May 29, 2024  
BVU Academic Catalog 23-24 
  
BVU Academic Catalog 23-24

Academic Program Policies & Particulars



BVU Academic Overview for Undergraduate Programs

More than the simple accumulation of 120 credit hours, the Buena Vista University curriculum is designed to present an integrated intellectual experience that challenges students and gives them the tools necessary to learn for a lifetime. Liberally educated persons have amassed significant breadth and depth of knowledge, and engage with joy in the pursuit of knowledge.

Students gain depth in mastering the methodologies and content of one specific field (or major) through a combination of focused study, research, and exploration. The examination of general principles, major theories, differing viewpoints, and significant focus areas results in a cumulative body of knowledge. More significantly, learning skills are refined and respect for knowledge is heightened.

The purpose of Buena Vista University’s general education program is to expose students to the broad array of ideas, perspectives, and experiences that exist in various disciplines. General education also provides students the opportunity to acquire and improve their signature skills of effective communication, problem solving, and integrative learning.

Overall Graduation Requirements for Undergraduate Programs

Graduation requirements for the Bachelors of Arts and Bachelors of Science degrees must be met by all Buena Vista University students, with appropriate variations made for transfer students reflecting existing articulation agreements. Graduation requirements include all of the following:

  • Credit and honor point specifications: a minimum of 120 credit hours of credit with a cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0
  • Completion of a major
  • Completion of the general education requirements (Students seeking the Bachelor of Applied Science degree will complete the BASc core instead of Foundations of Collegiate Learning and Liberal Arts Core.)
  • University Seminar or Transfer Seminar
  • Interdisciplinary capstone
  • Completion of Application for Graduation

This catalog is designed to assist the student and academic advisor in planning and scheduling a degree program. Each student should keep in mind, however, that he or she is ultimately responsible for understanding and fulfilling all degree requirements.

Undergraduate Degrees Offered

The Bachelor of Science degree is conferred upon students selecting majors from in the sciences and/or mathematics.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is conferred upon students meeting requirements for degrees in all other major fields.

The Bachelor of Applied Studies degree is conferred upon students who have completed an approved Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Applied Arts from an accredited U.S. institution, or comparable degree from foreign institutions which Buena Vista University has entered into sister-school agreements and who meet the following BVU requirements: completion of the BVU general education program Foundations of Collegiate Learning and the Liberal Arts Core and completion of 36 credit hours from BVU at the 300/400 level. Bachelor of Applied Studies students do not declare a major and are not required to meet any specified number of credit hours of single content-area upper division coursework but must complete 36 credit hours from BVU at the 300/400 level. Students completing a BAS degree pursue the BVU Signature Skills via courses taken at BVU or equivalent transfer credits.

The Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degree is conferred upon program completion to students who have earned an approved Associate of Science; Associate of Applied Science, approved Associate of Arts; or a comparable degree from a foreign institution with which Buena Vista University has entered into an agreement and have met the following BVU requirements: completion of the BVU BASc Core program and 36 credit hours from BVU at the 300/400 level. Bachelor of applied science students complete BASc majors designed to prepare students to meet specific professional and educational outcomes suited to their field. Students completing a BASc degree pursue the BVU Signature Skills via courses taken at BVU or equivalent courses transferred in.

Only one degree will be conferred upon any one individual.

Credits and Grade Point Average

A minimum of 120 credit hours must be completed for graduation. Sixty of these hours must be earned at a four-year baccalaureate institution. The final 30 credit hours must be completed at BVU. All students seeking a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree must complete 12 credit hours of upper division courses in the major from BVU.

Students seeking the Bachelor of Applied Studies, Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Science must meet the university’s general education requirement. However, an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution satisfies the general education Foundations of Collegiate Learning and Liberal Arts Core requirements.

An overall cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is necessary for graduation. Some programs require a higher cumulative grade point average. For example, teacher licensure requires a grade point average of 2.5 for the total program, as well as each major, minor, and concentration. A minimum of 6 credit hours in each certification area must be taken at BVU. Check with the specific academic major for GPA requirements.

Residency

A student who is registered for courses at Buena Vista University is considered to be “in residence.” A minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed in residence, of which a minimum of 12 credit hours in the declared major must be 300-level or above. Students must spend their senior year in residence unless otherwise approved by the academic advisor, the appropriate school dean, and the academic dean. Advanced written approval must be secured by students desiring to enroll off-campus with the intent of applying credits earned to a Buena Vista University degree program through summer study at a different BVU site, extension courses, other institutions, correspondence study, or study abroad.

