Exceptional Student Service and Instruction (Special Education)
Major | 54-73 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
  • Estherville
  • Fort Dodge
  • Le Mars
  • Marshalltown
  • Mason City
  • Ottumwa
  • Spencer
  • West Burlington
  • Students majoring in exceptional student service and instruction may elect to complete an area of specialization listed below or complete a minor with teaching licensure in a content area. These are completed in an internship model with assigned academic and field work:

    • Autism spectrum disorders specialization 
    • Emotional and behavioral disorders 
    • Intellectual disabilities 
    • Learning disabilities 
    • Multiple disabilities 
    • Physical disabilities

    Special education at BVU serves children and young adults with a variety of exceptionalities including learning disabilities, mild to moderate disabilities, behavioral disabilities, and cognitive disabilities. Students work as special educators in schools and program developers and directors in community-based systems. Several of our special education endorsements pair well with this major.


    Courses

    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

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Special Education Courses

    • ESSI 210 Special Education Law and Professional Practices
    • ESSI 220 Multidisciplinary Assessment and Evaluation
    • ESSI 230 Transitions and Self-Determination
    • ESSI 291 Professional Seminar II: Supervised Participation in Special Education
    • ESSI 303 Curriculum Development and Instruction
    • ESSI 304 Literacy Methods with Field Experience
    • ESSI 305 Mathematics Methods with Field Experience
    • ESSI 306 Methods for Teaching Students with Cognitive Disabilities
    • ESSI 307 Methods for Teaching Students with Behavioral Disabilities
    • ESSI 310 Behavior Interventions and Supports with Field Experience
    • TEAC 494 Professional Seminar III: Student Teaching - Elementary ESSI
    • TEAC 495 Professional Seminar III: Student Teaching - Secondary ESSI

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Support Work

    • EDUC 317 Foundations of Literacy
    • EDUC 342 Methods of Written Communications
    • EDUC 371 Methods of Data-Driven Literacy Instruction
    • EDUC 393 Elementary Math Methods & Field Experience
    • EXSC 321 Adapted Physical Education

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Areas of Specialization

    In addition to this, students who complete the ESSI major may elect to complete an area of specialization listed below or complete a minor with teaching licensure in a content area. These are completed in an internship model with assigned academic and field work.

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Autism Spectrum Disorders Specialization

    • ESSI 320 Characteristics of Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • ESSI 321 Assessments of Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • ESSI 322 Instructional Strategies for Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • ESSI 323 Transition and Self-Determination for Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • ESSI 324 Field Experience and Portfolio in Working with Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

    • ESSI 330 Characteristics of Learners with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
    • ESSI 331 Assessments of Learners with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
    • ESSI 332 Instructional Strategies for Learners with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
    • ESSI 333 Transition and Self-Determination for Learners with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
    • ESSI 334 Field Experience and Portfolio in Working with Learners with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Intellectual Disabilities

    • ESSI 340 Charasteristics of Learners with Intellectual Disabilities
    • ESSI 341 Assessments of Learners with Intellectual Disabilities
    • ESSI 342 Instructional Strategies for Learners with Intellectual Disabilities
    • ESSI 343 Transition and Self-Determination for Intellectual Disabilities
    • ESSI 344 Field Experience and Portfolio in Working with Learners with Intellectual Disabilities

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Learning Disabilities

    • ESSI 350 Characteristics of Learners with Learning Disabilities
    • ESSI 351 Assessments of Learners with Learning Disabilities
    • ESSI 352 Instructional Strategies for Learners with Learning Disabilities
    • ESSI 353 Transition and Self-Determination for Learners with Learning Disabilities
    • ESSI 354 Field Experience and Portfolio in Working with Learners with Learning Disabilities

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Multiple Disabilities

    • ESSI 360 Characteristics of Learners with Multiple Disabilities
    • ESSI 361 Characteristics of Learners with Multiple Disabilities
    • ESSI 362 Instructional Strategies for Learners with Multiple Disabilities
    • ESSI 363 Transition and Self-Determination for Learners with Multiple Disabilities
    • ESSI 364 Field Experience and Portfolio in Working with Learners with Multiple Disabilities

    Exceptional Student Service and Instruction - Physical Disabilities

    • ESSI 370 Characteristics of Learners with Physical Disabilities
    • ESSI 371 Assessments of Learners with Physical Disabilities
    • ESSI 372 Instructional Strategies for Learners with Physical Disabilities
    • ESSI 373 Transition and Self-Determination for Learners with Physical Disabilities
    • ESSI 374 Transition and Self-Determination for Learners with Physical Disabilities

    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

    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.

    Scholarships

    Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships

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

    Loans

    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