Become a Licensed History Teacher in Secondary Education
The Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education degree program at Grand Canyon University recognizes that middle and high school history teachers do more than teach facts, events and dates—they impart ethical standards and wisdom developed over centuries of human history. This history teacher degree, offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education. Students take coursework that aligns with the requirements established by the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS).
What Will I Study as a History for Secondary Education Major?
Aspiring secondary history teachers will explore coursework arranged thematically, rather than chronologically. The thematic approach allows for an exploration of historical contexts that is both in-depth and broad in scope. Aspiring secondary educators will:
- Use cross-disciplinary perspectives
- Develop critical thinking and analytical skills
- Develop ethical decision-making abilities
- Learn to develop instructional objectives and lesson plans
- Explore formal and informal assessment strategies
This history education degree examines:
- The learning and developmental needs for students with learning differences
- The principles of instructional programs for English language learners
- The application of a Christian worldview and Christian ethics
Teacher candidates are required to complete a supervised practicum. Candidates must demonstrate their proficiency in applying pedagogical theories in a real-world classroom.
What Are the Benefits of a History Education Bachelor’s Degree?
According to The Nation’s Report Card, an initiative of the National Center for Education Statistics, just 18 percent of grade 8 students in 2014 performed at a “Proficient” or higher level in U.S. history. The deficits in history education continue into post-secondary education and adulthood. According to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, nearly 50 percent of college graduates are unaware that U.S. Senators serve six-year terms, and only 28.4 percent of college graduates correctly named James Madison as the Father of the Constitution.
If you decide to pursue a history teacher degree, you could one day inspire young minds to enjoy the process of historical inquiry and contextual analysis. You may help students learn from the mistakes of the past so that they are empowered to work toward a better and brighter future.
What Are the Career Options for Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education Majors?
Middle and high school history and social science teachers are well-positioned to guide the development of young minds as they seek to overcome ethical dilemmas and strive for personal growth. Graduates who hold a history education degree and have obtained the necessary certifications may choose to pursue a career in public or private education. Additional career paths that are directly related to this degree program may include:
- Public or private school administrator
- Museum educator
- Museum archivist
- Private tutor
- Standardized test developer
- Education consultant
- History textbook writer
- Content strategist
- Documentary writer/editor
The Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education degree program at Grand Canyon University leads to initial teacher licensure. To become a fully qualified and licensed teacher, candidates must obtain all necessary certifications as determined by the state in which they teach. Successful graduates may decide to enhance their knowledge and classroom skills by pursuing a master’s degree in history 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
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 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.
This course introduces the study of history as a scholarly discipline, emphasizing significant historians, subdisciplines of the field, and the foundational methodological and theoretical tools of historians.
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 writing intensive course focuses on research methods used in historical research and writing, and application of theories and methodologies to the analysis of historical materials. Emphasis is placed on research, writing, and critical thinking in historical contexts.
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 examines the historical and cultural developments of ancient worlds including Egypt, Greece, and Rome with an emphasis on social, political, and economic developments.
This course provides a historical survey of Asia, including India, China, Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan. Emphasis is placed on political, economic, and social developments.
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 examines the principal social, political, economic, and global events that have shaped the American experience during the Cold War era.
This writing intensive course examines the political, economic, and social aspects of selected wars and revolutions. It provides a comparative study of social conflicts with an emphasis on the patterns of individual and collective action, violence, and social changes.
This course examines the techniques, sources, and methods of collecting and presenting history at the local level. Emphasis is placed on how communities create memory and historical records, and their uses for students, educators, researchers, and communities.
This course examines the political, social, economic, and cultural history of the Southwest Borderlands region, focusing on topics related to the American West, Native Americans, frontier/colonial theory, environment, and Chicana/o history.
The goal of this course is to provide history teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to teach history in secondary classrooms. Teacher candidates explore current research–based pedagogical practices for teaching history, connecting educational theory to specific innovative engagement practices for diverse learning populations. History teacher candidates also are given opportunities to design instruction that engages secondary students in historical inquiry, examines processes for selecting primary and secondary source historical content, and uses authentic assessments to measure student learning. 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.