What is an Elementary Special Education Bachelor’s Degree?
The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Elementary Education and Special Education degree offered by Grand Canyon University is designed for future teachers interested in working with children with special needs in the elementary classroom setting. The dual degree program includes coursework that prepares future elementary teachers (K-8), as well as coursework that is required of special education teachers working with mild to moderate disabilities in the K-12 setting.
Both pedagogical knowledge and special education-specific content make up the curriculum for the BS in Elementary Education and Special Education degree. Graduates of the program are prepared to work with students with mild to moderate special needs by implementing individualized educational plans to accommodate students’ various learning, behavioral and social needs. They also gain a well-rounded liberal arts elementary education background.
Why Earn a Dual Bachelor Degree in Elementary and Special Education from GCU?
Qualified special education teachers are in high demand, especially at the elementary level where diagnosis and identification may be ongoing. Future elementary special education teachers enrolled in this BS program at Grand Canyon University gain the ability to navigate the changing landscape of special education laws and procedures.
The support given by the highly-qualified and experienced GCU teaching staff in the elementary education and special education Bachelor’s program make this degree path stand apart from others. The GCU staff has years of cumulative experience and experience. Courses are taught by experts in the areas of learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disabilities and other physical and cognitive impairments.
What are Elementary and Special Education BS Degree Requirements?
Special education teachers need a high level of specific knowledge when it comes to supporting students with special needs. During this special education degree program, future educators will learn about implementing the specialized instruction, including modification and accommodations, needed to advocate for and teach their students.
As a future special educator in the BS in Elementary Education and Special Education degree program at GCU, you will study everything you need to know to be the most effective teacher possible.
Areas of study include:
- Developmentally appropriate pedagogy
- Accommodation and modification strategies
- Classroom management
- Collaboration with general education teachers (mainstreaming support)
- Adapting learning for the least restrictive environment
- Personalized learning strategies for student achievement
Future special education teachers will complete a full-time, 16-week student teaching component at the end of the program. The first eight weeks of student teaching take place in a general education setting. The second eight weeks are completed in an inclusion classroom, resource room, self-contained class or in a special school, serving students with mild to moderate disabilities. That student teaching experience must be done under the supervision of a certified special educator.
Upon graduation, students may be qualified for a teaching certificate. Additional testing, practicum hours, or experience may be required to attain teaching licensure.
What Can I Do with an Elementary Special Education Teaching Degree?
Most elementary schools are always looking for highly-qualified special education teachers. With a bachelor’s in elementary education and special education, you may be able to find work as a:
- Classroom teacher
- Resource room or special day class teacher
- Child development specialist
- School program director
- Education advocate
- Curriculum coach
Special educators work in a variety of environments. These include school settings as well as in private educational programs. With this degree, you might end up working in:
- Elementary classrooms as a co-teacher
- Middle school classrooms designated for students with special needs
- Private education centers
- Social service agencies
- District offices
- Educational technology companies
Students with special needs deserve teachers with excellent pedagogical backgrounds to teach and advocate for them. If you are up for all the challenges and rewards that come along with being an elementary special education teacher, then apply for the BS in Elementary Education and Special Education degree at GCU today. Your future students are waiting.
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.