Program Description

The Buena Vista University (BVU) Post Baccalaureate Certification Program for teacher education is specifically designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree and coursework in a subject area that satisfies one of the State’s secondary teaching endorsements. The program was created in response to the state’s need for secondary teachers in shortage areas and honors the effort given to the candidate’s bachelor’s degree and associated experience.

The program operates within the University’s current programming structure and is designed to move the candidate efficiently and effectively through core areas of pedagogy before they enter the classroom. More specifically, the program is available in the following secondary field(s) contingent upon the availability of student teaching placements in that particular field:

  • Art
  • Business General
  • Business Office and Marketing/Management
  • English/Language Arts
  • Foreign Language
  • Health
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Biological Science
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • General Science
  • Physical Science
  • Physics
  • American Government
  • American History
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • World History
  • Speech Communication/Theater
  • Special Education

This program has been approved by the Iowa Department of Education.

The following coursework and assigned Key Assignments for each course must be completed:

The Education Core

The Education Core is the nucleus of the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Teacher Education Program and includes the following courses:

EDCO 240 Development of the School-Age Child 3 CR
EDCO 245 Learning and Motivation 3 CR
EDCO 255/256 Professional Seminar I & Field Exp.: Learning and Motivation 0-1 CR
EDCO 280 History of American Education 3 CR
EDCO 290/291 Professional Seminar II & Field Exp.: Human Relations 1-2 CR
EDCO 300 Differentiated Instruction for Exceptional Learners 3 CR
EDCO 390 Instructional Technology 3 CR
EDCO 401 Classroom Management & Evaluation Techniques (Secondary Education Only) 3 CR
Education Core Total 19-21 CR

* This program has been developed by and is specific to Buena Vista University. It is approved by the Iowa Department of Education; however, it is not the Iowa Teacher Intern Preparation Program. Therefore, it is not listed on the Board of Educational Examiners web site.

Methods Courses for the Post Baccalaureate Certification (PBC) Program

A two-hour general methods course (SEDU 448) and a one-hour methods course specific to the content area are required of each person seeking regular education endorsement. Those completing a special education endorsement will take SPED 401 as the generic methods course and SPED 403 as the specific methods course.

In addition, a methods course in reading strategies are required.  Students will complete SEDU 365 Reading in the Content Areas unless they are completing secondary certification in English.  Those completing secondary English certification must complete SEDU 454 Reading Instructional Strategies.

The methods courses follow:

SEDU 365 Reading in Content Areas 3 CR
SEDU 454 Reading Instructional Strategies 3 CR
SEDU 448 PBC General Secondary Methods 2 CR
SEDU 404 PBC Secondary Field Experience/Methods 0 CR
SPED 401 Methods and Teaching Strategies for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities 2 CR
SPED 406 Field Experience/Methods (5-12) 0 CR
SEDU 451 PBC Methods in Art 1 CR
SEDU 452 PBC Methods in Business 1 CR
SEDU 461 PBC Methods in English/Lang Arts 1 CR
SEDU 462 PBC Methods in Foreign Language 1 CR
SEDU 471 PBC Methods in Mathematics 1 CR
SEDU 481 PBC Methods in Health/Physical Education 1 CR
SEDU 482 PBC Methods in Science 1 CR
SEDU 491 PBC Methods in Social Science 1 CR
SEDU 492 PBC Methods in Vocal Music 1 CR
SEDU 493 PBC Methods in Instrumental Music 1 CR
SPED 403 Teaching in a 7-12 Special Education Program 1 CR
Methods Courses Total: 6 CR

Minimum Coursework

Students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework through Buena Vista University before student teaching.  This requirement is for any who have completed some of the education core prior to admission to this program.  Nine of the 12 credit hours must be at the 300 level.

Minimum Coursework Total:     12 CR

Student Teaching

SEDU 498 PBC Student Teaching (14 weeks) 12 CR

Total hours for the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Program:    37-39 CR
(These hours are the totals for coursework taken at BVU for this program.)

