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The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education is designed for students who wish to become an elementary special education teacher. This program prepares students for an elementary or cross-categorical teaching license to teach children with special needs in the K-12 classroom setting. The format and courses of this regionally accredited and Arizona State Board of Education approved program are designed to maximize the content knowledge that the teacher candidate will possess upon graduation. All courses are directly aligned with professional teaching standards and the associated national content standards.
Graduates of the BS in Elementary Education and Special Education are prepared to work as an elementary special education teacher, helping special needs populations in the areas of learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disabilities, and other physical and cognitive impairments, in implementing individualized educational plans. Opportunities are provided to apply concepts, theories, and research throughout the program. Assignments within each course guide students through observational and practice-based experiences.
Teacher candidates must be prepared to complete a student teaching component at the end of the program that will include two placements; one in an elementary classroom and the other in a setting with students with special needs.
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
UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 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 3 credits of English grammar or composition.||UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits
|Christian Worldview||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/301.||CWV-101/301, Christian Worldview: 4 credits||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 (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.||PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4 credits
MAT-134, Applications of Algebra: 4 credits
BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4 credits
|Global Awareness, Perspective and Ethics||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 (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.).||HIS-221, Themes in U. S. History: 4 credits
PSY-100, Psychology in Everyday Life: 4 credits
SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits
If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
Required General Education Courses
|Course #||Course Title||Credits|
|EDU-230||Cultural Diversity in the Classroom||4|
|Required General Education Course Total Credit:||4|
|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-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|
|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|
|SPE-330||Special Education Foundations and Framework||This course orients teacher candidates to the field of special education. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and Council for Exceptional Children Standards, which guide special education research practices, are also discussed. The course includes an introduction to creating a professional portfolio. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Prerequisite: Fingerprint Clearance.||4|
|EED-465||Curriculum, Methods, and Assessment: Social Studies||This course is designed to assist elementary teachers with methods of instruction, unit and daily lesson plan construction, use of literary materials and resources, and developing a coherent, assessment-based, data-driven program fostering social studies in the classroom. Laboratory experiences include multicultural classrooms. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance, an undergraduate history or social science course, and one of the following combinations: 1) EDU 215 and EDU 313N; or 2) EDU 210 and EDU 213.||4|
|EED-364||Curriculum, Methods, and Assessment: Science and Mathematics||This course is designed to acquaint elementary teachers with the curriculum, theory, and effective techniques for the teaching and assessment of science and mathematics. Students are involved in formulation of programs, planning instruction, employing science and mathematics resources and materials that are currently being used in the public schools, and using instructional models. This course includes laboratory experiences. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance and one of the following combinations: 1) EDU 215 and EDU 313N; or 2) EDU 210 and EDU 213.||4|
|SPE-359||Characteristics of Learning Disabilities and Strategies to Teach Individuals with LD||The focus of this course is to provide teacher candidates in special education with knowledge of LD, including the history with attention to law and litigation, definition, causes, and characteristics of learning disabilities in children and adults. The cognitive processes of students with and without learning disabilities are compared, unsubstantiated explanations and false claims relating to LD are investigated, and assessment techniques and effective teaching strategies are addressed. Effective teaching strategies for planning, implementing, and evaluating instruction based on appropriate assessment for elementary and secondary students with LD in special and regular education classes are investigated. Particular attention is given to the structure and details of the lesson plans necessary to meet the individual needs of students with LD. This course teaches characteristics and uses of diagnostic instruments that can be used to identify, evaluate, and assess learning needs of students with LD. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance, SPE-226, and SPE-330.||4|