Participation in Commencement

Buena Vista University has one annual commencement ceremony held in May. Any undergraduate or graduate student completing requirements during that academic year, from October (Term 1) through August, is invited and expected to participate in commencement.

General Education Requirements



The BVU general education program is dedicated to the lifelong success of all undergraduate students. Thus, the general education program nurtures achievement in the areas of the BVU Signature Skills, each of which celebrates the habits of mind, breadth of knowledge, and pragmatic competencies of which transformational collegiate experiences are assembled. A three-part program of study consisting of the Foundations of Collegiate Learning, the Liberal Arts Core, and a general education capstone is throughout a student’s period of study allied with an academic major and the enrichment of the co-curriculum.

Each student’s encounter with the general education program begins in the first semester and continues through the final months of study, a time during which mature capacities in each of the Signature Skill areas are verified via summative assessment and techniques. The three-part experience, outlined below, evinces BVU’s commitment to the project of liberal education.

1. Foundations of Collegiate Learning


“Successful completion” of each of each of the Foundations of Collegiate Learning requirements, with the exception of 0BVU 100 0BVU 200 , and the Quantitative Reasoning elective course, means passing the indicated course(s) with a grade of “C-” or better; a grade of “P” will not meet the requirements.

A. University or Transfer Seminar


0BVU 100 - University Seminar  (3 credits)
University Seminar is a three-credit course required of all first year Storm Lake students who have completed fewer than 30 hours of college credit at the time of matriculation. University Seminar emphasizes the skills and habits of mind essential for success in an academic major and in the overall Program of General Education. University Seminar also assists students in the transition to life in a learning community and facilitates awareness of the privileges, responsibilities, and expectations that accompany membership in such a community. University Seminar is offered only on a letter graded basis and may not be repeated.

0BVU 200 - Transfer Seminar  (1 credit)
Transfer Seminar is a one-credit, full-semester course required of all newly enrolled students who have completed 30-86 credit hours at the time of matriculation to BVU. Transfer Seminar assists students in establishing supportive relationships in the BVU community, identifying essential services, and embracing the goals of a BVU education. Students required to register for Transfer Seminar must do so during their first semester of enrollment at BVU. Transfer students enrolled in BVU’s Online programs must register for Transfer Seminar within their first 12 credit hours at BVU. Transfer seminar is offered only on a letter graded basis and may not be repeated.

B. Quantitative Reasoning


Quantitative Reasoning requirement supports understanding of mathematical skill and analytical technique. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to prepare students in competencies that are transdisciplinary in description. Enrolling students of all academic majors, Quantitative Reasoning courses do not include - and in fact, consciously avoid - the discipline-specific content expected in courses populating other components of the Liberal Arts Core. The Quantitative Reasoning requirement supports student success in the area of Signature Skill #1: Problem Solving.

The University, based on placement test criteria established by the mathematics faculty or previous college math credit, will place new students in one of three categories: MATH 075  eligible, MATH 075  ineligible, or Exempt from MATH 075 .

Students who have submitted ACT or SAT scores and have a Math ACT below 25 or a Math SAT below 590, as well as students who have not submitted test scores to BVU, will complete the placement testing process. The results of the testing process will determine the best placement for each student.

Students with a Math ACT 25 or above or Math SAT of 590 or above, or who are transferring in a MATH 075  equivalent or higher-level Mathematics class will be exempt from placement testing and MATH 075  will be waived. Exempt students may directly enroll in a quantitative reason course (below).

Within the first two semesters of enrollment at BVU, students should successfully complete MATH 075  with a grade of “C-” or better. Upon successful completion of MATH 075 , students will then select and complete a quantitative reasoning elective course. Students may choose among the following options:

C. Written Communication


The requirement in written communication is designed to ensure that Buena Vista University students write at the college level and are positioned to maximize the benefits of Liberal Arts Core courses emphasizing Signature Skill #3: Effective Communication.

All students entering BVU will be placed in one of four categories according to their ACT English scores or high school English grades.

Students with an ACT English score 15 or below or cumulative gpa in high school English classes below 3.00 will enroll in ENGL 101  Written Communication I and Lab, a college-level writing course with a 1-credit support lab, in their first semester at BVU. Upon successful completion of ENGL 101 , students will enroll in ENGL 200  Writing Seminar. Successful completion of ENGL 200  Writing Seminar is required for graduation.

