Access ECE


Illinois Affiliate

Illinois ACCESS

Illinois ACCESS advocates for the associate degree program in the preparation of early childhood professionals and the instructors who teach those professionals.

Our Mission

  • Foster cooperation and coordination among professionals at all post-secondary institutions with a common interest in instruction and learning in early childhood.
  • Promote the acquisition of a core body of knowledge at the associate degree level.
  • Serve as active participants in an interrelated continuum of professional growth and education for children and families.
  • Work with practitioners to ensure the availability of quality early care and education for children and families.
  • Provide a professional network for sharing knowledge and support among early childhood educators at associate degree granting institutions.
  • Address issues and concerns of members and promote the professional growth and education of early childhood practitioners.
  • Collaborate with national organizations concerned with the study and education of young children.
  • Promote and advocate for quality in early childhood care and education.


To become a member of the Illinois ACCESS affiliate, complete the national ACCESS membership process. No further dues or application is needed.


Meetings are set by the group each spring for the following year. Meetings are usually held 3-4 times per year at Heartland College in Bloomington on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Please see our wiki for minutes and agendas.

Affiliate Officers

Diane Christianson, Chair/National Board Representative Illinois Valley Community College Email: Phone: 815-224-0477

Melissa Johnson, Co-Chair Highland Community College, Freeport Email: Phone: 815-599-3484
Marj Judson, Treasurer/Membership Chair Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg Email: Phone: 309-341-5279
Alison Drake, Secretary Prairie State College, Chicago Heights Email: Phone: 708-709-3627

Officers are elected in September of each year. Terms of office are one year from September to September, and there is no term limit.

Contact Information

For more information about the Illinois State Affiliate of ACCESS, please contact:

Diane Christianson/National ACCESS Board Representative

Email: 815-224-0477