Joliet Junior College Partnership Program

Joliet Junior College students can seamlessly transfer to Lewis after earning their associate’s degree.

Lewis University has a strong reputation when it comes to preparing tomorrow’s educators. Through a partnership program with Lewis, students currently enrolled at Joliet Junior College (JJC) can jump into a bachelor’s degree program for Early Childhood Special Education right after earning their associate’s degree.

Upon earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Lewis University, graduates will earn three endorsements in addition to becoming qualified for their Professional Educator License (PEL):
  • Early Childhood Education (birth through 2nd grade)
  • Early Childhood Special Education (birth through 2nd grade)
  • English as a Second Language (prekindergarten through 12th grade)
    • Bilingual candidates may also obtain a Bilingual endorsement (prekindergarten through 12th grade)

Instruction Location

The first four semesters of coursework will be taught by JJC instructors at the Joliet campus. It is not required that courses be completed in four semesters; the four semester schedule is provided as a guide for progression of courses. Students will then transfer to Lewis University to complete the remaining four semesters at the Romeoville campus, including student teaching with Lewis University’s partner schools.

Discounted Tuition

The first two years of the program are charged at JJC tuition rates, while the remaining two years are completed and paid based on Lewis University tuition rates. With this partnership and credit transfer, students enjoy a 40% reduction in tuition costs upon program completion.

Who Can Enroll?

  • Students who are enrolled in or have completed the Associate of Applied Science degree program at JJC as outlined in the JJC/Lewis University 2+2 agreement.
  • Students completing the Associate of Applied Science degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • New students to JJC who indicate their intent to enter the partnership program with Lewis University. Students can apply for dual enrollment to JJC and Lewis.

Scholarship Options for Early Childhood Special Education

Career Areas for Graduates

  • Early Childhood/Elementary School Teacher (Prekindergarten through 2nd grade)
  • Special Education Teacher (Prekindergarten through 2nd grade)
  • English as a Second Language Teacher (Prekindergarten through 12th grade)
  • Child Care Center Director
  • Head Start Personnel
  • Social Services Agencies
  • Home Visitation/Parent Education Programs

>For more information about the JJC and Early Childhood Special Education program partnership, contact Program Director Dr. Rebecca Pruitt at or call (815) 836-5626.

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