|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2009)|
|President||Geoffrey A. Nagle|
|Location||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Locations||1 campus, online|
History and mission
The Institute was founded in 1966 by four child advocates: child psychologist Maria Piers; educator and activist Barbara Taylor Bowman; social worker Lorraine Wallach; and businessman and philanthropist Irving B. Harris.
The Institute was established to provide training for people working in the recently created Head Start program. Its original mission was to provide early childhood teachers and caregivers with a comprehensive education in child development and a clear understanding of the role of family and culture in a child’s life. The mission has expanded to the education of anyone who works with or on behalf of young children.
The Institute’s academic programs, applied research, and community work focus on children from birth through age eight, particularly those at risk for academic failure. In addition to its exclusive focus on early childhood, Erikson is best known for its multidisciplinary and relationship-based approach to education, an approach that requires students to master child development knowledge from many fields and to develop professional self-awareness and a capacity for reflective practice.
Forty full- and part-time faculty teach approximately 260 masters, 12 doctoral, and 60 certificate students enrolled in the institute’s academic programs:
- Master of science in child development
- Master of science in early childhood education
- Master of science in child development/master of social work (in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago)
- Master of social work (beginning fall 2014)
- Doctorate in child development (in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago)
- Irving B. Harris Infant Specialist Certificate Programs
- Irving B. Harris Infant Mental Health Program
- Bilingual/ESL/Multicultural Certificate Program
Master of science degree programs offer opportunities for specialization in areas that include administration, infancy, bilingual/ESL, and child life.
Professional development programs
Courses are offered in four categories: early intervention, teaching and learning, supervision and leadership, and infant studies.
Current applied research projects focus on after-school programs, assessment in early childhood classrooms, caregivers of substance-exposed infants, early literacy instruction with culturally and linguistically diverse children, Early Head Start, Early Reading First, infant mental health, social-emotional evaluation of children in foster care, early mathematics education, and vocabulary acquisition among ESL preschoolers.
Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy
Established in 2005, the center conducts policy research on early childhood issues in the Great Lakes region, including infant mental health and social emotional support services, services and support for immigrant children and their families, and prekindergarten early education initiatives.
Center for Children and Families
Opened in January 2009, the Center offers assessment and treatment services for children from birth to age eight. The Center's interdisciplinary team, which includes developmental pediatricians, psychologists, occupational therapists, and social workers, specializes in social and developmental concerns, depression and anxiety, regulatory concerns (including attention, hyperactivity, sleep, and eating problems), behavior challenges, parent-child relationship/attachment concerns, sibling rivalry, grief and other trauma, academic concerns, and developmental delays.
- As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 17, 2010.