Early childhood integrated setting FAQs
- Q. How many credits are required for this endorsement?
- A. You will take 14 credits of coursework and 4 credits of student teaching. There are five courses plus student teaching in the program.
- Q. How quickly can I complete the endorsement?
- A. If you choose to take two courses per term you will complete the endorsement in one calendar year (three terms). If you choose to take one course per term, you will finish in two calendar years (six terms).
- Q. I’ve already taken courses like this. Can I transfer them in?
- A. Northwestern can accept up to two courses in transfer for this program. However, you must be able to provide the syllabi from those classes, and you will be asked to demonstrate how the required competencies were met in those classes.
- Q. Will I ever need to come to campus?
- A. No, the coursework is available entirely online. Field experience and student teaching can be arranged near your home—even in your own classroom as long as those experiences meets the criteria.
- Q. How much does it cost?
- A. Please read about our tuition and fees.
- Q. Will financial aid help me meet the costs of this program?
- A. This program is eligible for financial aid. We encourage you to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. The financial aid specialists at Northwestern will evaluate your FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Students pursuing the ECIS endorsement may also qualify for the Iowa T.E.A.C.H. grant.
- Q. When can I begin?
- A. New students can begin any term. Terms begin in August, January and May.
- Q. When is registration for the upcoming term?
- A. See the academic calendar for registration dates.
- Q. What do I need to do to get accepted?
- A. Complete the application and request your official transcripts be sent to Admissions.
- Q. Is field experience required for this endorsement?
- A. 100 pre-student teaching practicum hours are required. Hours can be completed in your own classroom or building as long as they meet the required criteria. Contact Jodi Acres for more information.
- Q. Is student teaching required for this endorsement?
- A. Yes, 20 days of student teaching are required. Prior student teaching in an early childhood classroom will not suffice. You can complete your student teaching in your own classroom as long as it meets the criteria. Contact Jodi Acres for more information.
- Q. What is the difference between the ECIS endorsement and the ECE (early childhood education) endorsement?
- A. The ECIS endorsement leads to Endorsement 100: PreK-3 including Special Education. It qualifies you to work in an integrated classroom containing both regular and special education students. The ECE endorsement does not contain the special education component. Most Headstart programs, preschools, early childcare centers and elementary schools require Endorsement 100, which is why the ECIS program is generally chosen by our students.
- Q. I’ve read that Endorsement 100 is competency-based. What does that mean?
- A. The state of Iowa requires demonstrated mastery of specific competencies before awarding this endorsement. Read more about the competencies. Because of this structure, you cannot simply complete courses in early childhood at any college and earn the endorsement; you must complete an approved program. Northwestern College is the only institution in Iowa to offer the approved program entirely online.
- Q. Will this program qualify me to be a teacher?
- A. No, this is an endorsement program. You must already possess your elementary education license in order to teach in an elementary or early childhood classroom. You are invited to take the courses for personal growth if you wish, but you will not qualify for the endorsement unless you have an elementary education license. You cannot earn your elementary education degree online at Northwestern, but we invite you to consider pursuing your degree at our campus in Orange City.
- Q. Will I be able to add the endorsement if my teaching license is for secondary education?
- A. No, the endorsement can only be added to an elementary education license.