SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

Elementary Education Degree

Education Bachelor's Degree Program

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.

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Why should I earn an elementary education degree?

Options

Flourish as an elementary teacher or pursue school administration, instructional coaching, education consulting, and more. 

Family Friendly

Between summer vacations and school holidays, teaching schedules are ideal for those wanting a generous balance between work and life. 

Impact

The work you do as an elementary teacher will inform the rest of a child’s life and education. Choose an empowering career that makes a difference. 

What I Can Do With an Elementary Education Degree

  • Teach young children — early childhood endorsement
  • Teach older children — middle school endorsement
  • Teach integrated STEM, special education, or TESOL with endorsements

On Campus

On Campus

Storm Lake

Why study education at BVU?

Real Experience

As an elementary education major at BVU, you will have the opportunity to put what you’re learning into practice in a real classroom. You can expect quality student teaching experiences in local schools as well as a variety of supportive volunteer options. BVU has a close working relationship with Faith, Hope, and Charity, a courageous organization for children with special needs. Alternative Week of Learning (AWOL) will also allow you to experience a week-long immersive trip volunteering in different cultural contexts. 

Art and Music

If your passion is art or music education at the elementary level, check out our art and music education pages and see how a collaboration between these outstanding creative departments can help you reach the career you’ve been dreaming about. 

The Bibliotrike Rolls On!

Building Bonds... and Literacy

A custom tricycle, stocked with up to 300 children’s books, visits parks and playground locations across Storm Lake. Beavers read aloud at each stop, interacting with kids and giving each one a free book. It's all part of the commitment to improve our local communities.

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A student rides an oversized tricycle full of books

Hybrid

Online

Hybrid Learning

You can earn your elementary education degree without leaving your community. Hybrid courses combine the benefit of live ​video instruction with the convenience of online learning. In addition to a weekly class, hybrid students complete their coursework online and receive personalized advisement from local BVU site staff.

Iowa’s Superintendent of the Year

BVU Leads to Success for Joel Pedersen and His District

Iowa’s Superintendent of the Year took a nontraditional route to earning his bachelor’s degree. He didn’t step foot on the Buena Vista University campus in Storm Lake. Rather, he studied at BVU’s site in Ottumwa while working in the Wapello County seat, his hometown.

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Joel Pedersen

Transfer to BVU

BVU has transfer agreements with Iowa’s community colleges, helping you get the most out of your hard-earned credits.

Contact an academic advisor at 712.749.1000 to see how your credits will transfer.

See How Your Credits Transfer

Elementary Education Courses

  • Major in Elementary Education (66-67 Credit Hours)

    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

    The Education Core (18-19 credit hours)

    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 301 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

    Students pursuing K-12 Licensure (art, foreign language (Spanish education), music, PE) may take either EDCO 240 or EDCO 241, and EDCO 245 or EDCO 246. Each course includes learning related to the full span of age ranges; however, the focused range is different as indicated by the course title. The recommended path is to take one course focusing on school-age children (EDCO 240 or EDCO 245) and one course focusing on adolescents (EDCO 241 or EDCO 246). ESSI majors should take ESSI 102 and 103, instead of EDCO 303.

    Support Work (minimum 33 credit hours)

    • 9 credit hours in social sciences/humanities to include history, geography, political science/ civic literacy, economics, and behavioral 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 130. Mathematical Ideas for the Liberal Arts or MATH 140 Elementary Applied Statistics is recommended, though not required.
    • Many of these courses will be completed through the general education program.

    Elementary education courses including student teaching (48 credit hours)

    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)

    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. 

What are Endorsements?

Add a series of additional classes to your degree that qualify you for further teaching opportunities by choosing one or more of the following endorsements.

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Financial Aid & Scholarships

We’ll help you figure out your options for financial assistance and possible scholarships.

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Education Faculty

Our instructors are committed to helping you build the future in Iowa and beyond.

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Transfer Your Credits

Do you have previously earned credits or an associate degree? BVU accepts most—if not all—of your credits so you don’t have to retake courses.

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Earn a Master’s Degree Faster with Our Accelerated Program

With BVU's Plus One program, you can earn your education, special education, or organizational leadership master's within one year of graduating with your bachelor’s degree. 

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