Elementary Education

Undergraduate Major - 66 Credit Hours
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An elementary education major prepares future teachers to teach grades kindergarten through six. Students combine an elementary education major with specific passions through endorsements related to an age group, type of learner, or subject area.

Program Description:

BVU’s elementary education major is your opportunity to make an impact on children of today and all of our future. The program will provide you with extensive and varied field experience opportunities and the knowledge and skills needed to be a high quality elementary teacher.

BVU also provides opportunities to focus your teaching career in with the following endorsements based on interest:

  • Young children – early childhood endorsement
  • Older children – middle school endorsement
  • Integrated science, technology, engineering, & math – STEM endorsement
  • Children with diverse needs – special education endorsement
  • Teaching English – Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) endorsement

And at BVU, a reading endorsement is automatically embedded in the elementary education major, providing each and every student a key, competitive advantage in the job market.

  • Council Bluffs
  • Creston
  • Denison
  • Emmetsburg
  • Estherville
  • Fort Dodge
  • Le Mars
  • Marshalltown
  • Mason City
  • Ottumwa
  • Spencer
  • Spirit Lake
  • West Burlington

Elementary Education Overview

The elementary education major requires completion of four components:

  • The education core
  • The elementary education courses including coursework for a K-8 Reading Endorsement
  • Required support coursework
  • An area of concentration

Education Core

The education core, which is required of all students seeking a teaching license, is the nucleus of the teacher education program and includes basic courses in education and psychology. Elementary education majors, students seeking secondary licensure, and Post Baccalaureate students are required to take all EDCO courses for a letter grade and to earn a minimum grade of “C-“ in each course.

  • EDCO 240 Human Development: School Age Children or EDCO 241 Human Development: Adolescents
  • EDCO 245 Learning and Motivation: School Age Children or EDCO 246 Learning and Motivation: Adolescents
  • EDCO 255 Professional Seminar I and Field Experience: Learning and Motivation
  • EDCO 280 History of American Education
  • EDCO 290/291 Professional Seminar II and Field Experience: Human Relations
  • EDCO 300 Differentiated Instruction for Exceptional Learners
  • EDCO 301 Introduction to Exceptional Learners
  • EDCO 303 Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Learners
  • EDCO 390 Instructional Technology and Innovative Teaching

Elementary Education Courses

Elementary education majors are required to take all EDUC courses for a letter grade and to earn a minimum grade of “C-” in each course.

  • EDUC 317 Foundations of Literacy
  • EDUC 335 Development of Oral Communications
  • EDUC 342 Methods of Written Communications
  • EDUC 362 Methods of Physical Education and Health for Elementary Teachers
  • EDUC 363 Methods of Visual Art
  • EDUC 371 Methods of Data-Driven Literacy Instruction
  • EDUC 380 Language Development and Methods
  • EDUC 393 Elementary Math Methods & Field Experience
  • EDUC 410 Elementary Curriculum/ Social Studies Methods
  • EDUC 415 Reading Strategies and Instructional Methods: Fiction
  • EDUC 420 Reading Strategies and Instructional Methods: Informational Text
  • EDUC 443 Literacy Field Experience
  • TEAC 402 Professional Seminar III: Student Teaching in Kindergarten or TEAC 403 Professional Seminar III: Student Teaching in Elementary (1-3)
  • TEAC 404 Professional Seminar III: Student Teaching in Elementary (4-6)

Elementary Education Support Work

  • 9 credit hours of science including physical science, earth/space science, and life science 
  • COMM 100 Fundamentals of Communication
  • 3 credit hours of literature
  • MATH 123 Mathematics for Elementary Education I
  • MATH 124 Mathematics for Elementary Education II
  • Additional Math course not including MATH 050 or MATH 100; MATH 140 Elementary. Applied Statistics is recommended, though not required.
  • 9 credit hours in social sciences/humanities to include history, geography, political science/civic literacy, economics, and behavioral science
  • Many of these courses will be completed through the general education program. 

Elementary Education Concentrations

The area of concentration must be 12 credit hours (9 unduplicated) from one of the following disciplines or endorsements:

  • English/Language Arts
  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Psychology
  • Special Education
  • Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten
  • Middle School. 
Admissions criteria for the Elementary Education program

BVU's degree completion programs are classified as junior-senior level. Persons who have completed an associate degree or 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution qualify for admission. College level examination program credits (CLEP) and life experience credit may be available as described in the academic section. 

Admissions process for the Elementary Education program
  • Although personal interviews are not required, applicants are urged to confer with an advisor.
  • Request that official transcript(s) from each college or university previously attended be sent to BVU. Without official transcripts and records, a student will not be allowed to register beyond the initial semester.
  • Complete the BVU Degree Completion Application
  • If you will be applying for financial assistance including student loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov.
  • Students who have previously earned a B.A. or B.S. degree may be eligible to earn a second bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University.

Tuition & Fees

BVU offers a quality, affordable education, and our financial specialists are here to help as you navigate the costs of your educational investment so you can move forward with your career.

Financial Aid

BVU's Institution code: 001847

Don't miss the opportunity for financial aid. Fill out the FAFSA at fafsa.gov and use BVU's institution code.

The G.I. Bill & Yellow Ribbon Program

All Buena Vista University programs are approved for the G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program.

Federal Teach Grant

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year in grants for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Students must meet all eligibility requirements.

Get full details on the TEACH Grant and learn how to apply

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