Bachelor's in Elementary Education Degree Overview
A BS in Elementary Education degree is an undergraduate degree program that can prepare you for a career as a K–8 elementary teacher and to seek initial licensure. Earning a BS in 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 can prepare 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.
An Accredited Elementary Education Degree Program
GCU’s bachelor’s degree in elementary education meets Arizona elementary education teaching requirements in a K–8 classroom environment. Courses and format are approved by the Arizona State Board of Education, which ensures that you will receive a top-tier education that addresses industry demands.
Courses also meet standards set by the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) and the 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.
Study Elementary Education Concepts
With an elementary education degree, you will be taught the specific knowledge and tools necessary that can prepare you to follow your passion for teaching and make a lasting impression on your 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 can make 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
- Overview of how to serve 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's 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 can further shape you into a career-ready individual 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 With GCU's Elementary Education Degree
GCU offers maximum learning flexibility to BS in elementary education learners by offering this elementary education degree online for independent learning, on campus in a traditional classroom setting or evening courses to maintain a regular work-day schedule.1 In pursuing your purpose, you can learn to help children reach their potential while influencing the broader educational community.
Students in the elementary education degree online or on-campus program 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 (ESL)
- 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
- An education program based on a Christian worldview that promotes a spirit of leadership
Careers With an Elementary Education Degree
BS in Elementary Education graduates may pursue careers in education as an elementary school teacher for K–8 learning environments in private or public schools. A bachelor’s in elementary education can also serve as a segue into earning a master’s degree for advanced knowledge, deepened understanding and the potential for upward mobility.
Many of GCU’s elementary education degrees online or on campus lead to an initial teacher licensure in the state of Arizona. For a full list of state-specific licensure requirements, please visit our state disclosures page. This licensure component is completed through many hours of field work in a physical classroom setting. A degree that does not lead to licensure may still have some field experience, but may not have the lengthy time requirements needed per week that a program leading to licensure does. If you would like to find more information about accreditation for GCU’s College of Education and its degree programs, visit the College of Education Accreditation page.
BS in Elementary Education Degree Programs FAQs
Pursuing a degree in elementary education can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. This section will provide you with answers to some your most frequently asked questions about the BS in Elementary Education degree program, so you can make an informed decision about your academic and professional goals.
If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint and background clearance is required.
Excluding observational and practice-based experiences, and student teaching.
1 Excluding observational and practice-based experiences, including student teaching
2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, the data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, retrieved on May 16, 2023.
3 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers as of May 2021, retrieved on May 16, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 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. 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. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.
4 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022, Oct. 4), Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers - Pay. Retrieved on May 16, 2023.
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.