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How to Renew your Aim4Excellence™ Credential

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Renew your Aim4Excellence Credential

Renewal of the Aim4Excellence™ National Director Credential is required every five years from the credential issuance date. The intent of the renewal process is to ensure and validate the ongoing efforts of credentialed directors to strengthen their leadership skills and encourage their efforts toward continuous improvement in their leadership roles. Click here to check your credential expiration date. Please note the following:

  • Renewal coursework must take place after the credential’s last issuance date.
  • To begin the renewal process go to the online platform to pay by credit card the $150.00 renewal application fee to get started. Purchase the Aim4Excellence Credential Renewal.
  • Closely review all information about the renewal process before submitting for renewal.
  • Please allow 60 days for review and processing. An email will be sent regarding renewal status.
  • Participants who allow their credential to expire will not hold a valid credential until they complete the renewal process. To avoid a lapse, submit for renewal 60 or more days before the expiration date.
  • Participants who allow their credential to lapse will no longer be eligible for renewal after 1 year from the expiration date. After this time, participants will be required to satisfactorily complete all program requirements.

OVERVIEW: Renewal Requirements

Step 1: Coursework in Leadership and Management

Once you have purchased the Aim4Excellence Credential Renewal, you will need to show that you are continuing to build your leadership and management skills. To meet this renewal requirement you may:

  • Submit an official, sealed, unopened transcript documenting completion of a two credit hour or more college course in leadership, management, business, or administration. A grade of C or above is required. Note: Please see the “Approved Renewal Coursework” section below for additional specific requirements. Have the institution send this electronically to Aim4Excellence@nl.edu or mail to: 

McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership

Attention: Aim4Excellence Renewal

1000 Capitol Drive

Wheeling, IL 60090 

McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership

Attention: Aim4Excellence Renewal

1000 Capitol Drive

Wheeling, IL 60090 

Step 2: Online Application

Once you have your documentation of coursework that can be uploaded, complete the online application titled Aim4Excellence Renewal Application. Follow the instructions provided to satisfactorily complete the process.


What types of college coursework can I complete to meet the renewal requirements?

One option is to take a college course in the area of leadership, management, business, or administration from an accredited college or university. The course must be at the 100-level or above and be a minimum of two credit hours. Note that the coursework does not have to be specific to early childhood administration; general leadership, management, business, or administration coursework is accepted. A listing is provided within this document.

Alternatively, you may opt to complete a combination of McCormick Center live courses or online modules to meet the renewal requirement. Please revisit Step 1 in the “Overview” section above for additional details.

I have certificates documenting that I have completed trainings for clock hours or CEUs. Can I apply them toward renewal of my Aim4Excellence credential?

Certificates documenting clock hours or CEUs may not be used to apply for renewal. Only the course renewal criteria and guidelines that are specified will meet the requirements.

What documentation of my college coursework is required?

An official, sealed, unopened transcript from the college or university is required. Official electronic transcripts will be accepted if sent directly from the college or university to Aim4Excellence@nl.edu. Your transcript must demonstrate that you have completed the course with a grade of C or above.

Can I submit a transcript from a course I took more than five years ago?

The Aim4Excellence renewal process seeks to demonstrate that you have continued your professional development surrounding the topic of early childhood leadership and management. That said, only transcripts for coursework completed after your credential issuance date (or credential re-issuance date if you have renewed previously) will be accepted.

National Louis University (NLU) Courses Approved for Aim4Excellence

Below is a list of courses available for credit through NLU that meet the coursework requirements for renewal. Note that this list may not reflect all available courses that meet the renewal requirement nor are these courses guaranteed to be offered in the current term.

View current course schedule.
Register for NLU courses.


MGT 101 | Introduction to Business

Studies the forms of business organization, microeconomic topics, business and society, management, and decision making. (4 quarter hours)

MGT 487 | Leadership in Organizations

This course provides a foundation in leadership. It is an overview or survey of leadership: Areas to be addressed include skills, traits, and contingency approaches along with newer constructs that are currently generating interest within organizations today. Authentic leadership, shared leadership, and emotional intelligence are some of the current topics to be covered. (5 quarter hours)
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and minimum of two management courses or consent of the CMB Admission Team.

