Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Aim4Excellence Opportunity


Aim4Excellence™ is an online national director credential for early childhood administrators. The credential focuses on the essential knowledge and skills needed to deliver high-quality programming for young children.  The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership are pleased to offer a fully scholarshipped Aim4Excellence opportunity to administrators of DFSS programs.


  • Online Learning through the Aim4Excellence Modules | Over the course of 10 months, participants will complete the nine Aim4Excellence online modules to earn the Aim4Excellence National Director Credential.
  • Face-to-Face Learning Community | Participants will move through the Aim4Excellence modules in a community of practice supported by a facilitator. Participants will meet monthly for face-to-face meetings at the Chicago campus of National Louis University. The model is designed to help participants reflect, process, and implement the information from each module.
  • College Credit | Participants will receive a total of 15 quarter hours (the equivalent of 9 semester hours) of undergraduate college credit from National Louis University.
  • Points Toward the Illinois Director Credential | Beginning in July of 2016,  Illinois directors will need the Illinois Director Credential to meet the  Director Qualifications standards for the Silver or Gold Circles of Quality in ExceleRate Illinois. The Aim4Excellence modules help meet the Education and Training in Early Care & Education Administration component of the Illinois Director Credential.  Points will be notated on participants’ Certificate of Completion for each Aim4Excellence module. View details.


This project is funded by the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and is offered at no cost to participants.



As interest builds for the DFSS Aim4Excellence program, new cohorts will be announced, along with corresponding schedules.  Participants will attend monthly face-to-face meetings and complete the online modules independently between meetings.   See the “to apply” instructions below to add your  name to the list.


Participants will be required to:

  • Attend the welcome meeting and 80% of monthly meetings;
  • Submit each module within the 30-day required turnaround;
  • Actively participate in the monthly meetings;
  • Successfully complete all modules with a 70% or above; and
  • Adhere to the Aim4Excellence Terms and Conditions.


Contact Elaine Millsap-Parker at or 312.743.1926 to apply.