Become a Certified English Teacher in Secondary Education
Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education is an accredited degree program that prepares aspiring English teachers to meet the challenges of the modern secondary education classroom. Graduates who successfully complete state certification requirements will be qualified to teach students in grades 5-12. This degree is a joint program offered by GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Education.
Teacher candidates will demonstrate competency in these core domains:
The Learner and Learning: Aspiring educators create developmentally appropriate learning programs and environments
Application of Content: Teacher candidates make content accessible and meaningful to students, and guide students in critical thinking and problem-solving
Instructional Practice: Future teachers use diverse assessment methods and instructional strategies to enable students to achieve learning objectives
Professional Responsibility: Teacher candidates pursue ongoing professional development, use evidence-based practices and collaborate with key education stakeholders
What Do You Need to Become a Secondary Education English Teacher?
GCU welcomes future middle and high school English teachers to apply for admission. Accepted applicants have a high school GPA of 3.0 or above, or qualifying standardized test scores. Additional eligibility criteria may be required.
The Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education degree program requires teacher candidates to complete 120 program credits. The program includes classroom instruction and real-world, hands-on experience via the practicum and the student teaching experience. Some of the core courses that future English teachers will take may include:
- SEI English Language Teaching: Foundations and Methodologies
- American Encounter Narratives
- Shakespeare and the History of Drama
- Data-Driven Instructional Methods for Middle and Secondary Teachers
- Advanced Methodologies of Structured English Immersion
Graduates will 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. Future secondary educators will develop a keen understanding of the major issues and themes that are central to humanity. The program emphasizes the comprehension and practical application of methodologies and classroom techniques that support effective instruction to adolescents.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a BA in English (Secondary Ed.)?
A bachelor’s degree program is usually completed in four years, but some students may choose a fast-track option. Additionally, up to 90 credits may be transferred from other schools. GCU supports flexible learning paths for a modern student body, with both on-campus and online classes available for this degree program. Most online courses for this program are eight weeks long, with some exceptions. On-campus courses are 15 weeks long.
What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education?
Teachers are well-respected members of the community, with rewarding career possibilities in public and private education. Jobs directly related to this degree program may include:
- Middle school English teacher
- High school English teacher
- English as a second language (ESL) teacher
- Special education teacher
- Private tutor
- Standardized test developer
- School administrator
- Education consultant
- Museum educator
The Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education degree program at Grand Canyon University leads to initial teacher licensure. English teacher candidates are required to obtain all necessary certifications from the state in which they wish to teach. Although it’s not required to become a teacher, graduates may choose to broaden their pedagogical knowledge and skills by pursuing a graduate degree in education.
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.
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.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
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.
- 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
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.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
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.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
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.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Required General Education Courses
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.
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.
Program Core Courses
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. This course enables teacher candidates to 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: 5. Fingerprint clearance not required.
This writing intensive introductory course provides students with experience in typical workplace genres and written communication practices. Emphasizing the roles genres play in organizational communication, this course also provides students with practical, procedural knowledge that will help them adapt their writing to new contexts and audiences. Prerequisite: ENG-105.
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. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
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 disorders. 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: 5. Fingerprint clearance not required.
This course is a survey of the Arizona constitution and government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government.
In this course, teacher candidates evaluate and utilize methods and materials for reading and writing in order to teach literacy skills in the middle and secondary grades. Emphasis is placed on making meaning from a variety of text sources including young adult literature, technical, informational, environmental, and media. Candidates design content-based reading and writing experiences using diverse works for adolescents, focused text selection, and electronic database media resources for middle- and secondary-grade classrooms. A focus on language and cultural diversity is included. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint Clearance required.
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.
In this course, teacher candidates differentiate instruction based on knowledge of students, learning theory, and curricular goals. Major emphasis is given to planning instructional objectives and lessons, sequencing, and assessing objectives, utilizing formal and informal assessment strategies that address individual students' needs. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-201.
This course prepares teacher candidates to create and manage positive, productive middle- and secondary-grade 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. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-201.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This course explores the history of the dramatic medium through the lens of plays from Ancient Greece to 20th-century Europe, concentrating primarily on the plays and cultural context of William Shakespeare. Prerequisite: ENG-105.
This 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.
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.
This writing intensive course prepares students to interpret scientific ideas for lay audiences. Drawing from best practices of writers from popular sources such as magazines, news articles, blogs, and other forms of popular writing designed for wide consumption, students learn to convey scientific ideas through various genres for various purposes and audiences. Prerequisite: ENG-105.
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.
In this course, teacher candidates study methods and materials related to teaching middle- and secondary-grade students. Emphasis is placed on using data to evaluate and modify instruction. Teaching methodologies encourage problem solving, active participation, meeting diverse students’ needs, and professional collaboration. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint Clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-355.
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.
On-campus program disclosures (4.5 years)
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.