What is a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Degree?
With content curriculum that focuses on birth through grade 3, graduates of this early childhood education degree will be highly qualified to become Kindergarten through third grade teachers. In addition, graduates will be qualified to work as preschool teachers and daycare providers. The bachelor‛s degree in early childhood education curriculum includes instructional strategies, teaching methodologies, assessment techniques, theories of early childhood growth and development, and the impact of family and cultural diversity on early childhood.
The BS in Early Childhood Education degree program has embedded practicum experiences throughout the coursework and requires a student teaching component with two placements; one in pre-K and the other in Kindergarten through grade 3. Upon completion of this early childhood degree program, teacher certification may be pursued. Licensure may require practicum hours, state exams, student teaching and an institutional recommendation from Grand Canyon University.
Earn Your Early Childhood Education Degree Online at GCU
Future preschool, kindergarten and early elementary teachers studying at Grand Canyon University gain the firm foundation needed to work with young students of varying age groups, intellect and cultures.
Graduates of the BS in Early Childhood Education degree program at GCU learn to think critically about important issues impacting teaching learning in the youngest grades. They build skills that not only support them in lifelong learning and successful classroom roles but that also ensure their students grow and develop.
Students enrolled in the GCU bachelor of early childhood education program have the option of attending classes on campus or online.
The benefits of on-campus learning in the BS in Early Childhood Education degree program are:
- Attending daytime classes
- Being a part of the full college experience on campus
- Learning in modern, high-tech classrooms
- Building a network of future teaching colleagues
- Attending events and lectures
- Meeting world-class faculty face-to-face
For non-traditional students, the online version of the BS in Early Childhood Education degree program allows:
- Next-generation learning environments
- Flexibility and convenience that let you work and study on your own schedule
- Experienced faculty and instructors
- Career-oriented programming
- Practice with technology you will use as a teacher
After coursework in either environment is complete, graduates can take initial teaching license tests and get to work in an early childhood education classroom of their own.
Become a Teacher with a BS in Early Childhood Education
The research shows that students with early childhood educational experienced have great foundations for future learning. Preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary teacher really do shape students’ lives and futures. As a future early educator in the BS in Early Childhood Education degree at GCU, you will study everything you need to know to incorporate 21st century learning strategies and promote solid language and literacy skills that will support your students for their whole lives.
You will also study:
- Instruction methods for the exceptional learner and non-English speakers
- Classroom engagement and management techniques
- Developmental milestones and methods of evaluation
- Curriculum development and teaching for language arts, math, science, health, social studies and the arts
What Can I Do with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education?
Common jobs following the bachelors in early childhood education include:
- Preschool teacher
- Daycare director
- Child development specialist
- School program director
- Education advocate
- K-3 teacher
Early childhood educators work in a variety of environments. These include school settings as well as locations hosting private educational programs. You might end up working in:
- Public and private elementary schools
- Early childhood education centers
- Social service agencies
Our youngest learners need dedicated, quality teachers with excellent pedagogical backgrounds to teach and advocate for them. If you are up for all the challenges and rewards that come along with being an early education teacher, then apply for the BS in Early Childhood Education Degree at GCU today. Your future students are waiting.
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-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 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.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 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 (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.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 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.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Required General Education Courses
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 focuses on theories of child development and learning. Teacher candidates will examine the application of those theories to traditional and Montessori early childhood models and evaluate their contemporary usefulness in supporting children’s academic achievement, brain development, and social and emotional growth through early childhood. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
Program Core Courses
This course focuses on foundations of early childhood education with an emphasis on the historical context, ethical practices, philosophical and psychological theories, and current early childhood educational models including the Montessori education model. Teacher candidates will also examine the roles and expectations of early childhood educators, and have the opportunity to reflect on and plan for their own professional development. 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.
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.
In this course, teacher candidates examine principles of instructional planning with an emphasis on alignment between content standards, objectives, and assessment. Additional focus is placed on meeting the needs of individual learners through differentiated instruction. Engagement methods, including the use of technology, are explored. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
This course is a survey of the Arizona constitution and government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government.
