Human Development and Family Studies

Birth through Kindergarten Initial Licensure Program (BK:ILP)

Online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Girl building with waffle blocks

The online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Birth through Kindergarten (BK) Initial Licensure Program (BK:ILP) provides graduate-level training for students with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood or a related field seeking an initial North Carolina B-K teaching license. The certificate program requires 20 semester hours and is offered jointly by the departments of Human Development and Family Studies and Specialized Education Services.

Students enrolled in the program participate in synchronous online courses in which they interact with their professors and peers in real time, field experiences, and student teaching in inclusive early childhood settings. Experienced and committed faculty teach, advise, and mentor students in this innovative interdisciplinary program.

Upon completion of the BK Initial Licensure Program, students can choose to apply to the BK:ISED Advanced Teaching Licensure concentration within the M.Ed. program. If accepted, 13 credit hours from the BK:ILP Certificate will transfer into the M.Ed. program, essentially shortening the time in the M.Ed. Program. An outline of the two-phase Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and M.Ed. programs is provided below. 

Grant Funding Opportunity

Funding is available through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs through Fall 2018 admissions 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 Be Considered for the Grant Funding Opportunity for Fall 2018:

  • All application materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, must be received and uploaded to the application file. The application is available through the UNCG Graduate School.
  • Additionally, The Grant Application must be completed and a 2-3 page, double-spaced personal statement must be sent to Kimberly Terry, BK:ILP Grant Project Coordinator, at In the personal statement, highlight the following: (1)key experiences you have had working with young children and famlies, (2) goals you would achieve by participating in the grand project, (3) career goals, and (4) need for funding support.


Babies smiling and laughing

Birth through Kindergarten Initial Licensure Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Requirements

This is a 20-hour graduate certificate resulting in eligibility for the initial B-K teaching license. Students are required to complete 10 weeks of full-time student teaching in approved placements and the following courses:

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.)

Sample BK:ILP Plan of Study:

Fall 1

Spring 1

Fall 2

SES 601

SES 603

SES 649c




Interested in continuing beyond the BK:ILP to the BK:ISED Masters of Education Program?

The BK:ILP is a great first step toward achieving a BK:ISED Masters degree. Students who complete the BK:ILP requirements described above receive their BK:ILP Post Bachelors certficate AND have completed Phase 1 toward the BK:ISED Matsers of Education. Then, if desired, the student may apply to the M.Ed. If accepted, the folowing requirements are completed for the Masters of Education:

PHASE TWO (OPTIONAL): 24-hour BK:ISED Early Childhood Leadership and Advanced Teaching Licensure Concentration M.Ed. program (with 13 hours of credit transferred from the Licensure Certificate)

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.)
Professional Portfolio capstone experience

Individuals opting to complete both phases complete a total of 44 hours of graduate study. Upon completion of the BK:ILP certificate, you will be eligible for the initial B-K teaching license, and upon graduation from the M.Ed. program, you will have an M.Ed. in birth through kindergarten and, if enrolled in the Advanced Teaching Licensure concentration, be eligible for the Masters level B-K license!

Frequently Asked Questions for BK:ILP:

What are the program admission requirements?
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood or a related field and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 for admission.

What if my undergraduate GPA is below 3.0?
If your GPA is below 3.0, then you have the option of taking a graduate level course as a visiting student and then applying for the program. Students are not guaranteed admission to the program (a full application review will still be required) but they will be considered as eligible applicants if they earn a B or better in the course they take as a visiting student through UNCG Visions.

Can I work while completing the BK:IL Program?
Yes, many students work while completing the program. Synchronous class meetings are in the evenings from 5:00-6:50pm. Students are required to participate in field experiences and full-time student teaching in high-quality inclusive settings. In some instances, students may need to leave their work settings to complete a field experience or student teaching in an approved setting.   

How long is the student teaching experience?
The length of the full-time student teaching experience will depend on a few factors. Students without a teaching license are required to complete 10 weeks of full-time student teaching. Students with a teaching license in an area other than BK are required to complete 8 weeks of full-time student teaching. Students who participate in the grant funding opportunity are required to complete a total of 15 weeks of full-time student teaching, divided between two placements (one for 10 weeks and one for 5 weeks). Full-time is defined as 40 hours per week.

How long does it take to complete the BK:IL Program?
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.

How do I apply for the BK:IL Program?
Complete the online application and select "Human Development and Family Studies Online" for the Program/Department and "Birth/Kindergarten Initial Licensure (PB CERT)" for your Concentration/Major. 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 grant funding.

How do I apply for the grant funding?
If you are interested in applying for this funding opportunity, please complete the grant application form and submit a 2-3 page, double-spaced personal statement to Kimberly Terry, BKILP Grant 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.

What are the grant requirements 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 grant's service obligations can be found here.
Information regarding the grant's FAQs can be found here.

What is the application deadline?
All application materials must be COMPLETED by February 1, 2018 in order to be considered for Fall 2018 admission. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the program fills. 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 COMPLETED by February 1, 2018. We strongly recommend that applicants submit all materials by January 12, 2018 to allow sufficient time for letters and transcripts to be uploaded to the online application system. Applications completed after February 1 will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the program fills.

For further information about this grant funding opportunity contact Kimberly Terry, Project Coordinator, at

For further information about BK:ILP contact Dr. Catherine Scott-Little, HDFS BK Graduate Co-Director, at or Dr. Jean Kang, SES BK Graduate Co-Director, at

BK Graduate Handbook 2016-17 (pdf)
BK:ILP Flyer (pdf)
BKIL Plan of Study (doc)
Gainful Employment

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a participating institution in both the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and North Carolina’s portal agency, State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements North Carolina (SARA NC). Participation in SARA allows institutions to provide online courses outside of their own state borders.

For further information about states in which UNCG is authorized to offer on-line education

Completion of the UNCG Birth through Kindergarten on-line program meets higher education requirements for teaching licensure in North Carolina. If you are considering a Birth Through Kindergarten online graduate program that leads to a professional license but plan to teach in a state other than North Carolina, it is highly recommended you contact Dr. Catherine Scott-Little (, BK Graduate Program Co-Director, to review the content of the program, and review the requirements of the appropriate licensing agency where you plan to teach (to learn about that state’s licensing requirements) before enrolling in the program.