Students with an ACT English score 16 and above or cumulative gpa in high school English classes between 3.0 and 3.50 will enroll in ENGL 102  Written Communication I during their first year at BVU. Students with an ACT score of 16 or above may elect, with consultation with their advisor, to enroll in ENGL 101 . Upon successful completion of ENGL 102 , students enroll in ENGL 200  Writing Seminar. Successful completion of ENGL 200  Writing Seminar is required for graduation.

Students with an ACT English score above 25 or cumulative gpa in high school English classes above 3.50 will be exempt from ENGL 101 . Students in this category are required to successfully complete ENGL 102  Written Communication I and ENGL 200  Writing Seminar prior to their junior year. Students who have completed the equivalent of ENGL 200  in accepted transfer credits are exempt from the ENGL 101  or ENGL 102  requirement.

Students with an ACT English score above 30 will be exempt from ENGL 102 . Students in this category are required to successfully complete ENGL 200  Writing Seminar.

D. Oral Communication


Buena Vista University views oral communication as essential to effective citizenship, service, and leadership. Employers and graduate schools rank effectiveness in oral communication as one of the most important skills for professional success.

Each BVU student is required to take COMM 100  Fundamentals of Communication, a course supporting student success in the area of Signature Skill #3: Effective Communication.

Oral Communication Test-Out

Students who have extensive experience in oral communication may demonstrate their competency through a two-part test-out, including both a written exam and an oral presentation. Storm Lake campus students should see the School of Liberal Arts Dean for test-out details. BVU online students should contact their advisor for more information.

2. The Liberal Arts Core


Successful completion of the Liberal Arts Core occurs when a student achieves the requisite credit hours in the areas of Natural Science and Business, Fine Arts and Humanities, and the Social Sciences.

A. Natural Science and Business (9 credits)


The objective of the business component of the Liberal Arts Core is to enable students to solve problems grounded in business disciplinary concepts. Courses in the Natural Science and Business area of general education enhance students’ abilities in the area of Signature Skill #1: Problem Solving. Students must earn credits in three fields and complete at least three credits from both the School of Business and the School of Science.

The following courses are offered by the School of Business and emphasize the application of business disciplinary concepts in problem solving situations:

The following courses are offered by the School of Science:


Through study in the sciences, students learn about the natural world, the ways of knowing common to scientific inquiry, and the role of sound inductive and deductive reasoning strategies in addressing problems of a scientific or technological nature. The life sciences focus on living organisms as physical systems and how organisms influence and are influenced by their environments. The physical sciences emphasize processes, structures, and phenomena of the non-living world.

B. Fine Arts and Humanities (9 credits):


The Fine Arts and Humanities prepare students to inquire creatively, think critically, and respond incisively to the complexities of the human experience and the richness of our interconnected, culturally diverse world. Emphasizing the study of art, language, literature, music, and history, the Fine Arts and Humanities enhance students’ abilities in the area of Signature Skill #2: Integrative Learning. Students must earn credits in three fields in the Fine Arts and Humanities area.

The following courses fulfill the Fine Arts and Humanities general education requirements:

C. Social Science (9 credits)


Social Sciences courses expect students to think and write critically, in ways informed by social science theory, about problems and questions of broad social importance. Encompassing a wide range of disciplines, the Social Science component of the Liberal Arts Core supports student achievement in the area of Signature Skill #3: Effective Communication. Students must earn credits in three Social Science fields.

The following courses fulfill the Social Science general education requirement:

3. Interdisciplinary Capstone


IDST 400 - Challenges for the 21st Century  (3 credits):
Buena Vista University prepares graduates to address, both individually and collaboratively, the complex challenges of our time. A capstone experience in the program of general education, the Interdisciplinary Studies course requires students to demonstrate their ability to investigate, and formulate potential responses to, society’s most vexing challenges. The Interdisciplinary Studies course functions as a showcase of students’ capacities in the areas of problem solving, integrative learning, and effective communication. This course is offered only on a letter grade basis.

Transfer Student General Education Requirements

Students transferring to BVU with an Associate of Arts degree have satisfied written and oral communication and quantitative reasoning areas of the Foundations of Collegiate Learning. Students possessing an Associate of Arts degree have also satisfied the Liberal Arts Core area of the Program of General Education. The transcripts of transfer students who have not completed an Associate of Arts degree will be evaluated by the Registrar, in consultation with the deans, to determine which, if any, general education requirements have been satisfied prior to enrollment at BVU.

Major Requirement

Each student must complete at least one major. Majors require the completion of between 30-64 credit hours. Many majors have additional prerequisites and supporting work requirements. In some cases, students are required to apply for admission to the specific program. Students must complete at least 12 credit hours of upper-division courses in the major, including licensure, from BVU.

