What Is a Special Education in Early Childhood Education Dual Degree?
Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education is offered by the College of Education. This degree prepares aspiring teacher candidates to pursue a career devoted to helping young children strive to reach their full potential as learners and community members. Students who earn an early childhood special education degree are well-positioned to recognize the signs of developmental delays and disabilities, and to work with families, schools and other stakeholders to meet the needs of these exceptional children.
This dual bachelor’s degree combines the specializations of early childhood education and special education. Teacher candidates explore the education of children with and without exceptionalities, as well as concepts of child, family and community collaboration and advocacy.
The early childhood special education degree is regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona Department of Education. Graduates are qualified to pursue a dual teaching certification credential in Arizona.
Why Earn an Early Childhood Special Education Bachelors from GCU?
GCU’s early childhood special education degree emphasizes the value of servant leadership and Christian ethics. Aspiring teacher candidates may pursue a career working with children during a critical period in their development, when the right role models can encourage these young learners to embrace creativity, strive toward literacy and develop an enduring love of learning.
GCU supports a modern and diverse student body. This degree offers flexible learning options to suit the needs of our students. Both online and on-campus classes are available.
What Will I Study as a Special Education Major?
Early childhood special education majors at GCU benefit from an in-depth and comprehensive curriculum that imparts essential knowledge and critical classroom skills, including the following:
- Early language and literacy development
- Social and emotional development
- Behavioral interventions
- Classroom management
- Learning strategies
- Instructional methods
- Assessments, evaluations and progress reporting
- Child, family and community collaboration
- Educational advocacy for children with and without exceptionalities
This bachelor’s degree program includes 235 field experience hours in special education, inclusive and general education for pre-K up to grade 3 classrooms. An emphasis is placed on pre-K experiences. All teacher candidates must successfully complete a 16-week student teaching experience comprised of eight weeks in a K-3 special education classroom and eight weeks in a K-3 general education classroom.
What Are the Career Options for Early Childhood Special Education Teachers?
There are many possible career paths for individuals with a background in early childhood special education. This degree could equip you to work in any of these settings:
- Early childhood education centers
- Public and private preschool/pre-K
- Public and private elementary school
- Nonprofit organizations
- Educational policy organizations
Some of the jobs that may be directly related to an early childhood special education degree could include:
- Teaching positions
- Special education advocacy roles
- Special education program coordinators
- School administration roles
The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education degree program at Grand Canyon University leads to initial teacher licensure. This program meets licensure requirements in most states, including Arizona. Teacher candidates are required to obtain all necessary certifications from the state in which they plan to teach.
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, 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.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* 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.