Students interested in completing the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Program are to follow the steps outlined below:

Step One: Check Eligibility. The following must be met:
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution which meets the Iowa Department of Education content requirements for certification per secondary field.  The program is available in secondary fields contingent upon the availability of student teaching placements in that particular field.
  • Seek certification only.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5.
  • Grade Point Average of 2.5 in desired teaching field. (If one is eligible in more than one field, a single field must be selected for initial licensure in this program.)
Step Two: Submit Transcript(s) to:

Rich Clinesmith, Education Liaison/Certification Officer, Box 2980, Buena Vista University, 610 W. Fourth Street, Storm Lake, IA 50588

Email -
Phone - 712.749.2241

The Education Liaison/Certification Officer will review the transcripts to ensure that:

  • The bachelor’s degree meets the Iowa Department of Education content requirements for certification in the secondary field.
  • The coursework dated 10 years old or older is relevant and current.
Step Three:

After Steps One and Two have been cleared, the candidate must successfully complete the Praxis I Academic Skills Assessment Test.

The School of Education at Buena Vista University requires successful completion of the Praxis Core exam for acceptance to the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Teacher Education Program. The Praxis Core exam is part of the Praxis Series, an Educational Testing Service (ETS) program, that provides tests and other services for states to use as part of their teacher certification process. The School of Education’s policies on Praxis Core apply to this program.

Each site Education Coordinator provides Praxis Registration Bulletins which include complete information regarding registration forms, registering online, test sites, test preparation, special accommodations and much more. Please see our Praxis Core page for more information.

Step Four:

After successful completion of Praxis I, complete the admission process for Buena Vista University and begin coursework.

Students who take coursework in anticipation of admission to this program do so at their own risk. Post Baccalaureate Certification licensure students may be eligible for financial aid. Students interested in financial aid should contact the Financial Aid office.

Post Baccalaureate Certification Program Checkpoints

The three checkpoints below outline progressively the requirements for the Post Baccalaureate Certification Program and serve as a guideline for students as they move toward licensure.

These checkpoints are modified from the Teacher Education Program Checkpoint for students not in the Post Baccalaureate Program.

Checkpoint I: Admission to the Teacher Education Program

Apply for formal admission to the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Teacher Education Program.

The candidate will submit the Teacher Education Program Application and the local Teacher Education Committee will review the candidate's file to ensure that the following requirements have been met:

  • Successful completion of Praxis Core exam, meeting or exceeding cut scores
  • Two Professional Reference Reports
  • Good Conduct Statement
  • Confidentiality Statement
  • Mandatory Reporting Statement
  • Universal Precautions Statement

NOTE: No more than six credit hours of education courses can be taken at BVU before being admitted to the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Teacher Education Program.

No methods courses may be taken by Post Baccalaureate students until they are formally admitted to the program.

Checkpoint II: Admission to Student Teaching

Complete admission to the student teaching program.

Student teaching is the culminating experience in the teacher education program.  It is designed as an opportunity to apply skills, theory, and knowledge gained during the teacher preparation program to a real-life educational setting.

The student teacher candidate will submit an application for student teaching after having completed the following:

  • All EDCO and Methods course requirements with a minimum grade of C-.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5
  • Minimum Grade Point Average of 2.5 in the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Teacher Education Program.
  • Successfully complete and upload to Canvas the remaining non-student teaching key assignments that they have taken since admission to the program.
  • Resume, References, and Letter of introduction for the cooperating school

Checkpoint III: Licensure Requirements

Apply for Licensure.

Each semester/term the licensure officer or designated official meets with student teachers to discuss the licensure procedure.  The state sets the fees related to licensure.  The student is responsible for payment of these fees.  Students are provided information and appropriate forms to apply for licensure.  The basic requirements that must be met in order to be recommended for licensure are as follows:

  • Completion of the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Teacher Education Program that Buena Vista University has on file with the Iowa Department of Education.
  • A minimum Grade Point Average of 2.5 in the BVU Post Baccalaureate Certification Teacher Education Program.
  • A minimum grade of "C-" in student teaching placement. (If two placements have been accomplished, a minimum grade of "C-" in each placement is required.)
  • Successful completion of all Key Assignments uploaded to Canvas and portfolio reflection.
  • Fingerprinting/Background Check 10-12 weeks prior to completion of student teaching.
  • Successful completion of the Praxis II exams per state requirements. See the Praxis II page for more information.
  • Local Teacher Education committee endorsement.

If you have further questions about participating in this program, contact the BVU site in your area or Rich Clinesmith, Education Liaison/Certification Officer, Email -, Phone - 712.749.2241.