Majors available to Storm Lake students:

  • Accounting
  • Agricultural Business
  • Agricultural Science - General Track, Animal Science Track; Agronomy Track, Pre-Veterinary Medicine Track
  • Agriculture Education
  • All Science for Secondary Education
  • Animation
  • Art (Studio Art)
  • Biology - General Biology Track; Forensic Science Track
  • Biomedical Science
  • Business
  • Business Education
  • Communication Studies
  • Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence/Robotics Track; Systems Track; Information Technology Track; Mathematics Track
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Digital Media
  • Educational Studies
  • Elementary Education
  • English Language Arts for Secondary Education
  • English
  • Graphic Design
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary (Distributive)
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Mathematics; Mathematics: Corporate
  • Music Production and Technology - Business Track; Film Scoring Audio for Video Track
  • Physical Education and Coaching
  • Physics-Engineering
  • Pre-professional Art Therapy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Rehabilitation Health Sciences
  • Scientific Illustration/Pre-Medical Illustration
  • Social Work
  • Spanish
  • Special Education
  • Strategic Public Relations
  • Secondary Education Licensure available in many areas. See specific majors.

Majors available for online students (please note that some majors may only be available through online delivery. Please consult the Online Programs section of the academic catalog for a list)

  • Accounting
  • Agricultural Business
  • Agricultural Studies (BASc)
  • Agricultural Education*
  • Applied Management (BASc)
  • Business*
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice - Criminology or Criminal Justice tracks
  • Distributive Major
  • Educational Studies
  • Elementary Education
  • English*
  • History*
  • Human Services
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Post Baccalaureate Certification Program
  • Psychology
  • Special Education

*Secondary Education Licensure available

Interdisciplinary (Distributive) Major

For students whose academic interests do not coincide with a single department or discipline, the interdisciplinary major offers an exciting student-designed alternative. To be eligible to propose an interdisciplinary major, a student must have earned a minimum cumulative average of 2.0. Students who wish to opt for this opportunity must submit proposals prior to, or during, their junior year.

The interdisciplinary major proposal should be carefully constructed with the assistance of at least two faculty or academic advisors. The major should consist of no fewer than 32 and no more than 64 credit hours from at least two disciplines. The proposal must represent a coherent educational goal with attention given to the nature of introductory, middle-level, and culminating work in the proposed major. Each such major should include a theory course appropriate to the field of study and a culminating activity, such as a senior seminar or independent project that pulls together the experience of the interdisciplinary major.

To propose an interdisciplinary major, a student must obtain the support of a school dean and work with them to develop the proposal and choose appropriate advisors. Following the above guidelines for coherence of program content, the student and advisors submit the proposal on an academic action special form to the appropriate school dean(s). Once approved, the academic advisors and the appropriate school dean(s) must approve any changes to the proposed course of study. When the proposal has been approved, the registrar will provide a copy of the approved program and any subsequent changes to the student.

Students who elect to complete an interdisciplinary major must satisfy all other requirements for graduation, including hours outside the major/school and grade point average. Prerequisites will not be waived to facilitate course enrollment.

Minors

Minors generally require the completion of between 18-24 credit hours. A few minors have additional prerequisites and supporting work requirements. In some cases, students are required to apply for admission to the specific program. Minor fields may be selected from the following:

  • Accounting
  • Animation
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Communication Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Digital Media
  • Educational Studies
  • English
  • Exercise Science/Coaching
  • Exercise Science/Health Education
  • Game Design
  • Gender Studies
  • Graphic Design
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary (Distributive)
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Music Production and Technology
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Quality Science
  • Small Business and Rural Entrepreneurship
  • Social Innovation
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

Interdisciplinary (Distributive) Minor

Students who wish to design their own interdisciplinary program must develop a program composed of 21 to 24 credit hours, distributed between two or three disciplines. In developing their program, students will work with at least two faculty or academic advisors to develop a program using the same general guidelines outlined in the student-designed interdisciplinary major (except for the capstone, which is not required for an interdisciplinary (distributive) minor).

Concentrations

Selected concentrations may be available for students in the B.A.S. program who seek to focus their studies on a particular area of inquiry. Concentrations require a minimum of 24 hours of specified courses designed to provide B.A.S. students with an opportunity to develop knowledge in a disciplinary or interdisciplinary area relevant to their professional goals. Concentrations may be developed to meet student interest and demand. The current list of B.A.S. concentrations will be maintained by online staff.

