Buena Vista University

Elementary Education

Today's classrooms are diverse, complex environments where teachers must know how to reach out to a wide variety of students, bridging subject matter and the students' specific needs. The need for teachers able to demonstrate their knowledge and command the classroom is in demand.  BVU Graduate & Professional Studies' degree in elementary education will put you at the head of the class.  Additionally, you can obtain a teaching special education endorsement or a teaching reading education endorsement. All programs at our elementary teacher college in Iowa are approved by the Iowa Department of Education and are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Teaching endorsements are available in:

Adult learning degree completion classes can be found at our Graduate & Professional Studies locations, located at various community colleges throughout Iowa. Evening classes are also available for elementary education majors completing their professional studies. We are the perfect option for working adults looking for an college degree in elementary education in Iowa.

Check out the BVU locations that offer this major and find the elementary teaching program closest to you. We partner with multiple community colleges in Iowa to make your commute short and convenient.

Courses of study

MAJOR IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION: 66 credit hours

The elementary education major requires completion of four components:
• The education core (above)
• The elementary education courses including coursework for a K-8 Reading Endorsement
• Required support coursework
• An area of concentration outside the School of Education
Elementary education courses including student teaching (48 credits):
Elementary education majors are required to take all EDUC courses for a letter grade and to earn a minimum grade of “C-”.


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 Elementary Visual Arts
EDUC 371 Data-Driven Literacy Instruction
EDUC 380 Language Development
EDUC 393 Elementary Math and Field Experience
EDUC 394 Elementary Science Methods
EDUC 410 Elementary Curriculum/Social Studies Methods
EDUC 415 Instructional Strategies: Fiction
EDUC 420 Instructional Strategies: Informational Text
EDUC 443 Literacy Field Experience
EDUC 429 Professional Seminar III: K Student Teaching or EDUC 430 Professional Seminar III: 1st-3rd Student Teaching
EDUC 440 Professional Seminar III: 4th-6th Student Teaching


Support Work (33 credits minimum):

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.

AREAS OF CONCENTRATION (12 credits – 9 unduplicated credits):

The area of concentration must be 12 credit hours from: English/Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, or Psychology.
Only 3 of the 12 credit hours in the area of concentration may be counted as part of the required support coursework or as part of the general education requirements. With the exception of mathematics, an area of concentration must include at least one three-credit hour course at the 300 or 400 level.
Students completing a minor or a major in one of the areas identified below are not required to complete an area of concentration. A student must earn a GPA of 2.5 in the area of concentration, minor, or major.

Broad-based concentrations will follow the guidelines below:

Social studies: 3 credits must be at the 300 or 400 level
6 - 9 credit hours in history (minimum of three credit hours in U.S. history and 3 credit hours in non-U.S. history)
3 - 6 credit hours in American government, economics, geography, sociology, and/or psychology
English/Language Arts: 3 credits must be at the 300 or 400 level
3-6 credit hours in English literature
3-9 credit hours including writing and speaking such as, but not limited to, the recommended courses below. ENGL 100, ENGL 200, and COMM 100 may not be used towards this concentration.
ENGL 300 Advanced Composition
ENGL 320 Creative Writing
ENGL 331* Introduction to Linguistics
ENGL 332* Modern English Grammar
COMM 225 Advanced Interpersonal Communication
COMM 227 Advanced Public Speaking
COMM 230 Business and Professional Communication
COMM 280 Group and Team Communication
COMM 302* Intercultural Communication
COMM 340 Civic Communication
COMM 355 Conflict Management
COMM 370 Leadership Communication
*Courses required for the TESL endorsement

Science: 3 credits must be at the 300 or 400 level
6 credit hours biological science
6 credit hours physical science/environmental science

Math: 12 credit hours
MATH 140 Elementary Applied Statistics, and the additional credit hours from among, but not limited to, any of the following recommended courses. MATH 050, MATH 100, MATH 123, and MATH 124 may not be used towards this concentration.
MATH 130 Mathematical Ideas for the Liberal Arts
MATH 143 Discrete Mathematics
MATH 145 Elementary Functions
MATH 160 Calculus I: Differential Calculus
MATH 161 Calculus II: Integral Calculus
MATH 240 Foundations of Advanced Mathematics

Psychology: 12 credit hours, 3 of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. This concentration is recommended for students having particular interest in special education.
PSYC 201* Child Development
PSYC 203 Social Psychology
PSYC 220 Behavior Modification
PSYC 239 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 281 Introduction to Biological Psychology
PSYC 291 Learning and Memory
PSYC 329 Psychology of Gender
PSYC 333 Adolescent Psychology
PSYC 369 Psychology of Personality
PSYC 389 Introduction to Counseling
PSYC 429 Stereotypes and Prejudice
PSYC 440 Cognition
SCWK 235 Psycho-Social Dimensions of the Human Life Cycle
SCWK 352 Child and Family Welfare
*Course required for the Early Childhood Endorsement

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