Bachelor of Science (BS) in Elementary Education: STEM Emphasis

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in STEMInitial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education

Prepare for a Role as an Elementary STEM Teacher

STEM includes the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that concentrate on understanding the world and solving problems to transform our everyday lives. By enrolling in the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in STEM degree at Grand Canyon University (GCU), you can grow into an elementary STEM teacher while being exposed to diverse occupations within STEM-related fields. This degree can prepare you to become the teacher who potentially fulfills roles within STEM fields.

STEM fields can be seen as innovative and instrumental in shaping the future of the global economy.1 As the world becomes more technologically advanced, the fields are calling for more STEM-qualified teachers who can ignite interest, curiosity and excitement in STEM education, starting at the elementary level.2 This career path can prepare you to introduce STEM awareness early, fostering a passion for learning and discovery in these crucial areas.

Earn Your Elementary STEM Education Emphasis From GCU

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. Starting students with STEM education in elementary school can improve their overall outcomes.1 You will be taught 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.

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This program further connects you to opportunities (such as elementary education field experiences) to apply concepts, theories and research. Field experiences guide you through 130 hours of observational and practice-based learning. For further teacher-candidate experience, you’ll also complete a 15-week student teaching component. These STEM teacher courses can prepare you to move into the next steps.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to work toward obtaining your elementary education teaching license. Be sure to check the specific licensing requirements in the state you wish to teach. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor about your specific needs.

With our online STEM program, you will be taught to advance your skills with access to a flexible and convenient learning platform. Balance your personal and professional commitments while pursuing your passion for teaching STEM subjects.

Immerse yourself in the world of traditional education with on-campus STEM training. You have the opportunity to directly experience the learning environment provided by a physical campus. Delve into STEM disciplines, collaborate with peers and access resources as you work toward laying the foundation for a future in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Over 1 Million

New jobs estimated to open for STEM occupations from 2022 to 2032, as of September 20223

Course Topics for Elementary STEM Teacher Preparation

STEM teacher course topics are designed to ignite your curiosity and unravel the mysteries of science, mathematics, technology and engineering through engaging and interactive coursework. From innovative teaching strategies to modern educational technologies, our courses are designed to inspire your passion for STEM by helping you create a learning environment for young minds.

Course topics include:

  • Developmental psychology during early adolescence
  • 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 today’s classroom
  • Integrating multiple disciplines for STEM teaching and learning
  • Three-dimensional teaching

Elementary Education STEM Career Opportunities

With a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education: STEM emphasis, you will be taught the skills needed to pursue potential positions in a variety of fields, such as an elementary education teacher. A STEM education with versatile skills can also ready you for various industries, including civil, mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering. These are the jobs of the future that require innovation, collaboration and critical thinking.1

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth for STEM occupations to increase by about 10.8% from 2022 to 2032, faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 1,122,400 jobs in the field.3

Begin Your STEM Training for Elementary Teachers at an Accredited University

Aligned with the Arizona Department of Education, the BS in Elementary Education with a STEM emphasis supports GCU’s mission to produce career-ready graduates who can bring effective STEM education into schools and classrooms. If you are seeking initial teacher licensure to teach in both elementary and middle grade settings, this program may be for you. The curriculum is institutionally 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).

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education: STEM Emphasis FAQs

To help you gain a comprehensive understanding of our STEM elementary teacher BS degree, explore the frequently asked questions below to find the information you need to become a future STEM educator.

Upon completing this program, you will have been taught a strong foundation in STEM education and a comprehensive set of skills that can prepare you to pursue a STEM teaching role in elementary and postsecondary schools. The program's rigorous curriculum, hands-on experiences and guidance from faculty can help you grow, engage and inspire young minds in STEM subjects, making this degree program a great choice for those inspired to become a STEM teacher.

While in many states there is not a separate certification for STEM, this course is well-suited for elementary school teachers who are seeking to attain a STEM endorsement or “add on” to their initial teaching license. This program focuses on valuable insights that can enhance your teaching skills in the STEM subjects. This program can cater to your professional goals and support your journey toward a STEM educator.

Being an elementary STEM education teacher can be valuable, as it can help enhance your teaching methods and prepare you for future workforce needs while also helping your students develop their own critical thinking skills. The value of STEM training ultimately depends on your career goals and the desire to provide a more comprehensive and equitable education. Further, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM occupations, including STEM occupations in postsecondary teaching occupations, had a median annual wage of $97,980 in May 2022.4

Embrace the path of innovation and be a catalyst for tomorrow's advancements. Start your journey today and empower the next generation of pioneers. To learn more about degree requirements and program qualifications, fill out the form on this page and a university counselor will contact you.

 

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.

1 Langdon, David. McKittrick, George. Beede, David. Khan, Beethika. Doms, Mark. (2011, July). STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future. U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration. Retrieved on Aug. 24, 2023.