Endorsement Programs

For students seeking a teaching license, a number of endorsement programs beyond the majors and minors are available. Primary endorsements include: Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate K-8 and 5-12, Teaching English as a Second Language, Reading K-8 and 5-12 and Coaching Authorization K-12.

Baccalaureate Degree Plus 1 Programs

The Baccalaureate Degree Plus 1 Programs a (Bac+1) allow students to begin work toward completing a Master’s degree while yet an undergraduate with the intent of the student completing their Master’s degree within roughly a year past earning their bachelor’s degree. More information in Graduate Programs section.

Internships

An internship at BVU is a hands-on, practical learning experience in which students apply classroom knowledge in professional settings. The value of the internship experience comes from the collaboration between the faculty person, the student and a professional. In this dynamic interaction, students are able to develop both career competencies and independent/ collaborative leadership skills that will supplement their course work. Internships also allow students to actively reflect on their academic learning, test their classroom skills, and explore their career options. Perhaps most importantly, the internship connects students to the world outside the university walls, helping them understand and experience the complexities, joys and challenges of living, learning and working in a global society.

While we believe all internships at BVU must achieve certain results, each program and/or school reserves the right to ask additional requirements of its students to maximize learning opportunities for students. Programs accredited by outside agencies (i.e. education, social work, etc.) will follow accrediting body requirements when differences among their guidelines and usual BVU internship guidelines occur. Minimum expectations for Buena Vista University internships are provided here.

While internships are an important theory-to-practice learning experience for students, all students are not required to complete an internship. Several reasons, however, support why internships are essential. In fact, internships are so vital that we do recommend that each student consider incorporating an internship into his/her program of study.

  • Internships as experiential learning allow students to make important connections, both in their education and their professional development. The synergy between the faculty supervisor, who oversees the academic portion of the experience; the site supervisor, who oversees the practical learning on-site; and the student, who works diligently and reflects carefully on that work, creates a unique and valuable learning environment that cannot be replicated inside the classroom.
  • Internships are fundamental to the BVU student learning experience. They are vital to BVU producing the best graduates among our competitors.
  • Internships offer students professional development experience by teaching vital employability skills for future employment success.
  • Students learn fundamental success skills such as understanding organizational culture, appropriate dress, and professional communication expectations.
  • Research shows that college graduates who complete an internship are more likely to receive job offers prior to graduation. (National Association of Colleges and Employers).
  • Internships ask students to apply theory to practice.

Basic Guidelines for Internships

Forty hours of on-site work is required for 1 credit hour of internship credit unless otherwise specified. Variations of this formula are to be anticipated for full-semester and/or summer internships; BVU internship faculty course instructors provide students with the formula used in such cases.

Students may apply a total of 15 internship/intraship credits to their program of study with no single internship carrying more than 12 credits; a maximum of 3 credit hours of internship may be applied to a major or minor, unless otherwise specified by the major program. Internships are only graded P/F. Students may complete an internship at their current place of employment provided that the internship requires the student to engage in work activity that is new and substantially different from the work normally performed. The determination of the uniqueness of the internship experience in the same place of employment is at the discretion of the faculty supervisor based on student goals for the internship.

To engage an internship, students must:

  • Generally, have achieved junior standing or seek advisor approval to engage in internships.
  • Have completed a minimum of 9 credit hours in a field of study to engage an internship in that field of study.
  • Have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0 to engage an internship. (See individual catalog descriptions for variations in credit hour and GPA requirements with specific programs). If a student’s CGPA drops below a 2.0 at the end of the term/semester immediately prior to the internship, the student may be removed from the internship experience at the discretion of the BVU faculty course instructor.

Goals of Internships

Student learning goals for internships are to:

  • Have a meaningful learning experience centered on self-identified goals for the specific internship experience.
  • Put classroom learning into practice by applying the theoretical knowledge and practical skills attained in courses to a professional setting.
  • Reflect on one’s own education and career goals, including the connectivity of hands-on learning with classroom learning.
  • Explore and/or clarify career choices by testing the interest in a particular career field and assessing the “fit” of this field to future pursuits.
  • Experience a professional work environment by immersing in the culture of the internship site and learning about the complexities, joys and challenges of living, learning and working.
  • Network with professionals who have attained career success.

While internships fulfill specific goals for the student, they also serve the university’s programs. Internships provide an opportunity for the program and university to create connections and partnerships with businesses, agencies, and schools.