ECE 326 | Administration of Early Childhood Programs

This course provides an overview of the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and administer an early care and education facility. This course explores management and leadership skills, program and facility development including: licensing, organizational structure, policy development, finances, personnel, families, marketing, program evaluation and other related topics. Students examine different styles of management and identify the methods and strategies that contribute to effective management. The course covers management tasks including program planning, people management, program evaluation, management of supplies and equipment, development, and managing and monitoring financial resources. (5 quarter hours)

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or permission of advisor

ECE 335 | Best Business Practices in Family Child Care

In this course, students will examine the development of a high-quality family child care enterprise, utilizing best business practices and successful marketing strategies. Students will have an opportunity to develop a family child care business plan and mission statement, cultivate advocacy skills, explore techniques on creating a professional image, and learn about national family child care accreditation. (3 quarter hours)
Prerequisite(s): none


ECE 515 | Financial and Legal Aspects of Early Child Care Management

This course examines the financial and legal issues pertinent to establishing and operating child and family service programs. Emphasis is given to the development of sound fiscal policy that adequately addresses the issues of quality, compensation, and affordability. The course includes a survey of laws and regulations pertaining to licensing, insurance, children’s records, affirmative action and employment provisions, inclusion of special needs children, parental rights, child abuse, and custody. Students will also analyze the legal requirements and tax provisions that relate to the operation of programs with differing legal status (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, or a not-for-profit corporation.) (3 semester hours)
Prerequisite(s): none

EPS 526 | Organizational Theory and Group Dynamics and Leadership Applications

Using Systems Theory as an integrating paradigm, this course is designed to deepen students’ awareness of how they affect and are affected by others in different group situations. Personal assessment is continuous throughout the course as students examine different ways of working effectively in groups as both leader and group member. Topics include an analysis of leadership style, cross-cultural communication, and an assessment of organizational climate in the context of early childhood programs. Opportunities are provided for students to apply the concepts of organizational theory, group dynamics, and models of leadership in their respective educational settings. (3 semester hours)
Prerequisite(s): none

ECE 540 | Grant Writing and Fundraising for Early Childhood Programs

This course will examine grants writing and fundraising as an integral part of an organization’s strategic plan. Participants will develop short-range and long-range fundraising goals as they relate to program mission and philosophy. Topics included will be potential revenue sources and effective fundraising strategies for early childhood programs. Students will learn the components of an effective grant proposal and the reasons why many proposals fail to get funded. Field experiences will provide an opportunity for students will gain proficiency in conducting a fundraising event or writing a grant proposal for their early childhood program. (1-2 semester hours)

Prerequisite(s): none

ECE 542 | Public Relations and Marketing of Early Childhood Programs
This course introduces the fundamentals of effective marketing, the strategic marketing process, strategic marketing planning, and the components of an organization’s marketing program. The importance of promoting and maintaining a positive public image to parents, supporters, and prospective donors will be stressed. Included will be strategies for writing effective promotional literature, handbooks, newsletters, and press releases. Field experiences will provide an opportunity for students to develop a strategic marketing plan for their early childhood center. (1-2 semester hours)

Prerequisite(s): none

ECE 538 | The Early Childhood Administrator: Individual and Organizational Perspectives

This course will examine key issues in adult development and job socialization as they relate to the early childhood practitioner within the context of his/her workplace or other professional settings. Life-span and life-course literature from the fields of psychology, sociology, and anthropology will provide the theoretical framework. Topics covered will include personal dispositions and temperament, leadership practices, ethics and moral development, role perceptions, crisis and transition, autonomy vs. inclusion, and the changing nature of relationships over the life-span. (2 semester hours)

Prerequisite(s): none

ECE 525 | Strategies for Supervision and Staff Development

This course focuses on the human relations side of administering early childhood programs. It analyzes the objectives and functions of supervision and presents guidelines for recruiting, hiring, orienting, supervising and evaluating a diverse staff. Students will examine different conceptual models for understanding job satisfaction and the career stages through which practitioners progress and explore various individual and organizational strategies for promoting optimal performance. The use of technology and media in supervision and staff development is also included. Opportunities for students to apply models of supervision and staff development in their respective educational settings are provided. (3 semester hours)

Prerequisite(s): none