Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Education Degree

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood EducationInitial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education

#9

Grand Canyon University ranked # 9 in, “25 Best Online Early Childhood Education Degrees for 2020” list1

About the Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education Degree

With content curriculum that focuses on birth through grade three, graduates of this bachelor's in early childhood education degree online or on-campus will be highly qualified to teach birth through third grade. 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.

BS in Early Childhood Education Degree Requirements

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 a birth through preschool practicum experience as well as one 15-week birth through grade three student teaching experience. 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.

What You Will Learn in GCU's Early Childhood Education Degree Program 

Future birth through third grade teachers completing the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree at Grand Canyon University (GCU) 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 online and on-campus program at GCU learn to think critically about important issues impacting teaching and 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 early childhood education degree program have the option of attending classes on campus or online.

Choose How to Earn Your Early Childhood Education Degree 

GCU’s bachelor’s in early childhood education programs give you access to world-class, experienced faculty and instructors. Whether you choose on-campus or online learning, you will receive high-quality programming that is focused on teaching in the modern classroom.

The online version of the BS in Early Childhood Education degree program provides the following benefits:

  • Next-generation learning environments
  • Flexibility and convenience that lets you work and study on your own schedule
  • Practice with the technology you will use as a teacher

For traditional students, the on-campus version of the BS in Early Childhood Education degree program provides the following benefits:

  • Attending daytime classes
  • Being a part of the full college experience on campus
  • Building a network of future teaching colleagues
  • Attending events and lectures in person

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

As a future educator in the on-campus or online 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. Research shows students with early childhood educational experience have great foundations for future learning. Teachers of youth from birth to grade three really do shape students’ lives and their futures.

In this program, you will also study:

  • Instruction methods for learners with exceptionalities and English language learners
  • 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

Careers Options for Graduates With a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education Degree

Graduates of the BS in Early Childhood Education at GCU have gone on to work in a number of education roles, including:

  • Education teacher (postsecondary)
  • Preschool teacher (except special education)
  • Kindergarten teacher (except special education)
  • Elementary teacher (except special education)
  • Teaching assistant (preschool, elementary, middle and secondary school - except special education)
  • Special Education teaching assistant

Early childhood educators work in a variety of environments. These include school settings as well as locations hosting private educational programs, such as: 

  • Public and private elementary schools
  • Daycares
  • 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 the challenges and rewards that come along with being an early education teacher, consider enrolling in the BS in Early Childhood Education Degree at GCU. Your future students are waiting.

BS in Early Childhood Education Degree FAQs

The length of this program and most other bachelor's in early childhood education degree online programs take approximately four years. How long it takes to become an early childhood educator depends on a variety of factors, including how much classroom experience you may already have whether credits were transferred into the program.

Upon completion of this degree, you may then apply to receive your teaching license through your state. Remember, state requirements for this step differ from state to state; however, if you have your degree and the correct number of classroom hours, you will be well on your way to obtaining your teaching license.

If you are looking to become an early childhood educator, a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education online is a great major. This major provides you with the tools necessary for child development and classroom education while giving you opportunities to gain additional teaching experience needed to earn your teaching license.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten and elementary school teachers have a median annual wage of $60,660 as of May 2020.2

This early childhood education degree online will allow you to pursue a teaching licensure, making this an excellent choice for those who have a passion for teaching young minds. Furthermore, many BS in Early Child Education graduates decide to continue their education by enrolling in a master’s degree in early education, which makes a bachelor’s in early childhood degree even more desirable. In fact, GCU’s master’s in elementary education is ranked best online program in the Southwest.3

Although salaries differ in states around the country for early childhood education positions, those who hold a bachelor’s degree may find great success in the following higher paying jobs:4

  • Early childhood education specialist
  • Daycare director for preschool program
  • Preschool and nursery center director
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TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

Online: 7 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $455 per credit [More Info]

1 OnlineSchoolsReport, “Best Online Early Childhood Education Degrees” in February 2020.

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers as of May 2020. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as kindergarten and elementary school teachers. It does not reflect workers’ earnings in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. The median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path.

3 Intelligent, Best Online Master’s in Elementary Education Degree Programs in May 2021. 

4 Arizona Early Childhood Career and Professional Development Network, The Highest Paying Early Childhood Education Jobs in July 2022.

Course List

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

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

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 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 (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.

Course Options

  • 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

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

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Required General Education Courses

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.

Course Description

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.

Core Courses

Course Description

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.

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 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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

This course explores components of typical and atypical literacy development for children Birth to Age 8/Grade 3. Coursework emphasizes the science of reading and components of literacy development, including phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Teacher candidates focus on assessing developmental and other literacy concerns, through differentiation strategies to support literacy learning in young children, including dyslexia. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ECS-425 or ECE-120.

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. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

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

Course Description

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.

Course Description

Teacher candidates spend time in a birth through preschool setting observing, working with small groups, and teaching. Emphasis will be placed on planning, implementing, and evaluating developmentally appropriate curricula, instruction, and adaptations based on knowledge of development and learning with young children, the family, and the community. The practicum/field experiences for this course are in a birth through preschool setting. Practicum/field experience hours: 30. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ECE-230 and ECE-340 or ECS-430.

Course Description

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 or ECS-430.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

Teacher candidates study the early stages of reading disabilities, including dyslexia. Emphasis is on assessment procedures in early childhood settings and methods of early intervention and remediation. Candidates will explore the collaboration with stakeholders in the use of formal and informal assessment data to support the diagnosis and remediation process in literacy. Candidates will examine research-based strategies to support literacy development. Prerequisite: ECS-430.

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) and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Performance Template. Fingerprint clearance required.

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.

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