Student Internship Expectations

With the opportunity of an internship come responsibilities. Any BVU student engaged in an internship is expected to:

  • Conduct oneself in a professional and ethical manner which reflects favorably upon the agency/business and the university as well as the student including but not limited to:
  • Working within the scope of the agency/business and department policies and procedures.
  • Taking the initiative to seek help and advice from appropriate agency/business personnel and faculty course instructors.
  • Notifying the designated employer if a circumstance arises causing the intern to be absent or tardy.
  • Attend meetings, conferences, and programs which enhance professional development prior to and during the internship experience.
  • Assist the agency/business in reaching its goals and objectives.
  • Adhere to all program, school, and/or university guidelines for internships by:
  • Adequately preparing for the specific internship with appropriate course work.
  • Participating fully in all steps of the internship process (i.e., setting goals, orientation, resume workshops, mock interviews, debriefing sessions, etc.) as outlined by the BVU faculty supervisor.
  • Reporting Internship Application/Agreement information in the Career and Leadership Development online system (Beaver Tracks) and securing approval of the faculty course instructor, internship site supervisor, Career and Leadership Development Office and the Registrar’s Office.
  • Professionally and properly preparing required written works such as journals, logs, portfolios, presentation materials, and reflective essays.
  • Accurately accounting for one’s hours interning and completing the final evaluation through the emailed evaluation link provided.

Faculty Course Instructor Expectations

Faculty members serving as faculty course instructors assume typical faculty responsibilities for the experience as they do with any other course assigned to them. As further clarification, faculty course instructors must:

  • Be available for student interns on a daily basis whether via office telephone, cell phone, email correspondence, and/or in person. At times when faculty s course instructors may be unable to be available for daily contact, they will provide student interns with at least two other BVU faculty/administrative contacts, i.e. the related school dean or another colleague in the program/school or the internship coordinator and the vice president for academic affairs in case of emergency. The primary concern is for the safety and professional counsel needs of students in the field. The goal is for emergency needs to be handled immediately and all contacts from students to be addressed and responded to within 24 hours.
  • Coordinate the experience and expectations for the student with the site supervisor by:
  • Providing site supervisor with a copy of the goals and requirements of the internship program.
  • Providing contact information for the faculty course instructor, and others, in cases of emergency.
  • Articulating clear expectations of how the student intern is to be evaluated (e.g. journal, reflective paper, research paper, portfolio, project, presentation, etc.) and number of hours the intern is to serve.
  • Making certain that interns understand they minimally must complete a journal, reflective paper and presentation. The required presentation submitted to the faculty course instructor highlighting the key learning moments from their internship experience will be used for events such as inclusion in an internship symposium, major and/or school internship enhancement for underclass students.
  • Engaging a three-way conversation among faculty course instructor, site supervisor and student intern whether face-to-face or via teleconference at least once during the internship.
  • Following up with a thank you letter to site supervisor/business on behalf of the program and university.

Site Supervisor Internship Expectations

For employers who choose to partner with BVU in offering student’s internships, we expect the site supervisor to:

  • Offer a meaningful learning experience for the student.
  • Provide timely feedback to the student and BVU faculty course instructor.
  • Monitor the match of the internship goals with the experiences offered to the student during the internship.
  • Sign a student internship agreement form or provide a letter on company letterhead delineating his/her agreements to the required elements of the internship experience.
  • Complete final evaluation of the student’s performance through the emailed evaluation link provided.

BVU recommends that the site supervisor engage in an exit interview/evaluation as an intern leaves the site.

Student Registration Process for Internships

Each Buena Vista University faculty course instructor will communicate his/her process for determining student eligibility to complete an internship. The registration process for all BVU internships is:

Storm Lake campus students complete the online Report an internship form in Beaver Tracks. Once the faculty course instructor, internship site supervisor, and internship coordinator in the Career and Leadership Development Office have approved the online form, the Registrar’s Office is notified regarding completed documentation.

BVU online students complete the online Report an internship form in Beaver Tracks. Once the BVU advisor, company contact, and faculty course instructor approve the online form, the internship manager notifies the Registrar’s Office regarding completed documentation.

May term and semester internships are typically 3 credits; students enrolling for an internship for more or fewer than 3 credits must seek assistance from the Registrar’s Office to officially register; BVU online students seek assistance from their advisor. Students enrolling in internship hours during the summer sessions must seek assistance from the Registrar’s Office (or appropriate student enrollment specialist/advisor) to officially register, after completing the required documentation.

Students enrolling in internship credit without completing the required documentation for the Registrar’s Office will not be granted academic credit for the internship experience. At the beginning of each enrollment period (semester, May term, or online term), the Registrar’s Office will notify registered students who have not supplied the appropriate documentation that they are being dropped from the internship credits.

