Shape the Lives of Your Students with an Elementary and Special Education 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 and special education classroom setting. This dual degree program includes coursework that prepares future educators to teach in elementary settings, 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 Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education degree. The program will prepare you to work with students in an elementary setting, as well as students with mild to moderate disabilities in K-12 settings, through implementing individualized educational plans to accommodate students’ various learning, behavioral and social needs. Through this robust licensure program, you will gain a well-rounded elementary education background.
Earn a Dual Bachelor’s in Elementary and Special Education Degree from GCU
Qualified elementary and special education teachers are in high demand, especially at the K-12 level where diagnosis and identification for students with exceptionalities may be ongoing. As a future teacher enrolled in this bachelor’s program at GCU, you will 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. The GCU staff has years of cumulative experience. Special education-specific courses are taught by experts in the areas of learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disabilities and other physical and cognitive impairments.
Skills You’ll Develop During an Elementary Education and Special Education Degree Program
Both elementary and special education teachers need a high level of knowledge when it comes to supporting their students. During this elementary education and special education degree program, you will learn about implementing best practices, including specialized instruction, modification and accommodations needed to advocate for and teach your students.
As a future educator in the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education degree program at GCU, you will study everything you need to know about elementary and special education to be the most effective teacher possible.
Elementary and special education degree areas of study include:
- Developmentally appropriate pedagogy
- Accommodation and modification strategies
- Classroom management
- Collaboration with general elementary education teachers (mainstreaming support)
- Adapting learning for the least restrictive environment
- Personalized learning strategies for student achievement
You will complete a full-time, 16-week student teaching component at the end of the elementary education and special education degree 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, you may qualify for a teaching certificate. Additional testing, practicum hours or experience may be required to attain elementary or special education teaching licensure.
Career Paths for Elementary and Special Education Teachers
Most elementary, middle and high schools are constantly looking for highly qualified elementary and special education teachers. With a bachelor’s in elementary education and special education, you may be able to find work as a:
- Special education teacher (preschool)
- Special education teacher (kindergarten)
- Special education teacher (elementary school)
- Special education teacher (middle school)
- Special education teacher (secondary school)
- Teaching assistant (special education)
Work Environments Where Elementary and Special Education Teachers Can Apply Their Skills
Elementary and special educators work in a variety of educational settings. These include school settings as well as in private educational programs. With this on-campus or online elementary and special education degree from GCU, you might work within:
- Elementary classrooms
- Middle or high school classrooms designated for students with exceptionalities
- Private education centers
- Social service agencies
- District offices
- Educational technology companies
Elementary students and 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 or special education teacher, then sign up for the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education Degree at GCU today. Your future students are waiting.
Elementary Education and Special Education Degree FAQs
1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Special Education Teachers as of May 2021. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 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 special education 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. The 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.
2 Retrieved from IResearchNet, Career Research, Special Education Teacher Career, in September 2022
3 Retrieved from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, 25- 2052 Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School, in September 2022
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
Required General Education Courses
* 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.