What Is an Educational Studies Degree?
The field of education plays a unique role in effecting positive change in communities and society as a whole. The Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies degree program offered by Grand Canyon University prepares graduates to work toward a brighter future by influencing educational policies, laws, programs and curricula. Students taking this educational studies degree program from the College of Education at GCU will critically examine and analyze pedagogical theories, teaching practices, education laws and learning environments.
Why Choose an Educational Studies Bachelor’s Degree from GCU?
This educational studies degree is offered both online and on-campus. GCU seeks to graduate students who have gained both a firm foundational knowledge and the ability to thoughtfully reflect and think critically about the world around them. This rigorous curriculum guides students in analyzing ethical dilemmas in the educational arena through the lens of the Christian perspective. There is a strong emphasis on servant leadership.
Educational studies majors develop a firm grasp on the following core areas to develop a well-rounded perspective on teaching practices in alternative learning environments:
- Educational psychology
- Early childhood and adolescent literacy
- Diversity in the classroom
- Instructional technology
- Classroom management
- Leadership planning
- Legal compliance
What Will I Study as an Educational Studies Major?
Students majoring in educational studies examine relevant and timely topics through an interdisciplinary lens. Some of these topics include:
- Best practices in curriculum development
- Practical applications of pedagogical concepts
- Effective strategies for classroom engagement
- Methods of student assessment and evaluation
All graduates with this major must complete 120 credits, including 56 major-specific credits and 24 to 30 open elective credits. Some of the classes you could take may include the following:
- Early Childhood Literature
- Adolescent Literacy
- Early Literacy Development
- Special Education Litigation and Law
- Cultural Diversity in the Classroom
- Educating the Exceptional Learner
- Faith in Learning, Leading and Serving
The coursework culminates in an internship experience. Students will complete an internship in a nontraditional school setting, during which they will gain practical, hands-on knowledge of how to integrate ethical values and servant leadership into the learning environment.
What Can You Do with a Bachelor’s in Educational Studies?
This educational studies bachelor’s degree is a multidisciplinary program that prepares students to pursue a variety of careers across a diverse range of settings. The foundational skills you will acquire during your coursework will translate well to various professions. Graduates may choose to pursue a job in any of these settings:
- Nontraditional schools
- Nonprofit organizations
- Early childhood education centers
- Social service agencies
- Public or private community organizations
Some examples of careers related to this degree may include:
- Curriculum specialist
- Education consultant
- Education advocate
- Youth enrichment program director
- Program director
- Children’s services supervisor
- Adoption services manager
- Child welfare services director
- Vocational rehabilitation administrator
The Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies degree program does not lead to initial teacher licensure. This profession does not have licensure requirements in most states, including Arizona. Individuals may choose to broaden their knowledge base and enhance their career opportunities by pursuing graduate certificates or degrees in educational studies.
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 is designed to provide education students opportunities to develop and strengthen skills necessary to enhance their undergraduate experience. It provides positive reinforcement of successful learning strategies, assistance with adaption to the GCU academic environment, and the foundation for success in the education area of study.
Program Core Courses
Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge on planning instruction and formal and informal assessment strategies. Teacher candidates will examine instructional planning based on knowledge of students, learning theory, connection across the curriculum, curricular goals, and community. Formal and informal assessment strategies for planning, evaluating, and strengthening instruction for elementary students are also examined. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
This course provides future teachers the opportunity to examine the use of technology in the 21st century classroom. In addition to studying and utilizing a variety of technologies, such as computer software and hardware, students develop a personal technology philosophy and classroom technology plan designed to enhance and shape their teaching skills and knowledge to better utilize emerging technology. Fingerprint clearance not 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.
Teacher candidates survey how children and early adolescents grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas while understanding the implications for designing and implementing developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. This survey of the seminal concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents allows teacher candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities that support individual student's development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: None. 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.
This course focuses on the interpersonal skills and communication strategies and techniques required for success in diverse, dispersed, and global organizations. Students examine various facets of effective workplace communication, including the use of contemporary channels and the challenges of technologically mediated communication, and focus on persuasive strategies for communicating and facilitating change in today's dynamic organizations.
Teacher candidates will examine how to teach foundational skills to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of texts and disciplines. Teacher candidates will build additional knowledge regarding print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency to promote early literacy and independent readers. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210 or ECS-125.
This course is a study of literature written for children Birth to Age 5/Pre-K and K to Age 8/Grade 3. There is an emphasis on the different genres, examining each one's characteristics and contexts for use. Relevant teaching strategies and learning activities pertaining to each genre are also explored. Other topics covered in this course include criteria for evaluating, analyzing, and selecting children's literature, the integration of literature across the curriculum, and the involvement of families. Fingerprint clearance not required.
In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates examine how to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and encourage students' positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge regarding the importance of establishing and maintaining positive collaborative relationships with families, school colleagues, and agencies in the larger community to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, physical growth, and well-being of children. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on how to the use concepts from reading, language, and child development to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills. Teacher candidates select, adapt and use research-based instructional strategies and interventions to individualize meaningful and challenging learning for students, with an emphasis on literacy. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ELM-210 and ELM-305.
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 writing intensive course is a comprehensive study of the legal and ethical issues of concern to business, including those areas of the U.S. legal system that are most relevant to business, such as the law of torts, strict liability, intellectual property, and contract law. It explores the role of ethics and values in business decision making, and approaches these subjects from the perspective of the stakeholders as opposed to an economic interpretation of the firm and its responsibilities.
Teacher candidates survey professional ethical principles, professional practice standards, law and regulations that guide special educators. Teacher candidates build upon the foundational knowledge to understand the multiple roles and complex situations of professional practice that require attention to a variety of legal, professional and ethical issues. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-200.
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 focuses on servant leadership and ethical leadership, explores how servant leadership is different from other styles of leadership, and examines how this connects to ethics, accountability, and being a responsible leader. Also PSC-410.