Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Birth through Kindergarten Initial Licensure (BK:IL Program)

This interdisciplinary synchronous online program provides graduate level training and experiences in inclusive early childhood that leads to eligibility for an initial North Carolina Birth-Kindergarten (BK) teaching license. The program is jointly administered with the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Career Opportunities

 Infant/Toddler Teacher, PreK Teacher, Kindergarten Teacher, Early Interventionist 

Program Contact

SES BK Director: Dr. Jean Kang
Rm. 432 School of Education Building


All you need to know about the application process – click here to get started.

Successful completion of this program culminates in a license, not a degree.

Example Careers:

Public Pre-K or Kindergarten Teacher, Early Interventionist, Head Start Teacher

Program Contact

SES BK Director: Dr. Jean Kang
Rm. 432 School of Education Building

HDF BK Director: Dr. Catherine Scott-Little
Rm. 248 Stone Building

Designed For

This program is designed for students seeking an initial North Carolina BK teaching license who already have an undergraduate degree in early childhood or a related field.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of this program, students will be eligible for employment in a variety of settings, including: public schools as a Pre-K or kindergarten teacher, private preschool, Head Start and Early Head Start, early intervention, resource and referral, and specialized education and inclusive education programs.

Research Interests

Faculty who teach in the certificate program engage in research on topics such as: preparation of early childhood educators for family-centered practice, measurement of child care quality, inclusive practices, assessment in early childhood contexts and settings, and collaboration in early childhood programs and services.

Program of Study

Sample Program of Study

  • Fall 1
    • SES 601
    • HDF/SES 607
  • Spring 1
    • SES 603
    • HDF/SES 606
  • Fall 2
    • SES 649c

Total hours: 20-hours

Core courses:

Birth through Kindergarten Post-Baccalaureate Initial Licensure Certificate

  • SES 601 Introduction to Inclusive Birth-Kindergarten Services (3 s.h.)
  • SES 603 Screening/Assessment in Inclusive Early Childhood (3 s.h.)
  • HDF/SES 606 Preschool-Kindergarten Learning in Inclusive Settings (4 s.h.)
  • HDF/SES 607 Infant/Toddler Learning in Inclusive Settings (4 s.h.)
  • SES 649C Student Teaching (6 s.h.)

Minimum program requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in early childhood or a related field
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0

Additional information

  • If GPA is below a 3.0, students have the option to take a graduate level course as a visiting student. If students earn a “B” or higher in this course, they will be considered eligible for admission. Admission is not guaranteed, and students must submit a full application for review for admission.
  • Students are able to work while completing this program. Class meetings take place online in the evenings (5:00-6:50), and students are required to participate in field experiences and full-time student teaching in high-quality inclusive settings. These experiences are completed in approved settings, and students may be required to leave their jobs to complete this aspect of the program in one of these settings.
  • The program can typically be completed in three or five semesters, depending on the number of courses taken each semester. Students applying from fields other than early childhood education may be required to take two pre-requisite courses during the program.
  • Applications must include academic transcripts, a professional statement describing interest and rationale for obtaining BK licensure and career goals, and three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference. Individuals must complete the application to the program and be accepted to be eligible for the grant funding opportunity.
  • Applications for Fall semester are due the preceding February (i.e. to apply for Fall 2018 semester, applications are due by February 1, 2018).
  • Students wishing to pursue the BK:ISED Masters Degree upon completion of the initial licensure program may complete an optional Phase Two: BK:ISED M.Ed program (minimum 24 credit hours with 13 hours of credit transferred from the Licensure Certificate). The remaining required courses include:
    • HDF 650 Theory & Research in Early Childhood Development (3 s. h.)
    • ERM 604 Methods of Educational Research (3 s. h.)
    • SES 602 Inclusive Family-Centered Practices in Early Childhood (3 s. h.)
    • HDF 633 Advanced Curriculum in Early Childhood Education (3 s. h.)
    • HDF 636 Leadership & Mentoring in Educating Young Children (3 s. h.)
    • SES 604 Internship in Inclusive Early Childhood (6 s. h.)
    • Elective (3 s. h.)

Students that chose to complete both phases will complete a minimum total of 44 hours.

Students interested in completing Phase Two must apply and be accepted to the BK:ISED M.Ed. program.

Grant Funding Opportunity

Funding is available through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs for qualified students in the BK:ILP who wish to gain specialized experience in early intervention and early childhood special education.

The grant will provide full tuition support and a stipend to assist in covering program expenses for selected students. With this support, students will:

  • Complete the BK:ILP course of study
  • Complete an additional one credit hour Seminar in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education
  • Participate in expanded field experiences in early intervention and early childhood special education
  • Participate in professional and peer mentoring and induction activities
  • Complete a service obligation after graduation.

To apply for grant funding, please complete the grant application form here and submit a 2-3 page, double-spaced personal statement to Kimberly Terry, Project Coordinator, at In the personal statement, highlight the following: (1) key experiences you have had working with young children and families, (2) goals you would achieve by participating in the grant project, (3) career goals, and (4) need for funding support

  • After graduation, scholars receiving support through the grant are required to meet service obligations after graduation through eligible employment providing direct or indirect service to children with disabilities. Information regarding the service obligations and FAQs can be found here.
  • To be considered for the grant funding opportunity for Fall 2018, all application materials, including the complete application to the program (, application to the grant, and personal statements must be received by February 1, 2018. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the cohort fills.
  • For further information about this grant funding opportunity contact Kimberly Terry, Project Coordinator, at