What Is an Elementary Education Degree?
A BS in Elementary Education degree is an undergraduate degree program that prepares students for a career as a K–8 elementary teacher and to seek initial licensure. Earning an elementary education degree can serve as a pathway for entering the field of education to lead in children’s mental, emotional and social development, as well as to provide students with a foundation in early basic academics (like math and reading).
The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education prepares teachers to identify their students’ strengths and weaknesses. Based on those insights, teachers will tailor content, instruction and projects that meet diverse student needs and interests. Other job responsibilities include motivating and engaging students, establishing behavioral rules and communicating with parents.
GCU’s bachelor’s degree in elementary education is competitive and meets Arizona elementary education teaching requirements in a K–8 classroom environment. Courses and format are regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education, which ensures students receive a top-tier education that addresses industry demand. Courses also meet standards set by the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Visit the College of Education Accreditation page for information on the accreditations for GCU’s education degree programs.
What You Will Learn
With an elementary education degree, teachers will have the knowledge and tools to follow their passion for teaching and making a lasting impression on their students’ future. The teaching profession in elementary classrooms is challenging; however, the rewards of seeing children understand something or make a discovery on their own makes all the hard work worth it.
The BS in Elementary Education degree curriculum at GCU includes:
- Lesson development to engage diverse learners
- Advanced methods for teaching English language learners
- A survey of serving students with mild to moderate disabilities
- Child and early adolescent growth and development
- Research and examination of science- and evidence-based learning concepts
GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree program’s curriculum further includes opportunities for relevant application of concepts, theories and research with an emphasis on elementary educational field experiences; teacher candidates complete 120 hours of observational and practice-based experiences. A 15 week student teaching experience further shapes students into career-ready individuals who can confidently enter the classroom. Graduates are eligible for a 120-credit elementary education teaching credential in the state of Arizona.
Flexible Learning Options
Students may learn on GCU’s vibrant campus in a traditional classroom setting, 100% online for independent, self-paced learning or during the evening on campus to maintain a regular day schedule. In pursuing their purpose, students will learn to help children reach their potential while influencing the broader educational community.
Candidates engage with foundational and application-based learning material and resources that include:
- Studies and practices in lesson planning and assessment, classroom management, social justice, family and cultural diversity and English as a Second Language
- Instructional methods/strategies in a broad range of topics
- Instructors with expertise in their respective fields who facilitate learning by sharing their knowledge and experience in these elementary education areas
- A values-based education program based on a Christian worldview that promotes a spirit of leadership
Careers With An Elementary Education Degree
Graduates of the BS in Elementary Education degree may pursue careers in education as an elementary school teacher for K–8 learning environments in private or public schools. This bachelor’s program can also serve as a segue into earning a master’s degree for advanced knowledge, deepened understanding, upward mobility, a competitive edge and potential for higher earnings.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.