2 National Science Board (n.d.). U.S. STEM Workforce: Definition, Size, and Growth. Science & Engineering Indicators. Retrieved on Aug. 24, 2023.

3 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 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 effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Employment in STEM Occupations, retrieved Sept. 13, 2023.

4 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), STEM Occupations as of May 2022, retrieved on Sept. 13, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers nationwide with varying levels of education and experience. It does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates in STEM occupations, nor does it reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country or 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. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries. Your employability will be determined by numerous factors over which GCU has no control, such as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, the graduate’s experience level, individual characteristics, skills, etc., against a pool of candidates.

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
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Online: 7 weeks
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TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Online: $455 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
76 credits
Open Elective Credits:
0-6 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

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.

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • 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

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

Teacher candidates survey how children and early adolescents grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas while understanding the implications for designing and implementing developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. This survey of the seminal concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents allows teacher candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities that support individual student's development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge on planning instruction and formal and informal assessment strategies. Teacher candidates will examine instructional planning based on knowledge of students, learning theory, connection across the curriculum, curricular goals, and community. Formal and informal assessment strategies for planning, evaluating, and strengthening instruction for elementary students are also examined. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This is the second in a two-course sequence designed for prospective elementary school teachers. Concepts include elementary probability, data analysis, descriptive statistics, geometry of shapes in two and three dimensions, congruence and similarity, measurement, and geometric transformations, with an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking. Prerequisite: MAT-150.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and disorders. Teacher candidates will identify cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns of learning and development for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Teacher candidates also survey the special education process involving the application of various laws and regulations. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine how to teach foundational skills to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of texts and disciplines. Teacher candidates build additional knowledge regarding print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency to promote early literacy and independent readers. The science surrounding reading instruction is explored and put into practice with this foundational knowledge. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210 or ECS-125.

Course Description

In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates examine how to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and encourage students' positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge regarding the importance of establishing and maintaining positive collaborative relationships with families, school colleagues, and agencies in the larger community to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, physical growth, and well-being of children. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates develop strategies for literacy intervention and remediation to foster and support student autonomy in the classroom. Teacher candidates build knowledge and skills to plan literacy supports in all content areas, promote self-directed learning, and empower students to take control and set goals for their own learning outcomes. Language and literacy development is examined to inform intervention and remediation strategies and practices to support readers of varying ages and ability levels, including students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-315.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students to develop a deep understanding of the major concepts and procedures that define number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement and data, and probability. From this foundational knowledge, candidates select, adapt and use research-based methods, instructional strategies, and interventions to advance the mathematical abilities of students and have them apply their knowledge and abilities in meaningful ways. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.

Course Description

In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates study how to teach a diverse population of students by examining the foundations and dimensions of social justice in education, social constructs, privilege, prejudice, and oppression with the goal of becoming culturally competent educators.

Course Description

This course is a survey of the Arizona constitution and government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) and other instructional programs and approaches for teaching English learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement as they plan, deliver, and evaluate standards-based instruction for English learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will examine fundamental concepts of physical, life, earth and space sciences, and health education. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on a variety of age-appropriate inquiry-based instructional strategies to teach science, to build student understanding of personal and social applications, to convey the nature of science, and student development for the practice of skills that contribute to good health. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will examine a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students to develop deep understanding of the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the integrated study of social studies and other related areas. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on promoting elementary students' abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world. Teacher candidates will integrate the content, functions and achievements of the performing and visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry and engagement among elementary students. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on how to use concepts from reading, language, and child development to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills. Teacher candidates select, adapt and use research-based methods, instructional strategies, and interventions to individualize meaningful and challenging learning for students, with an emphasis on literacy. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ELM-210 and (ELM-305 or ELM-315).

Course Description

Teacher candidates will learn how to utilize instructional methods for science and engineering to actively engage students with challenges that are real-world and relevant. In this course, teacher candidates will explore how students learn utilizing authentic problems and participating in projects, with an emphasis on STEM education. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates, particularly those who intend to teach courses focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), need to be equipped with technological skills in order to meet the demands and expectations of the changing educational environment. In this course, teacher candidates will research current and emerging technologies, examine their use in enhancing teaching and learning, and explore approaches to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to utilize them appropriately. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will explore the importance and methodologies for developing innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula that integrates all academic areas in a relevant and cohesive manner. In this course, teacher candidates will examine the various aspects of STEM that can be integrated across content areas and disciplines. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates will examine the fundamentals of three dimensional teaching and learning and how to integrate these concepts into the planning and implementation of curricula. Teacher candidates evaluate the elements of three-dimensional learning: practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are engaged in the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a Student Teaching Performance of Evaluation (STEP). Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 2.8 GPA; successful completion of NES or your state’s mandated content area exams; and approval and placement by the College of Education Office of Clinical Practice. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.

Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* 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.