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School of Education

Teacher Preparation

Undergraduate Programs

The undergraduate programs at BHSU prepare 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 ready to make fundamental differences in the lives of children. A high percentage of graduates from the BHSU program are hired immediately in classrooms from kindergarten through grade twelve. They also have the foundation to successfully continue their education in graduate schools and prepare for leadership roles beyond the classroom.

  • Teacher preparation programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the South Dakota Department of Education.

  • 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. 

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.

Explore Our Programs

A very young boy holds two plastic balls.

Early Childhood Special Education

The Early Childhood Special Education program at BHSU gives you the opportunity to acquire the training and certification you need to work with children ages birth to eight. Learn from faculty who are strong advocates for children of typical and atypical educational needs. The combination of the early childhood and special education courses, provides you the options that will turn your degree into a career – without additional time.

A teacher sits with elementary school students in a classroom.

Elementary Education

As the largest education program at BHSU, the Elementary Education program prepares you for teaching in the K-8 classroom. You will have access to high-quality faculty, challenging and engaging courses, and classroom internships to prepare you for teaching all core content as well as understanding childhood development and classroom management strategies. This learner-centered program emphasizes best practices and innovative ideas to guide you to becoming an effective educator.

A teacher lectures a group students in a classroom.

Secondary Education

The Secondary Education program prepares future educators to teach English, math, science, social science, or Spanish in grades 6 to 12. Those aiming to become middle or high school teachers become experts in their chosen subject-matter discipline and then learn how to apply teaching methodology and pedagogical best practices to that content for the modern classroom.

A physical education teacher shows three students how to dribble a basketball.

K-12 Education Programs

Share your passion and learn how to help others appreciate and develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities in physical education, art, music, theatre, and speech. The offered major and minor programs expand your knowledge of the content area and prepare you to create, implement, and assess lessons for any grade from K-12 in your preferred specialized discipline.

Contact Info

Dr. Faye LaDuke Pelster
Department Chair
Jonas 223 Map
Phone: 605-642-6627

School of Education
Black Hills State University
1200 University St.
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799




Take The Next Step

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