Elementary Education
Major | 66 credit hours

Credits shown here reflect the number required to graduate for the given major. Your actual number of required credits may be higher or lower depending on your previous college experience. The actual number of credits you will need to graduate from BVU will be determined by a free official transcript evaluation.

  • Council Bluffs
  • Creston
  • Denison
  • Emmetsburg
  • Estherville
  • Fort Dodge
  • Le Mars
  • Marshalltown
  • Mason City
  • Ottumwa
  • Spencer
  • Spirit Lake
  • West Burlington
  • The challenge of education is to be a master of subject matter and an expert in the learning process. The teacher education program at Buena Vista University offers the professional courses required for a teaching license in elementary education and various secondary education disciplines.

    The K-8 reading endorsement is embedded in the BVU elementary education major.

    Endorsements are available in other areas:
    • Special education
    • Teaching English as a second language
    • Reading
    • Coaching

    All programs are approved by the Iowa Department of Education and are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


    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. 

    Tuition & Fees

    Undergrad Tuition

    2016-17 Tuition:
    $413 per credit hour
    2017-18 Tuition:
    $421 per credit hour

    How to Apply

    Admissions Requirements

    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. 

    Application Process

    1. Although personal interviews are not required, applicants are urged to confer with an advisor.
    2. Request that official transcript(s) from each college or university previously attended be sent to the BVU. Without official transcripts and records, a student will not be allowed to register beyond the initial semester.
    3. Complete the BVU Degree Completion Application
    4. 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.
    5. 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. 

    Financial Aid

    Financial Assistance is available to qualified students at our traditional campus and to students taking degree completion and graduate coursework. All students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is processed by the U.S. Department of Education. You may request to have your FAFSA results sent to BVU. Even if you are currently unsure if you will attend, completing this free application will help determine your financial need.

    BVU's institution code: 001847


    Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid. Click on a grant below to see more information.

    Federal Pell Grants vary based on financial need. Individual awards are determined based on federal formula. Payment is calculated for full-time enrollment (12 or more hours per semester), three-quarter-time enrollment (9-11 hours per semester), or half-time enrollment (6-8 hours per semester). Students enrolled less than half-time may also be eligible. To be considered for a Federal Pell Grant, the results of your valid aid applications (FASFA) must be received while your are still enrolled. Students enrolled in summer courses may be entitled to Federal Pell Grant funds for that enrollment. Students with prior baccalaureate degrees are not eligible. There is a 6 year limit on funding per individual. Learn more about Federal Pell Grants.

    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.

    Iowa Tuition Grants (ITG) are available to eligible residents of Iowa attending private institutions. Iowa Tuition Grants are available, based on financial need, for full-time undergraduate study and for less than full-time enrollment. The grant may be renewable for a total of eight full-time semesters of study and may be used for tuition only. Application deadline is normally July 1. Learn more about Iowa Tuition Grants.
    Available to many students through Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Services, Commission for the Blind, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other programs. For more information, contact the agency counselors directly.


    Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships

    Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarships are also available for those who qualify.


    Loans are made to students at low interest rates and must be repaid, but generally payments are not due until the student has completed his or her education or ceases at least half-time enrollment.

    Tuition Reimbursements

    Tuition Reimbursements are available through many area employers. Many companies will pay part or all of an employee's educational costs. Check with your company's benefits representative to see if you qualify. All tuition reimbursement benefits must be reported to the Office of Financial Assistance.

    G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program.

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

    Have more questions?

    In addition to the above information, our staff is happy to answer any questions you have about applying for financial aid. If you are in need of financial assistance, such as college scholarships in Iowa or scholarships for adults returning to college, please contact us at 712.749.1000 to receive more information about how affordable our programs can be.

    Contact Us

    Phone: 712.749.1000
    Fax: 712.749.1470
    E-mail: professional@bvu.edu

    Buena Vista University
    610 W. Fourth Street
    Storm Lake, IA 50588