Students may not begin an internship without demonstrating proof of liability insurance, as needed.

Program Specifics

  • Each intraship is at maximum one semester in length and can be taken for 1-3 credits.
  • Students may apply a total of 15 intraship and/or internship credits to their program of study.
  • Students in academic good standing may apply and be chosen for more than one intraship in any given semester.
  • Each student should expect to dedicate no less than three to four hours a week to each project.
  • Students will be graded according to each described criterion.
  • Failure to make significant progress throughout the intraship timeline may result in the student’s removal from the project.

Expectations of the Instructor

  • Be understanding of time related issues related to other classes and activities
  • Be clear on what is expected
  • Be able to help the student if extra help is asked of them
  • Participate in good communication
  • Listen to students’ ideas and questions
  • Be clear on how the student will be graded

Expectations of the Student

  • Be on time and a self-starter
  • Be dressed in the proper apparel if applicable
  • Be respectful to classmates, athletes, and instructor
  • Communicate with instructor
  • Work hard, there is limited time to learn all you can
  • Put in extra hours if needed to completely understand what you need to accomplish.
  • Use supplies given and know that the instructor is there to help you learn
  • Be responsible and reliable

Credit for Prior Learning

The university permits superior students to enroll in certain advanced courses in foreign languages, and upon earning a “B-” or better, receive a maximum of eight hours of credits for appropriate preceding courses.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP) Program

CLEP and AP are nationally recognized programs that offer students an opportunity to earn university credit by examination. CLEP and AP exams are available in a variety of general and specific subject areas. Credit will be awarded according to the American Council of Education (ACE) guidelines to a student who earns a CLEP score of “C” equivalent or better (as determined by CLEP) and AP score of 3 or higher. Credit will be applied toward earned hours toward graduation. Certain restrictions may apply. See the Registrar’s Office for more information.

Independent Study

There are times when truly exceptional, high-achieving students may seek additional learning opportunities. These additional learning opportunities are best achieved through independent or directed studies. Independent studies are done at the discretion of the faculty member and school dean.

Independent Study offers an opportunity to explore an area of study not included in the catalog listing of approved courses. The topic of an Independent Study should be selected and carefully designed by the student in cooperation with his/her faculty instructor, the appropriate school dean. The student will be expected to have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above, have junior or senior status, and possess the appropriate background and interest to pursue the proposed area of study. Students may take no more than one independent study course per semester, and no more than four courses during the course of his/her academic career. Independent study courses are assigned numbers 399 or 499 depending on the level of the course. Independent study will be graded P/F.

Directed Study

A directed study is when a student takes a catalog course either alone or with a very small number of students. As a rule, directed studies are discouraged. There are times, however, when a directed study may be unavoidable in a student’s program of study. Such recognized occasions include:

  • Transfer students in need of a course “off-rotation” to avoid delaying graduation, a situation that is particularly possible for courses that are offered only on alternate years.
  • Time schedule conflicts between two required courses in a given semester. Determination of a need for the two courses in the given semester rather than desire for the two courses in a certain semester must be demonstrated by the student’s four-year plan of study.
  • To facilitate a student’s ability to study abroad for a semester or engage a semester long specialized internship.

Offering directed study courses so a student may complete an additional endorsement, major and/or minor is not considered essential. A directed study course offered for a student in an unavoidable situation does not warrant including more students who are not in an unavoidable situation into the experience.

Students bear responsibility to enroll in the appropriate rotation of courses to complete their program of study. Students who enroll in and then drop a course to discover they are now “off-rotation” in course sequencing or fail to initially register for a course in a particular sequence given their anticipated graduation date should not expect that a directed study will be offered to rectify their situation.

To be considered for a directed study, the student must have junior or senior status. The details of the directed study must be agreed upon by the faculty sponsor and the student, and approved by the school dean no later than the end of the first week of classes in the semester/term in which the directed study is to occur. The directed study form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office at that time. Students may take no more than one directed study course per semester or term and no more than four such courses during the course of his/her academic career. Grading for all directed study grades are letter grades unless distinguished differently in course description.

Storm Lake Academic Sessions

Semester Designations

Academic sessions at Buena Vista University are based on the 4-4-1 system, with a fall semester, a spring semester, and a May term. The fall and spring semesters are approximately 15 weeks in length, and the May term is approximately three weeks.

