With content curriculum that focuses on birth through grade 3, upon completion of the bachelor‛s degree in early childhood education, graduates will be highly qualified to become a Kindergarten through third grade teacher. In addition, graduates will be qualified to work as preschool teachers and daycare providers. The bachelor‛s degree in early childhood education curriculum includes instructional strategies, teaching methodologies, assessment techniques, theories of early childhood growth and development, and the impact of family and cultural diversity on early childhood.
The BS in Early Childhood Education degree program has embedded practicum experiences throughout the coursework and requires a student teaching component with two placements; one in birth through age 5 and the other in Kindergarten through grade 3. Upon approval, this program will lead to teaching licensure in Arizona.
Specific topics the curriculum focuses on include:
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University‛s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
|Competency||Requirements||GCU Course Options||Total Credits|
|University Foundations||Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community. Students with fewer than 24 credits will fulfill the University Foundations requirement with a specified lower-division course. An upper-division selection will be made available to students that enter the university with more than 24 credits.||UNV-103/303, University Success: 4 credits||4 credits|
|Effective Communication||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 6 credits||ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
|Critical Thinking||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 8 credits of intermediate algebra or higher mathematics.||MAT-134, Applications of Algebra: 4 credits
MAT-260, College Geometry: 4 credits
|Global Awareness, Perspectives, Ethics and Humanities||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate a global perspective and an awareness and appreciation of the scope and variety of literary works as expressions of individual or broader human values. Graduates will demonstrate information literacy which will enable them to locate and analyze information from a variety of sources.||CWV-101, Foundations of a Christian Worldview: 4 credits
PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4 credits
|Social Sciences||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life, as well as examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods, social structures, and cultures.||SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits
PSY-100, Psychology in Everyday Life: 4 credits
|Course #||Course Title||Course Description||Credits|
|EDU-210||Foundations of Education||This course is designed to provide an overview of the education profession for students who are inspired to be teachers. A brief survey of the philosophical, historical, and sociological influences upon which educational theories and practices are constructed is presented. Students explore a variety of the common issues, trends, and opportunities that professional educators face in the field. No practicum/field experience required. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||4|
|EDU-225||Instructional Technology||This course provides future teachers the opportunity to examine the use of technology in the 21st century classroom. In addition to studying and utilizing a variety of technologies, such as computer software and hardware, students develop a personal technology philosophy and classroom technology plan designed to enhance and shape their teaching skills and knowledge in order to better utilize emerging technology. No practicum/field experience required. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||4|
|SPE-226||Educating the Exceptional Learner||This writing-intensive course is a survey of the unique learning needs of exceptional students. Special focus is given to the referral process, appropriate instructional modifications and accommodations for exceptional students, hot topics and trends, and IDEA law. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Prerequisite: Fingerprint Clearance.||4|
|EDU-230||Cultural Diversity in the Classroom||This course examines the relationship of cultural values to the formation of self-concept and learning styles. The roles of prejudice, stereotyping, and cultural incompatibilities in education are also evaluated. No practicum/field experience required. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||4|
|EDU-213||Educational Psychology||This course provides a thematically arranged study of the theories and principles of psychology that have influenced instructional practices. Behavioral and cognitive approaches to learning, motivation, and instruction are explored. No practicum/field experience required. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||4|
|ECH-125||Foundations of Early Childhood||This course focuses on the fundamental basis of the field of early childhood education, including historical and philosophical foundations, current practices, ethics, models of teaching, and application in early childhood settings. Professional preparation requirements and professional development opportunities for early childhood educators will be explored. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisite: Fingerprint Clearance.||4|
|ECH-135||Child Guidance, Management, and the Environment||This course focuses on analyzing theories of child development, the components of positive classroom environments, and classroom management programs, including the framework for the Guidance Approach. Research is utilized to investigate the social, cultural, and familial contexts that influence learning and development. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisite: Fingerprint Clearance.||4|
|ECH-225||Introduction to the Exceptional Learner||This course explores characteristics and quality practices for typical and atypical behaviors of young children. Differentiated instruction and evaluation measures will be examined in relation to meeting the needs of all learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisite: Fingerprint Clearance.||4|
