Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English for Secondary Education

Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary EducationInitial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Get an English Education Degree for Grade 6-12 Classrooms

Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education is designed to help prepare aspiring English teachers to meet the challenges of the modern secondary education classroom. Graduates who successfully complete state certification requirements can be qualified to teach students in grades 6-12. This bachelor’s degree in English is a joint program offered by GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Education.

Pursue Your Bachelor’s in English for Secondary Education From GCU

Secondary English teachers have opportunities to equip their students with tools that can enable them to pursue achievements later in life. As an aspiring English teacher, you can help your students learn how to communicate in a way that facilitates career success.1 You can introduce students to the great works of literature and encourage them to explore many different perspectives. 

The BA in English program provides a comprehensive survey of data-driven instructional practice, multicultural literature, professional responsibility and more. You can explore best practices for connecting with your students, engaging them with works of literature, and conducting assessments. During the student teaching experience, you have the opportunity to apply what you’ve been taught in classroom settings.

This bachelor’s degree is available via online classes. The online courses are designed to optimize your distance learning experience by providing opportunities for digital discussions with your fellow learners and instructors. You can enjoy the same quality of instruction when earning an online bachelor’s degree in English as you would on campus, but with the added flexibility and convenience of online coursework.2

If you prefer a more traditional learning environment, you may choose to pursue your English degree on GCU’s campus. This option provides in-person instruction and peer connection as well as access to GCU’s Student Success Center and campus life activities.

GCU welcomes future middle and high school English teachers to apply for admission. Accepted applicants must meet the minimum GPA requirements or qualifying standardized test scores. Additional eligibility criteria may be required. Fill out the form on this page to speak with a university counselor about the eligibility criteria for a bachelor’s degree in English leading to initial teacher licensure. 

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Coursework Offered in This English Program

The BA in English program includes classroom instruction and hands-on experience via the practicum and the student teaching experience. Some of the content areas you will explore include: 

  • The legal, historical and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) for English language learners, along with the role of culture in knowledge acquisition
  • American poetry and prose, from early American literature to American Romanticism
  • Multicultural and global literature and its cultural and historical contexts
  • Plays and their cultural contexts from ancient Greece to 20th century Europe, with an emphasis on Shakespeare
  • Teaching writing, grammar and linguistics with data-driven methodologies
  • Creating, nurturing and managing positive and productive classrooms, with an eye on fostering student engagement
  • The application of creative writing techniques and strategies across major genres

Graduates are expected to demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills, and the ability to think critically about texts of varying media. Comprehension and interpretation of diverse artistic expressions are key skills for this degree program. You will examine the major issues and themes that are central to humanity, as expressed in literature. The bachelor’s in English program emphasizes the comprehension and practical application of methodologies and classroom techniques that support instruction to adolescents.

Examine Core Domains and Competencies for Teaching

The Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education degree program requires you to complete 120 program credits. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate competency in these core domains:

  • The Learner and Learning: You are required to create developmentally appropriate learning programs and environments.
  • Application of Content: You are expected to make content accessible and meaningful to your students and guide them in critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • Instructional Practice: You’ll be taught to use diverse assessment methods and instructional strategies to enable your students to achieve learning objectives.
  • Professional Responsibility: You are expected to pursue ongoing professional development, use evidence-based practices and collaborate with key education stakeholders.

Career Paths for BA in English for Secondary Education Graduates

You may find teaching to be a meaningful and personally fulfilling career, as it can allow you the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. With a firm foundation of English teaching competencies, and by meeting state certification requirements, you may be positioned to pursue a career as a:

  • Middle school English teacher
  • High school English teacher
  • English as a second language (ESL) teacher
  • Private tutor 

This bachelor’s in English program leads to initial teacher licensure. You are required to obtain all necessary certifications from the state in which you plan to teach. To further enhance your career qualifications, you may decide to pursue a graduate degree in education

An AAQEP Accredited Education Degree

The BA in English for Secondary Education at GCU is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) for its commitment to prepare effective educators through quality programming. 

