University News

WIU Will Launch New Option in Early Childhood Education Summer 2022

January 3, 2022

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Western Illinois University will offer the Early Childhood Degree on the Quad Cities campus, beginning Summer 2022. WIU will also launch a new, flexible program option designed for those who are currently working in the education field and want to work toward their bachelor's degree, with an option for PEL (Professional Educator License). Enrollment is open now at

All courses will be offered in flexible course formats, including online programming with in-person or live-streamed support. WIU has also established pathways for customized student teaching options for incumbent workers to student teach while continuing to work in the field, and Western will be considering prior learning experiences for coursework credit. This program is designed to align with the new Early Childhood ACCESS Consortium for Equity ACT (110 ILCS 28).

"We have been working to expand Early Childhood options on our Quad Cities campus for some time now," said Interim Provost Billy Clow. "Dr. [Lindsay] Meeker [director for the WIU Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood Education] and Dr. Eric Sheffield, director of our School of Education, are solidifying tremendous opportunities for students within the QC region. This is a very exciting addition to our School of Education options in the Quad Cities."

Western will continue to offer a traditional pathway for early childhood education, with the bonus of a lab site on the Macomb campus and current exploration to develop a lab site on the Quad Cities campus.

"Our goal at Western is to serve the workers in the field of early childhood in a way that meets their needs. There is a shortage of early childhood educators and childcare workforce in Illinois, and Western Illinois University is seeking to be a partner in workforce development, harnessing both traditional and nontraditional pathways," said Meeker.

The Moline community is embracing Western's contributions.

"I'm extremely pleased that our higher education institutions based in Moline are partnering to fill critical needs in our workforce and for the children of our community. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this collaboration in our community," said Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati.

For more information, contact Meeker at or Tammy Wilson, WIU Center for Preparation of Education Professionals licensure officer, at

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing