Elementary and Special Education

Elementary and Special Education

Graduates of the Elementary and Special Education program will enter the teaching profession poised to meet the challenges of current and future classrooms.


Why study Elementary and Special Education at Coastal Georgia?

The Bachelor of Science in Education with dual majors in Elementary and Special Education prepares candidates for a career teaching prekindergarten through grade five (P-5) in both fields.

Working in a dynamic cohort model, teacher candidates learn to teach through practice-based coursework, extensive field-based learning in P-5 classrooms, community-based experiences, and the development of research-based and responsive teaching practices. Dedicated faculty engage teacher candidates in service-learning, undergraduate research, grant work, and professional presentations.

Our teacher education programs at the College of Coastal Georgia are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC).

What will I learn?

The Early Childhood and Special Education program integrates a focus on child development and responsive pedagogy in literacy, mathematics, special education, and interdisciplinary teaching in grades P-5. Throughout the program and under the mentorship of faculty and P-5 educators, teacher candidates participate in variety of diverse field experiences. During the final year of study, teacher candidates engage in a year-long clinical teaching experience.

What can I do when I graduate?

Our graduates are in high demand and are poised to begin teaching careers in schools and/or pursue a higher degree in the profession.

Lexie Downey

Student Spotlight: Lexie Downey

Lexie Downey graduated in 2019 with a dual major in Early Childhood and Special Education. Since then, she has been doing an amazing job of teaching, and is now pursuing graduate work at Purdue University.

“My experience with the teacher education program at Coastal Georgia was excellent. There are very few programs that offer the option to earn a dual certification in both early childhood and special education simultaneously.”

Read More Here

Dr. Caroline Geiken

Caroline Geiken

Professor of Practice of Special Education

Dr. Geiken received her Doctorate of Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Argosy University. She received her Master of Early Childhood from Armstrong Atlantic, and her Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education and Special Education from Calvin College. In 2016, Dr. Geiken was awarded the Lillie Moncus Special Education Administrator of the Year. Her professional affiliations include Phi Delta Kappa, Council of Exceptional Children, and the Georgia Educators Association. Before joining the Coastal Georgia faculty, Dr. Geiken worked for the Glynn County School System as Director of Special Education for six years. Prior to that, she was the Special Education Coordinator and Special Education Teacher for the Glynn County School System.


Prior to enrolling in the semester that begins the teacher candidates professional education sequence of coursework, students are required to be admitted to the Teacher Education Program. Applications for admission are due on or before March 1 prior to the junior year, fall semester. Admission is competitive in nature, and successful prospective teacher candidates must meet the minimum criteria:
  • a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on all coursework
  • completion of the GACE Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment
  • a grade of C or better in all Area F courses
  • completion of areas A-F in the core curriculum
  • submission of three Teacher Candidate Disposition Evaluations (at least one from an EDUC professor)
  • proof of insurance for tort liability purposes
  • completion of a GaPSC Pre-Service Certification Application
  • a successful criminal background check (conducted by the GaPSC)
  • completion of a Lawful Presence Affidavit

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete all courses in the major with a grade of C or higher.
  • Satisfactory performance in all field experiences, including the on-going demonstration of professional dispositions required of teachers as professionals.
  • Attempt the GACE content assessments associated with the degree field. *An “attempt” requires that assessment scores are received by the Department of Education and Teacher Preparation prior to program completion/graduation.
  • Overall grade point average of 2.5.