|ECH-325||Child, Family, Community, and Culture||This course covers historical foundations, theories, and models of child development that specifically address diversity, multicultural assimilations, and human change. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||4|
|ESL-223N||SEI English Language Teaching: Foundations & Methodologies||The historical, legal, theoretical, and sociological foundations of programs of instruction for students with non-English language backgrounds are presented. The study of models, prototypes, and methodologies for ESL instruction is included. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance.||3|
|POS-301||Arizona and Federal Government||This course is a survey of Arizona history and government, as well as American government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government and American government.||2|
|ECH-335||Instructional Teaching Methodologies: Language, Math, Science, Social Studies, and the Arts||This course examines instructional methodologies for teaching young children, with a specific emphasis on language, math, science, social studies, and the arts. Lesson plan models and national/state standards will be reviewed. Practicum hours: 20. Prerequisite: Fingerprint Clearance.||4|
|PSY-354||Child Psychology||An analysis of prenatal, infant, and child development, this course reviews the physical, social, language, and emotional development of children. The synthesis and integration of personality, motivation, attachment, and play styles are also discussed. Prerequisite: PSY-102.||4|
|ECH-425||Early Literacy Development||This course looks at research in language and literacy development, with an emphasis on effective strategies (such as phonemic awareness and decoding) in ages birth through age 8 years. NAEYC Standards 1-5 will be the focus of study. No practicum/field experience required. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||4|
|EDU-450||Classroom Engagement and Management||This course is designed to allow prospective teachers the opportunity to learn techniques involved in the successful engagement and management of a learning environment. Major emphasis is given to the establishment of a realistic discipline plan to manage student behavior, as well as engagement and management techniques and strategies to maximize instructional time, classroom procedures, and physical space. Prerequisites: EDU-215 and EDU-230. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||4|
|ECH-435||Developmental and Functional Assessment: Birth to Age 8||This course provides the learner with a robust view of assessment, evaluation, and testing. The processes of assessing, monitoring, and reporting the progress of young children are investigated. Areas of focus include the history and challenges of testing and the role of technology in assessment. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||4|
|ESL-433N||Advanced Methodologies of Structured English Immersion||In this course, students continue to examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion and other instructional programs for English Language Learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Students identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. They plan, deliver, and evaluate instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Prerequisite: Fingerprint Clearance and ESL-423N or ESL-223N.||3|
|ECH-480||Student Teaching: Birth to Pre-School||This course is the first of two 8-week sessions of student teaching experience in a classroom. The teacher candidate is assigned to an approved school with a certified cooperating teacher, a faculty supervisor, and a student teaching course instructor. The course includes practical classroom experiences, research and analysis, and teaching duties that will support the compilation and creation of a Teacher Work Sample (TWS). The teacher candidates are required to complete their internship experiences in a birth to pre-school classroom. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance; successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; senior status; a 2.8 GPA; successful completion of state mandated basic skills and content area exams or Praxis I® (Basic Skills) and Praxis II® (Content Area); and approval and placement by Office of Field Experience. Arizona residents will be required to take the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA). All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.||6|
|ECH-485||Student Teaching: K-3||This course is the second of two 8-week sessions of the student teaching experience in a classroom. The student teacher is assigned to an approved school with a certified cooperating teacher, a university supervisor, and a Grand Canyon University course instructor. The course includes practical classroom experiences, research and analysis, and teaching duties that will support the compilation and creation of a Teacher Work Sample (TWS). The teacher candidates are required to complete their internship experiences in a K-3 classroom. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance; successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; senior status; a 2.8 GPA; successful completion of state mandated basic skills and content area exams or Praxis I® (Basic Skills) and Praxis II® (Content Area); and approval and placement by Office of Field Experience. Arizona residents will be required to take the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA). All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.||6|
|Required Course Total Credit:||76|
|General Education Requirements:||36|
|Open Elective Credits:||4 credits|
|Total Degree Requirements:||120 credits|
This program is offered in the following formats or locations:
The dynamic capabilities of GCU’s online curriculum offer considerable flexibility and convenience for career oriented professionals who are pursuing their educational goals. Full time faculty members, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Our small class sizes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Classes begin frequently.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.