This course focuses on the developmental milestones of typical and atypical students, as well as evaluating disabilities and gifted tendencies among students in Birth – Grade 3 settings. Teacher candidates will also examine early interventions for students who demonstrate atypical behaviors, and investigate the role IDEA plays in early childhood settings. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.
This course examines current research in language and literacy development, with an emphasis on effective instructional strategies for developing oral language and pre-literacy skills (such as phonemic awareness and decoding) in young children. Teacher candidates will also research and consider tools used to assess language development skills. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
In this course, candidates identify the developmental milestones of children, prenatal to adolescence. Students examine the progression of these milestones in all areas of development, including psychological, social, emotional, linguistic, cognitive, and physical. Additional focus is placed on typical and atypical child development, and analyzing the effects of environment, trauma, and family dynamics on the development progression. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
In this course, teacher candidates examine cultural learning theories as well as the relationships and structures of family that make up the classroom and community. Emphasis is placed on identifying community, school, and familial needs maintaining open communication with families in order to enhance the learning environment. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
The course examines child growth and development as they relate to the health, safety, nutrition and fitness of young children. Principles and practices of personal and community health and safety are explored. Teacher candidates also consider strategies for developing the motor skills, social skills, confidence and enjoyment of movement in young children. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
This course examines mathematical methodologies for teaching children Pre-K to Grade 3, with an emphasis in hands-on and manipulative-based learning. Teacher candidates apply the skills necessary to develop a mathematical unit plan that is standards-based and data-driven. Candidates are also given the opportunity to deliver instruction and evaluate their professional practice. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ECE-230.
In this course, teacher candidates will examine the learning cycle from the perspective of the student as well as the teacher. Key components include pre-assessment, analysis of data, lesson planning, instruction, post-assessment and reflection, and next steps. Assessing, monitoring, and reporting the performance and progress of young children is examined, as well as making educated projections for children’s future performances based on age/grade level standards. Areas of focus in the course include the history and challenges of testing and the role of technology in assessment. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.
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 literacy methodologies for teaching children Kindergarten to Grade 3, with an emphasis in incorporating the arts. Teacher candidates apply the skills necessary to develop instruction for language arts and creative arts that is standards-based and data-driven. Candidates are also given the opportunity to deliver instruction and evaluate their professional practice. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ECE-230 and ECE-340.
This writing intensive course focuses on creating a positive culture in the learning environment, implementing classroom management strategies, supporting students with challenging behaviors, and addressing young children’s social and emotional needs. This course explores theories and models, including Montessori methodologies, which foster a safe and effective classroom environment. Special attention is placed on the guidance approach. Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational benefits of family involvement, addressing diverse learning needs, and developing realistic management policies and procedures that benefit the learning environment. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.
This course examines science methodologies for teaching children Birth to Grade 3, with an emphasis on inquiry-based learning. Teacher candidates apply the skills necessary to develop a science unit plan that is standards-based and data-driven. Candidates are also given the opportunity to deliver instruction and evaluate their professional practice. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ECE-230.
This course examines social studies methodologies for teaching children Kindergarten to Grade 3, with an emphasis on connections to past, present, and future concepts and events. Teacher candidates apply the skills necessary to develop a social studies unit plan that is standards-based and data-driven. Candidates are also given the opportunity to deliver instruction and evaluate their professional practice. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ECE-230.
This course is a study of children’s literature and the reciprocal process between reading and writing. There is an emphasis on the genres, examining each one’s characteristics and contexts for use in both reading and writing. Other topics covered in this course include criteria for evaluating, analyzing, and selecting children’s literature, the integration of literature across the curriculum, and family involvement. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
Session A is one of two 8 week sessions of the student teaching experience. 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 Performance of Evaluation (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. Fingerprint clearance required.
This course is the second of two 8-week sessions of the student teaching experience in a classroom. The student teacher is assigned to an approved school with a certified cooperating teacher, a university supervisor, and a Grand Canyon University course instructor. The course includes practical classroom experiences, research and analysis, and teaching duties that will support the compilation and creation of a Student Teaching Evaluation of Performance (STEP). The teacher candidates are required to complete their internship experiences in a K-3 classroom. Fingerprint clearance required.
Online and Evening program disclosures (4.5 years)
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.