Graduate Elementary Education Certificate

Graduate Certificate of Completion Canyon L.E.A.P. to Teach, Elementary EducationInitial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education

Study Advanced Elementary Education Concepts in this Canyon L.E.A.P to Teach Program

The elementary education certificate offered through Grand Canyon University's Canyon L.E.A.P. to Teach program is intended for those looking to become a certified teacher. This program is designed specifically for those who already hold a bachelor's degree, are not working as a teacher, and have access to an elementary education classroom.

The elementary teaching certificate program assists candidates as they work as a teacher of record in an elementary classroom and pursue a non-traditional route to teacher licensure with the support of their school district. 

Pursing Your Elementary Education Certificate With GCU

GCU offers the graduate certificate in elementary education online. Programs following the Canyon L.E.A.P. to Teach are designed to be accessible both for full-time students and for working professionals. Because of this, classes are offered online to afford you convenience and flexibility.1

The Canyon L.E.A.P. to Teach program is an innovative, non-traditional approach to earning a teaching certificate. This structured L.E.A.P. program can prepare teacher candidates to earn their elementary education certificate through an immersive learning experience. This includes daytime teaching, professional development, mentor support and graduate coursework.

The elementary education certificate program’s requirements include:

  • Experience with formal and informal evaluations
  • Four online GCU teacher education courses
  • Six in-person Saturday workshops
  • Culminating hands-on capstone project
  • Professional development and mentoring

This comprehensive approach ensures that you are supported during every step of the pathway and have the opportunity to develop their pedagogical skills. 

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Study the Teaching Industry With an Elementary Education Graduate Certificate

This post-baccalaureate elementary education certificate serves as an alternative route for entering the field of education to champion students mental, emotional and social development, as well as to provide students with an academic foundation and passion for learning.

Courses within the elementary teaching certificate program teach you to:

  • Meet the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families
  • Identify the cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns for students with exceptionalities
  • Teach foundational skills to develop proficient readers 
  • Prepare elementary students with reading literacy skills across a range of texts and disciplines
  • Examine the foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) and other instructional programs for English language learners
  • Incorporate principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning 
  • Learn methods of assessment and strategies for using assessment to direct teaching strategies 
  • Create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, positive social interaction, active engagement and self-motivation
  • Build upon foundational knowledge of equipping students to establish and maintain positive collaborative relationships 

Career Options With a Canyon L.E.A.P.  Elementary Education Certificate

By earning your elementary education certificate, you can prepare yourself for a career in teaching and supporting elementary-aged students in their academic endeavors. Through the Canyon L.E.A.P. to Teach program, this graduate certificate in elementary education can help you gain licensure to become a licensed teaching professional. With your certificate, you may pursue job opportunities such as a postsecondary education teacher, or elementary school teacher, with the exception of special education. Be sure to check with your specific state for licensure requirements.

Elementary Education Graduate Certificate FAQs

If you’re looking to teach elementary school students and enroll in a graduate certificate program, reach more about this career path in our frequently asked questions below.

A graduate certificate teaches you the foundational knowledge of a specific focus area that can help prepare you to pursue a career in that field. After earning a graduate certificate in elementary education, you may be better prepared to enter into graduate teaching programs or pursue teaching licensure to teach elementary school students. Requirements for licensure depends on the state in which you plan to teach.

To be eligible for the online elementary education certificate program, you must have a previous bachelor’s degree. You can view our graduate admissions requirements page to see additional eligibility requirements and determine if you may be eligible for the certificate program. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor to better understand if you meet the admission requirements. 

Yes. States have varying requirements when it comes to what you need to be able to teach elementary school. These requirements may include a specific level of degree, coursework, certifications and experience held. However, all states require licensed elementary school teachers to earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.2 Make sure to check your state’s requirements so you can plan your ideal academic route.

Your salary will ultimately be based on your specific school district, location and job title; however we can look at the national median annual salary as an example. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten and elementary school teachers had a median annual salary of $61,350 in May 2021.3

The elementary education graduate certificate program requires a total of 16 credits for completion. The majority of your online classes are six weeks in length each. To help determine a specific timeline of completion for this program, fill out the form on this page to get in contact with a university counselor.

This L.E.A.P. to Teach program can provide you with the opportunity to earn teaching licensure in Arizona through a non-traditional format by earning your graduate certificate. You may have the ability to work within your school district as a teacher of record while completing the certificate program, gaining crucial knowledge of various areas of teaching while directly applying your studies in your work setting.

Take your first step toward becoming a certified teacher. Earn your elementary education certificate from Grand Canyon University. Fill out the form on this page to learn more.


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 Online courses exclude programs with residencies and field experience.

2 Sartore, M. (3, March 2023). Teaching Requirements by State. The Best Schools. Retrieved May 15, 2023. 

3 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, as of May 2021, retrieved on May 16, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 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 kindergarten and elementary school teachers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect 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. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates. 

Total Credits: 16
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $590 per credit [More Info]

Course List

16 credits
Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

Candidates will identify effective classroom management techniques that foster a sense of community and promote student growth. Candidates will reflect on the importance of building a strong connection between home and school. All candidates will examine research-based strategies that engage learners in collaborative and self-directed learning. Throughout this course candidates will evaluate the logical progression of effective lessons, leveraging critical thinking skills and preferred learning styles. Candidates will engage in reflective practices, including a variety of self-assessments, to reflect on their practices and plan for necessary adjustments. Practicum/field experience hours: 1. Fingerprint clearance 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. With this foundational knowledge, the science surrounding reading instruction is explored and put into practice. Practicum/field experience hours: 8. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ECS-501 or ELM-555 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion Canyon L.E.A.P. to Teach, Elementary Education.

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. Teacher candidates design and plan a learning environment that allows active participation from students in their own learning, collaborative goal setting with students and other stakeholders, self-assessment of progress, reflective thinking, questioning with intention, and purposeful feedback. Practicum/field experience hours: 8. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-545.

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 for English language 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. Through Universal Design for Learning they plan, deliver, and evaluate standards-based instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

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: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

The goal of this culminating experience is to allow candidates to refine their skills in the identified InTASC standards. Teacher candidates will move to higher levels on the InTASC progressions through in-class discussions, video reflection, in-class progression of essential skills, and peer and coach mentoring. Candidates will create and evaluate appropriate learning experiences to move learners toward their next levels of development. They will dive deeper into the analysis of data to identify patterns and gaps in learning to guide instruction and provide meaningful feedback. Candidates will reevaluate plans in relation to short- and long-range goals and systematically adjust plans to meet each student’s learning needs and enhance learning. Practicum/field experience hours: 1. Fingerprint clearance required.


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.

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