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Partner Feature: Hainan Normal University

Early Childhood Education DePaul Students at HNU

The joint undergraduate Early Childhood Education (ECE) program between DePaul and Hainan Normal University (HNU) welcomed a second cohort of 90 students this September.  The inaugural class of ECE joint program started with 89 students in the autumn quarter of 2020. Students in the joint program will spend the first three years in China taking classes at HNU.  A portion of those courses will be taught by DePaul faculty.  Students will have the opportunity to come to Chicago for the 4th year and complete their degree at DePaul to receive a B.S. in ECE from both HNU and DePaul. 

Known for its tropical climate and beautiful beaches, Hainan is the island province of China in the nation’s southernmost point. Located in Haikou, the capital city of Hainan province, HNU has been the leading institution in Hainan in educating students and preparing them for rewarding careers in the field of education. We hope to continue to attract students to this program and encourage them to come to Chicago to complete their degree.  The field of ECE has gone through some major changes and development over the last decade in China.  There is an increasing need for qualified educators in pre and elementary schools.  DePaul’s ECE program will help prepare the Chinese students to become urban, multicultural, professional early childhood educators. 

When the joint degree program was initially established in 2020 with the 3+1 structure, students were scheduled to take DePaul courses such as WRD103 and ECE courses in their second year taught by DePaul faculty at HNU in China.  Due to the pandemic, we quickly pivoted to online modality and currently students are taking DePaul courses online with our instructors.  Students quickly overcame the technological challenges and adapted to the online learning environment.  We look forward to international travel resuming so that faculty can travel to HNU to teach and interact with the students.