At GCU, you can explore education best practices and ethical responsibilities in the classroom under the guidance of instructors who are knowledgeable in their fields, and who are committed to fostering a dedication to lifelong learning. GCU stands by our curriculum quality standards and is proud to be an institutionally accredited university through the Higher Learning Commission since 1968.

Bachelor’s in English for Secondary Education FAQs

The decision to pursue a career in education can be a meaningful one, but it’s important to make a fully informed decision about your future. Use the following frequently asked questions and answers to help guide your decision-making process.

This bachelor’s degree in English requires 120 credits for completion. Most online courses for this program are eight weeks long, with some exceptions. Most on-campus courses are 15 weeks long. To better understand how long it might take to earn your education degree, fill out the form on this page and request a consultation with a university counselor.

Earning a degree in English that leads to initial teacher licensure may be worth it if you’re genuinely passionate about both the content area and the career direction. In other words, you should genuinely enjoy both reading and analyzing literature, and you should have a passion for encouraging others to connect with literature. Enthusiasm for literature and an authentic desire to teach are just two of the important character traits for aspiring secondary English teachers. It’s also helpful to understand that students need to be challenged to tackle difficult texts, to experience different perspectives and to have plenty of time for writing practice.3 If you’re eager to connect with the next generation in this way, then a degree in English for secondary education can be worth it for you.

A BA in English degree program will challenge you to expand your literary horizons, such as by reading and analyzing texts both mainstream and not as well-known. It’s important to note that, although a survey of multicultural literature through the ages is a significant component of this program, it’s by no means the only one. You’ll also be expected to examine evidence-based instructional methodologies, adolescent development and classroom management strategies. This degree program requires a great deal of reading, writing and thoughtful analysis.

A bachelor’s degree in English can allow you to pursue state licensure as an English teacher. With a focus on secondary education, you may be positioned to apply for jobs teaching English in public or private middle and high schools.  

Teaching English in a traditional classroom setting isn’t the only option for graduates with a BA in English for Secondary Education degree. You might also consider pursuing an online teaching job. Online English teachers may teach in online-only grade 6-12 schools or they may be an online tutor. Another possibility is teaching English to English language learners abroad. Teaching English online may offer more flexibility and convenience, and better work/life balance. It may also offer more opportunities to travel while still meeting your professional obligations.4

Pursue your passion for education and your desire to empower the next generation of learners. Fill out the form on this page and learn more about GCU’s BA in English for Secondary Education degree program.

If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint and background clearance is required.

1 eTools4Education. (n.d.). High school English teachers. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023.

2 Excluding observational and practice-based experiences, and student teaching.

3 Tharby, A. (n.d.). The 6 essential ingredients of great English teaching in secondary school. Teachwire. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023.

4 Gascoigne, T. (2020, July 15). Is teaching English online worth it? 5 things you need to know. Teachaway. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023. 

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
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Online: 8 weeks
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TRANSFER CREDITS:
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Online: $455 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

 

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
80 credits
Open Elective Credits:
0-6 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

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.

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
  • COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

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 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4

Requirements

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, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Required General Education Courses

Course Description

This course delves into critical approaches to literature that are of interest to young adult readers. Themes such as identity, culture, ethnicity, race, values, gender, and censorship are among those explored through close readings and textual analysis of popular and historical fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, and dystopian literature.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the principal political, economic, and cultural themes and constitutional developments that shaped the United States from the Colonial period into the 20th Century.

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to assist teacher candidates in understanding theories and principles of psychology that describe the growth and development of early adolescents and adolescents, including cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas. Candidates build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities and environments that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge and skills, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is a study of some diverse works in world literature. It introduces all advanced English course offerings. Students will also be introduced to methods of literary criticism and analysis. All students who plan to major in English should earn a 3.00 or above in this course before taking any upper division English courses. Prerequisites: ENG-105 and ENG-106.

