment

Building B, Room B110
Fax: 847-608-5458

Live Chat

Monday through Thursday: 7:30 am to 7 pm
Fridays: Closed

*Bilingual Admissions Coordinator: 847-214-7689


Asha Raval
Professor II of Education

Building B, Room B297