|SPE-357||Characteristics of Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities and Strategies to Teach Individuals with EBD||The focus of this course is to provide the special education teacher candidate with knowledge of EBD, including the history with attention to law and litigation, definition, etiology, types, and characteristics of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Teacher candidates investigate theories and models of emotional and behavioral disorders and related treatments. Assessment techniques and the factors involved in a diagnosis of behavior and emotional disorders are also addressed. Effective and specific individual and group behavior management models, programs, strategies, and interventions for elementary and secondary students with EBD in special and regular education classes are investigated, planned, implemented, and evaluated based on appropriate assessment. Particular attention is given to the structure and details of the behavior management plan necessary to meet the individual needs of students with EBD. This course teaches characteristics and uses of diagnostic instruments that can be used to identify, evaluate, and assess learning needs of students with emotional/behavioral disabilities. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance, SPE-226, and SPE-330.||4|
|SPE-351||Char. of Intellectual Disability & Strategies to Teach Individuals with ID||The focus of this course is to provide the teacher candidate in special education with knowledge of intellectual disability (ID), including the history with attention to law and litigation, definition, causes, and characteristics of ID in children and adults. The impact of ID on the lives of individuals and necessary support systems for quality of life are investigated and assessment techniques and effective teaching strategies are addressed. Understanding and mastery of methods appropriate for meeting the educational needs of elementary and secondary students with ID are emphasized. Effective teaching strategies for planning, implementing, and evaluating instruction based on appropriate assessment for elementary and secondary students with ID in special and regular education classes are investigated, planned, implemented, and evaluated based on appropriate assessment. Particular attention is given to the structure and details of the lesson plans necessary to meet the individual needs of students with ID. This course teaches characteristics and uses of diagnostic instruments that can be used to identify, evaluate, and assess learning needs of students with ID. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance, SPE-226, and SPE-330||4|
|SPE-358||Characteristics of Students with Physical Health Impairment and Strategies to Teach Individuals with PHI||This course provides students with knowledge of physical and other health impairments and the impact of these disabilities on the lives of individuals. Teacher candidates investigate means to enhance individuals‛ quality of life through participation in home, school, and community activities. Special attention is given to accessibility to appropriate curricula, modifications and adaptations, and effective instructional strategies to meet individual needs. This course teaches characteristics and uses of diagnostic instruments that can be used to identify, evaluate, and assess learning needs of students with physical and health impairments. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance, SPE-226, and SPE-330.||4|
|EED-470||Curriculum, Methods, and Assessment: Literacy and Language Arts K-3||This course includes a wide range of literacy and assessment strategies based on instructional outcomes. Course content is strategically planned to enable participants to make informed decisions based on data in literacy and language instruction. This course includes reading diagnostics, assessments, and strategies implemented with a single elementary student in a site-based reading lab. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance and one of the following: 1) EDU-215; or 2) EDU-210.||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|
|EED-475||Curriculum, Methods, and Assessment: Literacy and Language Arts 4-8||This course is designed to develop a coherent, assessment-based, data-driven program fostering literacy in the classroom. Course content is strategically planned to enable participants to make informed decisions based on assessment data in literacy and language instruction. The course includes discourse theory as it pertains to the teaching of reading and writing. Emphasis is placed on planning and delivery of lessons in reading comprehension, literature, phonics, writing, oral language, vocabulary, and evaluation of learning. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance and one of the following: 1) EDU-215; or 2) EDU-210.||4|
|SPE-350||Special Education Litigation & Law||Participants examine legal issues, recent court decisions, and current law relating to special education. Special attention is given to compliance, student and parent rights, local state and district policies and procedures, and advocacy through community organizations. 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|
|EED-480NA||Student Teaching: Elementary Session A||Session A is the first of two 8-week sessions of the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research and analysis, and teaching to support compilation and creation of a Teacher Work Sample (TWS). 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|
|SPE-448NB||Student Teaching: Special Education: Cross-Categorical Session B||Teacher candidates demonstrate mastery of the Arizona Professional Teacher‛s Standards and Council for Exceptional Children International Standards for Entry into Professional Practice in teaching students with disabilities for one semester. Under the direction of a certified special educator, the experience includes assessing, planning, and teaching lessons; managing behavior; and collaborating professionally. Prerequisite: EED-480NA.||6|
|Required Course Total Credit:||80|
|General Education Requirements:||34 - 40 credits|
|Open Elective Credits:||0 - 2 credits|
|Total Degree Requirements:||120 credits|
This program is offered in the following formats or locations:
Enjoy Grand Canyon University's traditional campus experience. Nestled on over 90 acres in the heart of Phoenix, 8,500 (anticipated) students live and attend class on the GCU campus. New modern classrooms, suite style dorms and a focus on creating a rich student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates.
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.