Course Description

In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates study how to teach a diverse population of students by examining the foundations and dimensions of social justice in education, social constructs, privilege, prejudice, and oppression with the goal of becoming culturally competent educators.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and other exceptionalities. Teacher candidates will identify cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns of learning and development for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Teacher candidates also survey the special education process involving the application of various laws and regulations. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course is a survey of the Arizona constitution and government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates differentiate instruction based on knowledge of students, learning theory, and curricular goals. Major emphasis is given to planning standards-based instructional objectives and lessons, sequencing, and assessing learning, utilizing formal and informal assessment strategies that address individual students' needs. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: SEC-202.

Course Description

This course interprets and analyzes important texts of the British tradition from approximately A.D. 500 to 1800. Special attention is paid to the importance of cultural context, close textual analysis, and literary terms and concepts, especially concepts of poetic meter and rhyme. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

Teacher candidates explore research-based instructional strategies for delivering differentiated instruction to promote reading and writing proficiency during content area instruction. Language and literacy development is examined to inform instruction, assessment, intervention, and remediation practices to support readers of varying ages and ability levels, including students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Using this foundational knowledge, candidates will select, adapt, and use research-based instructional strategies and interventions with attention focused on literacy in academic curricula to advance learning for adolescent students. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Fingerprint clearance required. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-202.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) 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. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. Through Universal Design for Learning they plan, deliver, and evaluate standards based instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course explores multicultural texts from a variety of genres. Students in this course focus on awareness of diversity in culture and in written expressions by analyzing textual features and cultural/historical context. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

This course explores the earliest American literatures to American Romanticism with an emphasis on narratives of cultural encounter. Students examine representative poetry and prose with attention to themes, rhetoric, and narrative form. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates study methods and materials related to teaching secondary-grade 6-12 students. Emphasis is placed on analyzing data to evaluate and modify instruction. Candidates look at methodologies that encourage problem-solving, active participation, meeting diverse students’ needs, and professional collaboration. Focus is also placed on the practical applications of using all available data, including behavioral data, to drive instructional decisions. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: SEC-356.

Course Description

This course is designed to help prospective teachers develop the knowledge and skills needed to teach writing, grammar, and linguistics at the middle and secondary levels. Emphasis is given to teaching methodologies that encourage effective implementation of writing, grammar, and linguistics instruction in middle and secondary English classrooms. Course content is strategically planned to enable students to make informed, context-based decisions about writing and language instruction. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is a study in the development of the novel focusing primarily on the reading and discussion of 19th and 20th century British and American works. Prerequisites: ENG-105 and ENG-106.

Course Description

In this course, students explore creative writing through an examination of craft and strategies, readings and discussion, writing across the major genres (poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction), and the editorial process, which includes critiquing and revision. In addition, students consider the application of creative writing techniques to arenas in the professional writing world. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

This course is a study of Shakespeare's major plays and his development as a dramatist, including some consideration of Shakespeare's cross-cultural reception.

Course Description

This course explores the literatures and cultural exchange of America and Britain from the Romantic Era to the present day. Students develop an understanding of themes, genres, and literary techniques that inform present-day literary and communicative strategies. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

This course is designed to help prospective teachers develop the knowledge and skills needed to teach literature and other texts at the middle and secondary levels. Emphasis is given to teaching methodologies that encourage effective implementation of reading instruction in middle and secondary English classrooms. Course content is strategically planned to enable students to make informed, context-based decisions about instruction of literature and other texts. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course prepares teacher candidates to create and manage positive, productive secondary-grade 6-12 classroom environments with diverse students. Candidates develop a comprehensive understanding of the learning and behavior principles that underlie effective classroom management and student engagement in order to design and promote an effective classroom management program. Focus is placed on building a trusting relationship and creating a safe and equitable learning environment. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-356.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are engaged in the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a Student Teaching Evaluation of Performance (STEP). Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 2.8 GPA; successful completion of NES or your state’s mandated content area exams; and approval and placement by the College of Education Office of Clinical Practice. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.

Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.