What Is STEM?
STEM includes the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that concentrate on understanding the world and solving problems to transform our everyday lives. STEM is the future of the global economy and the coalescence of various disciplines to innovate in the 21st century and keep our country competitive. Careers in STEM have been on the rise and continue to be in high demand as the world becomes more technologically advanced. To drive STEM, the fields are calling for more STEM-qualified teachers who can ignite interest, curiosity and excitement in STEM education, starting at the elementary level.
As of September 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for STEM occupations to increase by about 10.5% from 2020 to 2030, faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 1,074,500 jobs in the field.1 Other top occupations throughout this decade include computer systems analysts, computer user support specialists, software developers, computer programmers, network and computer systems administrators, computer and information systems managers and web developers.
In-demand employment areas also include civil, mechanical, industrial and electrical engineers. These are the jobs of the future that require creativity, innovation, collaboration and critical thinking. In education, STEM college and career readiness begins in elementary and middle schools where teachers are knowledgeable about STEM and passionate about making a difference in a child’s life and the future of our country.
BS in Elementary Education and STEM
Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in STEM prepares students to become the teachers who can fulfill these roles. Students will learn how to integrate STEM into the classroom with an interdisciplinary approach, promoting problem solving and creativity through inquiry and project-based, hands-on learning for elementary learners. Not only will this program prepare students to teach STEM, but it will expose students to today’s most in-demand occupations in STEM-related fields. This way, educators can introduce STEM career awareness early on in a student’s education and foster the early stages of learning in these areas.
Aligned with the Arizona Department of Education, the BS in elementary STEM education program supports GCU’s mission to produce career-ready graduates who can bring effective STEM education into schools and classrooms. This program is inclusive of elementary and middle schools and is designed for those seeking initial teacher licensure. Curriculum is regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education. Courses meet the standards of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) and International Society for Teaching in Education (ISTE).
What Are the Bachelor’s Degree Requirements To Be an Elementary STEM Teacher?
Start your path toward a bachelor’s in elementary STEM education by applying to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology and completing the form located to the right. Learn more about degree requirements, program qualifications and admissions requirements. Applicants will follow the standard application steps.
Course topics include:
- Early adolescent development and psychology
- Instructional methods, planning and assessment
- Student engagement and engaging learning environments
- Instructional strategies for integrating science, health, social studies, the arts, English language arts, engineering and mathematics
- STEM tools for the modern classroom
- Interdisciplinary teaching and learning in STEM
- Three-dimensional teaching in STEM classrooms
This program further connects students to opportunities (such as elementary education field experiences) to apply concepts, theories and research. Field experiences guide students through 130 hours of observational and practice-based learning. For further experience, teacher candidates also complete a 15-week student teaching component. Graduates of this program are eligible for an elementary education teaching credential in the state of Arizona (120 credits).
Elementary Education STEM Careers
Graduates may pursue potential positions in education such as elementary classroom teacher, computer science/technology) teacher, technology integration specialist, elementary math specialist/coach, math interventionist, elementary science specialist/coach and STEM teacher.
1 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 Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is based on 2020, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Employment in STEM Occupations
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.