News & Events

Concordia-Chicago awarded Gateways to Opportunity credential for early childhood education program


Early Childhood Education graduates in both the teacher-licensure and non-licensure track at Concordia University Chicago have been granted eligibility for the Illinois Gateways to Opportunity credentials. The credentials open doors for graduates who do not pursue teacher licensure to have careers in federal and state-funded early childhood education centers.

For CUC students who major in Education Studies, which does not lead to teacher licensure, the credential is required in order to work at early childhood education centers funded by government agencies, such as Head Start. Melissa Smith, assistant professor of early childhood education at CUC, and Dr. Kevin Brandon, dean of the College of Education, worked to secure the Gateways Credential by demonstrating that Concordia-Chicago’s early childhood education program holds rigorous standards and meets all requirements.

“The faculty at Concordia University Chicago has worked diligently to align their courses with the Gateways to Opportunity competencies. In a time when Early Childhood Education is defining itself as a field that promotes professional development, Concordia University Chicago has become entitled to help further this goal by graduating students ready to provide quality care and education to young children,” Gateways to Opportunity said in a press release.

Gateways to Opportunity, Illinois Professional Development System, is designed to provide guidance, support and recognition to practitioners who serve children and families in Illinois. Gateways to Opportunity is administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).