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Earn Your Elementary Education Degree from Grand Canyon University

Do you enjoy working with young children? Have you considered a career in elementary education? Whether you look forward to witnessing the moment when a child first learns how to read, or seeing a child's love of biology unfold as they learn about penguins and habitats in science-teaching young children during their formative years can be very rewarding.

Earn your Elementary Education Degree from GCUElementary teachers guide students in grades 1-8 through the learning process and prepare them for future schooling. Elementary teachers can also teach at the middle school and junior high level if they choose to specialize in a curricular area. Graduates of an elementary education degree are looking to innovate and build relationships with a smaller number of students over the course of the school day. In teaching elementary education, one should enjoy the opportunity to effectively teach and assess student learning across all curricular disciplines.

Elementary teachers work with children in developing their academic, social and motor skills. Topics taught include reading, mathematics, science, geography and history. As an elementary teacher, you will develop lesson plans and teaching strategies, teach lessons, lead discussions and learning experiences, and assess student progress in their journey to meet or exceed the Common Core Standards for College and Career Readiness. You will also determine when students are struggling and need modifications to the lesson plans, as well as when students are not being challenged enough and provide them with alternative learning experiences.

Work Environment

Elementary teachers work in public, private and charter schools. While some schools use a year-round schedule, most schools are in session about nine months of the year, with summers off. During the summer months, generally, elementary teachers engage in professional development experiences in order to hone their teaching skills. However, during the school year, teachers may spend time preparing lesson plans, planning activities and grading assignments outside of classroom time.

Elementary Education Degrees

To become an elementary teacher in the United States, you typically need a bachelor's degree in elementary education. For career changers who have already earned a bachelor's degree in another field, they may opt to earn a master's in education rather than earning a second bachelor's degree.

Grand Canyon University offers several undergraduate and graduate-level elementary education degrees. Students are able to attend class at GCU's main campus, located in the heart of Phoenix, AZ, or earn their online elementary education degree at the times and places that best fit their schedule.

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education:

GCU's bachelor's in elementary education offer a variety of emphases including English, math, science, and special education. A bachelor's in elementary education program is best suited for high school graduates looking to start their career in elementary education. This program is 120 credit hours.

Master of Education in Elementary Education:

GCU offers a Master of Education in Elementary Education designed for students seeking a teaching certificate specifically for the education of children in grades 1-8. This program is geared toward individuals transitioning into teaching from a different career field, such as business. These individuals already have earned their bachelor's degree, but in a field outside of education, and are looking to earn their Master of Education in Elementary Education so they can transition to a career in teaching. The master of education program at GCU is 48 credits and takes most students 18-24 months to complete.

GCU Promise

The GCU Promise for Teachers earning an Elementary Education DegreeOne of the greatest assets of earning an elementary education degree at Grand Canyon University is the promise of assistance we offer to our graduates who are experiencing difficulty in their first year of teaching. Believing in the excellence of our programs, we will provide assistance to education graduates at no cost.

The need for assistance may be requested by the Grand Canyon University graduate,the principal or the superintendent. The appropriate assistance will be determined by the College of Education and can range from taking a refresher course in the area of difficulty to receiving mentoring by faculty who will coach in such areas as curriculum planning and design, classroom and time management, content presentation and individualized instruction.


Grand Canyon University's instructors leading students in the elementary education degree are practitioner experts in their respective fields who share knowledge and experience in the areas of educational psychology, reading strategies, teaching methods, classroom management, cultural diversity, teaching technology in the classroom, and curriculum development. All courses are directly aligned with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) principles.


"I chose GCU because it was a small Christian school. I was able to grow in my faith and the school offers a real sense of community; you become a family when you attend GCU. The Elementary Education program at GCU did an excellent job of preparing me in the area of lesson planning which has been very beneficial in my career because we are required to submit lesson plans every week to our principal and coach. The teachers at GCU also taught me a number of different strategies, which I currently use in my classroom."

Rachael Lawrence, 4th Grade Teacher, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education 2010,
2010 Rodel Promising Student Teacher



Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, GCU's education programs reflect the standards and principles of national accrediting bodies. Six of the College's programs have received national recognition status from several specialized professional associations, which means the programs have been benchmarked against national expectations found acceptable.