Birth Through Grade Three Endorsement

credits 22  |  completion just over 1 year (3 to 4 semesters)  |  next start July 1

Teach in early childhood integrated settings. Earn your Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting Endorsement to teach in integrated settings, including preschools, K-3 classrooms, early childhood centers and Head Start classrooms. Teachers with this endorsement (formally Endorsement 100) may also aspire to serve as administrators for early childhood programs.

Northwestern is one of the only colleges in Iowa that offers an online path to your Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting Endorsement that meets requirements for the state of Iowa*. The endorsement enhances your teaching license but does not lead to licensure for unlicensed educators; it is for teachers who have a degree in elementary education. 
It's more than a lane change.

*If you are not teaching in the state of Iowa, contact us and we will check with your state's department of education to determine if NWC's Birth Through Grade Three endorsement is comparable to and can be substituted for a certification in your state. 

100% online. 8-week courses. 

Earning an endorsement will broaden your teaching opportunities, and it doesn't have to cost you time away from your other responsibilities. Northwestern College's online endorsements mean you can log into class each week to complete your coursework, whenever it's most convenient for you.

Take one online 8-week class at a time, completing two classes each semester, and you'll finish your endorsement in just over 1 year and be eligible for financial aid. 

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship

Educators pursuing a Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting Endorsement may be eligible for a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship. For information and how to apply, visit the T.E.A.C.H. website.

Program Requirements

Student Teaching

The Birth Through Grade Three Endorsement requires student-teaching hours logged in a classroom with a supervising teacher. Student teaching can be completed in 4 weeks, typically in your own school and sometimes in your own classroom. 


EDU 505 - Collaboration and Advocacy in the Early Childhood Community (3 credits)
(3 credits) Examine characteristics of the diverse cultures and structures prevalent in American families, and how those factors influence children's growth and development. This course emphasizes strategies to improve collaboration with families, schools and community partners to improve students' success outcomes. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 525 - Advanced Child Development (3 credits)
(3 credits) Intensive study of typical and atypical development of children from birth through age eight. This course will immerse you in research that will improve your ability to facilitate the cognitive, emotional, physical and social development of young children with diverse abilities and needs. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 530 - Leadership of Early Childhood Programs (3 credits)
(3 credits) Thorough examination of roles, responsibilities and characteristics of effective leaders of early childhood programs with a focus on personal growth in leadership and communication. Emphasis on identifying areas of strength and need in programs and staffing to create opportunities for improvement. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 535 - Strategies for Early Literacy Development (3 credits)
(3 credits) Examine widely accepted theories of language, reading and writing development in young children. Use research and assessment data to identify curricula and instructional strategies most suited to the diverse needs of young children. Examine research and develop strategies to leverage play in providing successful literacy instructional experiences. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 540 - Teaching Young Children with Diverse Needs (3 credits)
(3 credits) Students will learn to design curriculum, instruction and assessment specific to the needs of diverse children ages 0 through 8. Create safe and nurturing classroom environments that are developmentally appropriate and respect diversity. Collaborate with stakeholders to meet the needs of young children. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 546 - Behavioral and Social Interaction of Early Learners (3 credits)
Students will understand applied behavior analysis and the importance it plays in early childhood education for both typically developing children and those with special needs. The student will acquire tools that they need to positively impact the lives of young children especially focusing on implementing effective techniques for changing behavior, strategies for every day challenges both in the classroom and at home and collaborate with parents and caretakers. (3 credits)
EDU 580 - Student Teaching (4 credits)
(4-8 credits) ECIS candidates will complete a supervised student teaching experience in an integrated setting. This practicum endorses the student teacher to become a teacher in an integrated setting for children from birth to third grade by preparing the student to schedule, evaluate, collaborate, write IEPs and IFSPs, and to develop strategies to address special needs of children. This is a four-week experience. Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

Total Credits: 22 credit hours (includes 4 credits of student teaching)

Make it a Masters!

Early Childhood M.Ed. + Endorsement

credits  40 | completion  just over 2 years (6 to 7 semesters)

Seamlessly earn your endorsement alongside a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education or choose to do so after earning your Birth Through Grade Three Endorsement. You can easily count your endorsement credits toward completing your M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. Take just 6 more classes, here's how.  

Take the next step!

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