Discover the elementary education program at BHSU.


The Elementary Education Major at BHSU prepares students for successful careers in public and private schools.  Black Hills State University, originally a teacher preparatory school, has a strong tradition of preparing teachers who are ready to make real differences in the lives of children.

A high percentage of graduates from the BHSU program are hired immediately in classrooms from kindergarten through grade eight.  They also have the foundation to successfully continue their education in graduate schools and prepare for leadership roles beyond the classroom.

Benefits of earning your degree from BHSU:

  • BHSU has the largest teacher preparation program in the state
  • Well qualified faculty with strong teaching backgrounds model cutting-edge practices
  • Students spend much time in schools where mentors guide them in applying their knowledge
  • BHSU graduates have a 100% pass rate on licensure exams 

Elementary Education Major Course Requirements

Required Gen Ed - 19 semester hours

  • GEOG 210 - World Regional Geography
  • HIST 151 - United States History I OR
    HIST 152 - United States History II
  • MATH Any Gen Ed Math
  • POLS 100 - American Government
  • PSYC 101 - General Psychology
  • Choose one of the following courses:
    BIOL 101 & 101L - Biology Survey I & Lab
    BIOL 103 & 103L - Biology Survey II & Lab
    BIOL 151 & 151L - General Biology I & Lab
    BIOL 153 & 153L - General Biology II & Lab

Pre-Professional Core - 39 semester hours

  • ARTE 310 - K-8 Art Methods
  • EDFN 295 - Practicum: Pre-Admission
  • EDFN 338 - Foundations of American Education
  • ELED 303 - Earth and Physical Science for Elem Teachers
  • ELED 315 - Foundations & Theory of Reading
  • ELED 361 - Social Science for Elementary Teachers
  • EPSY 302 - Educational Psychology
  • EPSY 428 - Child & Adolescent Development
  • HLTH 321 - K-8 Methods of Teaching Health
  • INED 411 - South Dakota Indian Studies
  • LIBM 205 - Children's Literature
  • MATH 341 - Math Concepts for Teachers I
  • MATH 342 - Math Concepts for Teachers II
  • MUS 353 - K-8 Music Methods
  • PE 360 - K-8 Physical Education Methods
  • SPED 100 - Intro to Persons with Exceptionalities

Professional Core - 35 semester hours

Take the following prior to Methods block:

  • EDFN 365 - Computer-Based Technology & Learning
  • EDFN 375 - Methods of Technology Integration
  • EDFN 440 - Classroom Management
  • ELED 408 - Plan, Manage, and Assess the Diverse K-8 Classroom
  • ELED 415 - Assessment for Elementary Teachers

Methods Block:

  • ELED 320 - K-8 Science Methods
  • ELED 330 - K-8 Math Methods
  • ELED 360 - K-8 Social Science Methods
  • ELED 440 - K-8 Language Arts Methods
  • ELED 450 - K-8 Reading Methods
  • ELED 459 - Intro to Literacy Assessment & Remediation
  • ELED 495 - Practicum: Pre-Student Teaching

Take the following your final semester:

  • EDFN 475 - Human Relations
  • ELED 488 - K-8 Student Teaching

Gen Ed Requirements

  • ENGL 101 - Composition I
  • ENGL 201 - Composition II
  • SPCM 101 - Fundamentals of Speech - 3 semester hours
  • MATH - Gen Ed - Mathematics - 3 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Social Science - 6 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities - 6 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Natural Sciences & Lab - 6-8 semester hours

Note: A minor is NOT required with this major but electives are required to total 128 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

Internships and field experiences are an important part of our program and are coordinated by the faculty. Students spend a minimum of 45 hours in the classrooms during their sophomore year, 100 hours during their junior year, and end their program with a 16 week student teaching experience.

You can join student organizations like the BHSU Reading Council,the student chapter of the National Teachers of Science, Phi Delta Kappa and  Teammates 

BHSU Reading Council:
Provides professional development opportunities for individuals interested in issues about reading and literacy.

National Teachers of Science:
Promotes the mission of NSTA, acquaint pre-service teachers of science with the support resources available from NSTA, provide additional professional development in science education to pre-service teachers and acquaint pre-service teachers of science with others like themselves at their university or college and across the U.S.

Phi Delta Kappa 
Phi Delta Kappa International is the premier professional association for educators. For more than 100 years, it has focused its work on the tenets of service, research, and leadership.  Specifically, PDK is one of the largest education associations in the world and has thousands of members dedicated to improving education, including teachers, principals, superintendents, and higher education faculty and administrators

Teammates is a mentorship program that links K-12 students in our community with BHSU education majors for 1 hour each week. One of the first clinical experiences of Black Hills State University’s students who want to become teachers, is focused on developing caring skills. Research shows that teachers who care, and can demonstrate their caring, have a greater capacity to increase student achievement. Toward that end, sophomore-level students are given the opportunity to participate in Teammates.  


Career Opportunities

Elementary Education majors are able to find careers in a variety of fields:

  • Public School Teacher
  • Private School Teacher

Graduate Programs

Curriculum and Instruction


Secondary Education

Dillon Whisman is an Elementary Education major at Black Hills State University. In the following video interview, Dillon highlights his experience in changing his major and his job in the Writing Assistance Center.