MEd in Secondary Education - STEM (Licensure)

Master of Education in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in STEM (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)Initial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education

What is a STEM Education Program and Why is it Important at the Secondary Level?

Grand Canyon University's Master of Education in Secondary Education with an emphasis in STEM ITL degree program can prepare graduate students to seek licensure as a junior high or high school teacher, proficient in STEM education. STEM education is an interdisciplinary and applied approach to learning that integrates STEM-related and rigorous academic concepts with practical lessons.1

STEM education is important, as you will be taught how to help middle and high school students apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including problem solving and critical thinking skills — while understanding how STEM impacts our everyday lives and our nation’s competitiveness in the global economy.

STEM Educators:

  • Help meet the need for STEM teachers and mentors2
  • Instill an appreciation for engineering, biochemistry, computer science, robotics, cybersecurity and other STEM fields 
  • Guide students toward STEM related professions - Help students become tomorrow’s leaders and innovators, skilled in medicine, technology and science.
  • Develop engaging lessons and projects related to science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Cultivate an attitude of discovery, exploration and ingenuity

With emphases placed on technology and classroom diversity, graduate students learn to combine grades 6–12 subjects (STEM and educational psychology), including a variety of 21st century teaching methods and strategies to improve student outcomes. Master’s graduates will be taught to expose their students to STEM, prepare them for post-secondary STEM education and encourage them to explore careers by developing a strong STEM foundation, hands-on curriculum and integrated instruction.

Why Earn Your Masters in STEM Education with Licensure Online at GCU?

The digital format and courses for this institutionally accredited and Arizona State Board of Education approved program are tailored to meet the needs of the adult learner and maximize the content knowledge that the candidate already possesses. Online courses are taught by faculty who share knowledge and experience in areas of secondary education, STEM and educational psychology.

All courses are directly aligned with standards from the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) and the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE). Opportunities are provided to apply concepts, theories and research throughout the program, but particularly in secondary education field experiences that guide students through 100 hours of observational and practice-based experiences.

The final semester of the master’s in teaching secondary education degree program includes a fulltime, 15-week student teaching component. These learning, development and applied teaching opportunities are emphasized through a Christian worldview regarding values and ethics. Graduates of this program may seek employment anywhere a licensure is required, including public and private schools. This program does lead to teacher certification, and therefore, requires practicum hours, state exams, student teaching and an institutional recommendation from GCU.

What is the Difference between the Initial Licensure and Non-Licensure STEM Education Programs at GCU?

Candidates who seek the non-licensure route (NITL) with this program may not need to complete the 15-week student teaching component. Therefore, this may fit the needs of those who cannot complete this requirement. In addition, the program completion will be a semester shorter, as this route has 33 total credits, as opposed to 41 credits with the licensure route. Please note that candidates who take this route cannot obtain an Institutional Recommendation (IR) from GCU, which may impact certification requirements at the state level.

What Can You Do with a Masters in Secondary Education for STEM Education?

Graduates may be prepared to pursue career opportunities teaching students in one or more STEM subject, such as mathematics or science, at the secondary level in public or private schools. Teachers may be designated according to their subject matter specialty. Potential positions include a postsecondary education teacher or secondary school teacher focusing in a STEM-related field.

1 National Science Teaching Association (n.d.) STEM Education Teaching and Learning. Retrieved on May 30, 2023.

2 U.S. Department of Education (2022, Dec. 7). U.S. Department of Education Launches New Initiative to Enhance STEM Education for All Students. Retrieved on June 20, 2023.

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/background clearance is required.

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Total Credits: 41
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $590 per credit [More Info]

Course List

41 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
41 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

Teacher candidates will survey the philosophical, historical, and sociological influences upon which secondary educational theories and practices are constructed and explore a variety of the common issues, trends, and opportunities that professional educators face in the field. Candidates will prepare for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University by developing and strengthening the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Education. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Candidates examine the United States Constitution, and the constitution of the State of Arizona. From this foundational review, candidates will explore application of the United States Constitution and the constitution of the State of Arizona in educational contexts. Practicum/field experience hours: 3. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will survey how early adolescents and adolescents grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, social/emotional, and physical areas. This survey of the seminal concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of adolescents will allow candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: SEC-501 or SEC-502.

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: 6. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course is designed to allow the teacher candidate the opportunity to learn techniques involved in the successful engagement and management of a learning environment. Major emphasis is placed to the establishment of a realistic discipline plan to manage student behavior, as well as engagement and management techniques and strategies to maximize instructional time, classroom procedures, and physical space. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-501 or SEC-502 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion Canyon L.E.A.P. to Teach, Secondary Education.

Course Description

Various orientations to curriculum development and assessment are investigated and elements of model curricula are examined specific to the areas of STEM. Emphasis is placed on understanding current structures and trends in middle and high schools, as well as critical issues, as these relate to curriculum and assessment. Course content is strategically planned to enable participants to make informed curriculum decisions in STEM classrooms to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Also emphasized is the alignment of educational objectives to standards and building both formative and summative assessments, including rubrics to analyze student learning. This course focuses on the principles and practices involved in curriculum design for STEM classrooms. Teacher candidates develop their own curriculum unit. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will investigate multiple methods of assessment that support student engagement, monitor student progress, and guide decision-making, specifically to STEM classrooms. Candidates will build foundational knowledge regarding formal and informal assessment strategies for planning, evaluating, and strengthening instruction to promote continuous intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of each student. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates explore research-based strategies for delivering differentiated reading instruction to promote reading proficiency. Language and literacy development is examined to inform assessment, remediation and intervention practices to support middle to high school readers and ability levels, including students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Using this foundational knowledge, teacher candidates will select, adapt, and use research-based instructional strategies and interventions with attention focused on reading in academic curricula to advance learning for adolescent students. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course is designed to foster application of proven teaching and learning methodologies for both instructor and student in order to make appropriate and data-driven decisions about all aspects of teaching. Major emphasis is focused on planning instructional objectives and lessons, assessing objectives, and developing teaching methodology that encourages problem solving, active participation, and assessment. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-515 or SEC-516 or SEC-517.

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 examine fundamental concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Teacher candidates 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. Emphasis is placed on developing a deep understanding of the major concepts and procedures that define number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on integrating engineering and technology concepts in Math and Science curriculum. Practicum/field experience hours: 12. 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 Evaluation of Performance (STEP). Fingerprint clearance required. 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.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* 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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