in the Southwestern Illinois College Early Childhood Education program now have
the opportunity to qualify for several state-recognized credentials as they
take courses toward their associate degree.
SWIC has been
approved as an entitled institution for Gateways to Opportunity Infant and
Toddler Credentials Level 2; ECE Credentials Level 2, 3 and 4; and Illinois
Director Credential Level 1.
“This credentialing system allows students to
be recognized for their work in courses as they seek their degree,” said SWIC
ECE Program Coordinator Carolyn Beal. “These credentials mean students
are meeting the highest professional standard.”
Gateways to Opportunity is administered by the Illinois Network of Child
Resources & Referral Agencies on behalf of the Illinois Department of Human
mean that students have met specific criteria in each of these areas. Each
Gateways Credential has components that include coursework and/or training, as
well as work and practical experience. Gateways Credentials were created by
practitioners, providers, and key stakeholders to support and recognize
progressive levels of knowledge and skills in these areas.
Working with children, youths, and
families requires specific knowledge and skillsets in order to provide high
quality programs and services. Credentials validate that an individual has
attained the knowledge and skills necessary to practice this profession. When
hiring, some employers give priority to professionals who have earned these
credentials, Beal said.
In order to earn these credentials,
students must meet all academic criteria set by the college and the INCCRRA,
then apply online to Gateways
SWIC Offers a 66-semester-credit
Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education which is equivalent
to the ECE level 4 credential. The Early Childhood
Level 3 Certificate is 27 semester credits; the Early Childhood Level 2
Certificate is 15 semester credits; and the Infant Toddler Level 2 Certificate 15 semester credits.
For more information, contact Beal at 618-235-2700, ext. 5593 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit swic.edu/early-childhood-aas.