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 in both the general education elementary classroom setting and special education elementary classroom setting. This 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 disabilities through implementing individualized educational plans to accommodate students’ various learning, behavioral and social needs. Students will also gain a well-rounded liberal arts elementary education background.
Why Earn a Dual Bachelor’s in Elementary and Special Education Degree 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 also gain the ability to navigate the changing landscape of special education laws and procedures.
Support given by the highly-qualified and experienced GCU teaching staff within the elementary education and special education degree program make this bachelor’s degree stand apart from others. 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 Special Education Degree Requirements for Elementary Special Ed Teachers?
Special education teachers need a high level of specific knowledge when it comes to supporting students with exceptionalities. 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 or self-contained classroom 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 a variety of school settings as well as in private educational programs. With this online special education degree, you may work within:
- Elementary classrooms as a co-teacher
- Middle or high school classrooms designated for students with exceptionalities
- Private education centers
- Social service agencies
- District offices
- Educational technology companies
Students with exceptionalities 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 Bachelor of Science 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.
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.