Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education Initial Program - Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Become a Licensed Elementary and Special Education Teacher

The elementary education and special education dual degree program is designed for teacher candidates seeking elementary licensure or a cross-categorical license to teach children with special needs in an elementary education classroom. Graduates of the program are prepared to work with special needs populations and implement individualized educational plans to accommodate various learning, behavioral and social needs.

Special education teacher candidates must have access to an elementary-level special education classroom in order to apply learned concepts, theories and research into practice within 21st century classrooms. Teacher candidates must be prepared to complete a full-time, 16-week student-teaching component at the end of the program designed to serve students with mild to moderate disabilities: Eight weeks of student teaching are completed in a regular education setting, plus eight weeks in a classroom-type setting that serves students with mild to moderate disabilities. The special education student-teaching components must be completed with the oversight of a certified special educator.

This regionally accredited program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education and features courses taught by experts who share their knowledge and experience with learning, emotional and behavioral disabilities. All courses are directly aligned with Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) principles, Association for Childhood Education International standards and Council for Exceptional Children standards.

Both the bachelor's degree in elementary education and bachelor's degree in special education help students learn professional and ethical practices as seen through the lens of a Christian worldview.

This program is offered in the following formats or locations:

Main Campus

Enjoy Grand Canyon University\'s traditional campus experience. As of fall 2014, our 179-acre campus serves a growing student population of approximately 11,000. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a rich student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students.


The dynamic capabilities of GCUs 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.

On-campus program disclosures       Online and Evening program disclosures      

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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