Discover the elementary education program at BHSU.

Elementary Education

The BHSU Experience

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.


Top Education PROGRAM

The School of Education is the top education program in the region and the largest teacher preparation program in South Dakota. The placement rate of teacher-education graduates employed in education fields is over 90%. We offer 19 undergraduate and 3 graduate degrees with unique and significant field-based experiences. Our teacher preparation program provides an exceptional environment for all who work and learn at BHSU. We foster a climate in which our students can thrive. We have attracted a faculty with remarkable credentials. We have high quality, learner-centered programs that respond to the changing needs of lifelong learners. The website will give you more specific information about our:

  • Excellent faculty
  • Teacher preparation programs which are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the South Dakota Department of Education.
  • School of Education students who are preparing to be caring, competent and confident teachers.
  • Fitness and Sports Facilities which are state-of-the art including a fitness room, competition sized pool, a low ropes course, and an indoor and outdoor track.

As the largest education program in the state, you will have access to cutting-edge practices as an elementary education major. Experience innovative ideas, best practices, and applied learning through year-long classroom internships with college classes. Internships and field experiences are an important part of our program and are coordinated by the faculty. These are based on active and strong partnerships with schools around the region. Students also have the opportunity to complete student teaching outside the local area including International Student Teaching.

Reading Minor

18 semester hours

  • ED 295 - Practicum
  • ELED 315 - Foundations & Theory of Reading
  • ELED 440 - K-8 Language Arts Methods
  • OR
  • SEED 424 - 7-12 Language Arts Methods
  • ELED 450 - K-8 Reading Methods
  • ELED 459 - Intro to Literacy Assessment & Remediation
  • SEED 459 - 5-12 Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Difficulties
  • LIBM 205 - Children’s Literature
  • OR
  • LIBM 406 - Adolescent Literature
  • SEED 450 - Reading and Content Literacy

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.

*Current students, please refer to the DegreeWorks Dashboard in MyBHSU to confirm your major requirements.


There are employment opportunities in a variety of sectors:
» Elementary School Teacher
» Instructional Coordinator
» Middle School Teacher
» Team Leader

With Additional Endorsements:
» Curriculum Director
» Reading Specialist
» School Administrator
» School Guidance Counselor


Open to all teaching majors each spring semester, BHSU holds its annual teachers fair welcoming over 60 employers to campus to meet with students seeking job opportunities.

Get Involved

BHSU Reading Council

Provides professional development opportunities for individuals interested in issues about reading and literacy.

Kappa Delta Pi

KDP international Honor Society in Education, was founded in 1911 to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching.The organization does fundraisers for community service. Members must be inducted and reach certain qualifications.


The SDEA works to better education for both teachers and students. They work with elected officials to pass bills that help the education system. They also work with local leaders to increase education funding for local schools. The SDEA also provides development sessions and trainings for educators to help continue developing their craft through hands-on learning.


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.


Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.