May Term

May term registration, whether travel, internship, or on campus classes is limited to 3 credit hours. Internship credit hours are determined by the number of 40-hour weeks contained within the internship experience. A three-credit internship, for example, requires three 40-hour work weeks. A three-credit course meets the full May term calendar for 150 minutes each day. When the May term calendar includes fewer than 15 days of instruction, more than 150 minutes may be required each day. Classes meet daily. Grading is determined by the instructor and indicated in each course description. If student option is indicated, the student may choose between P/F (pass/fail) or letter grade. Travel courses may be graded either P/F or with a letter grade. Internships will only be graded P/F. Students must be in good academic standing and in good standing with Student Affairs to be eligible to travel during May term.

There will be no tuition, board and/or room refunds for full-time students who elect not to participate in May term, nor will students who have failed to register for or participate in May term courses be permitted to remain in the residence halls during the May term. Any student residing on campus during the May term must be enrolled in and attending a May term academic experience. Only students on individual course rosters are permitted to attend the specific course. Failure to register properly for a May term course forfeits the student’s right to transcript a grade for a course.

Students enrolled in courses that require them to be off campus may be eligible for a meal stipend if they have a meal plan for the semester/term during which they are required to be off campus. Please contact the business office to find out if you are eligible for a refund.

In order to be eligible to participate in May term, students must complete the spring semester as a full-time student. Part-time students have the option of participating in May term. Tuition will be charged on a per-credit-hour basis for part-time students. Similarly, students on tuition exchange attending May term only will be charged a pro-rated room and board fee. Persons with questions regarding the billing process should contact the Business Office. Some courses, such as travel courses, have special charges associated with them.

In case of cancellation of the course by the university, the special fees will be promptly refunded.

If a student cancels registration in such a course, no refund of the special fees can be guaranteed. The university reserves the right to remove a student from a travel course or internship for failure to perform all required activities in preparation for or during the experience in an appropriate professional manner. Students removed in such circumstances forfeit their right to any special fees refund.

Students from other 4-4-1 institutions are welcome to participate in BVU’s May term. Application should be made to the Provost’s office, 610 W. Fourth Street, Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa 50588.

Summer Sessions

The university regularly offers summer courses in terms 5 and 6 through its online programs. Students are permitted to enroll for a maximum of 6 credit hours in each term. Credit may also be earned through special workshops, short courses, and independent studies offered in the summer.

Academic Support and Enrichment

Disability Accommodations

The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) works with students who, due to a disability, are seeking academic accommodations. BVU policy, in accordance with state and federal guidelines, calls for reasonable accommodations to be made for qualified students. To assure that this policy is upheld, the director of the CAE serves as coordinator for the appropriate and reasonable accommodations and is available to assist students in the student accommodation process. The director of the CAE can be reached at CAE@bvu.edu.

English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL)

An English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) program is offered to all international students. To be fully admitted students must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550. Students may be conditionally admitted with a TOEFL or equivalent score of 500. The program offers two tracks of study: English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and General English (ESL).

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

EAP courses are generally 3 credit hours and are designed to help international students improve their academic language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing to enhance the likelihood of their academic success. Language skills addressed in EAP courses include: oral intelligibility, fluency development, listening comprehension, reading, writing, grammar and academic vocabulary development. Additionally, EAP courses help international students acquire academic study skills, such as test taking and note taking skills, academic vocabulary usage, critical reading and writing, comprehending academic lectures, research and library skills, formal composition forms and development, including research papers. All international students are assessed by the Director of ESOL and placed into the appropriate courses based on the results of English language diagnostic test and individual needs for academic language support. Students are not able to otherwise choose to enroll in EAP courses. A maximum of 15 credit hours of EAP coursework may be applied towards graduation from Buena Vista University.

General English (ESL)

General English, or English as a Second Language (ESL), courses are available to students who do not meet the minimum English proficiency requirements to be enrolled in EAP courses. International students who have not taken an English proficiency or who have a TOEFL score or equivalent below 500 will be required to enroll in these courses. ESL courses are designed to help students improve their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, prepare them for academic language skills learning, and bring the student’s English language proficiency up to the level required for admission to the academic program. Students are required to enroll in a minimum 12 credit- hours of ESL courses, and students who fail the same course twice may be down-leveled to a one-level below. Students in advanced level ESL courses must pass an Exit exam at the end of semester. Exam results are reviewed by the Director of ESOL, and students who achieve the necessary scores are enrolled in the academic program of choice at that time.

Honors Program

At Buena Vista University students may enter the honors program in two ways, as entering new first-year students or as current or transfer students after having completed a minimum of 15 credit hours of collegiate work.

Entering first-year students are automatically screened for admission to the honors program based on their high school record and achievements. First-year students must meet the following standards: ACT 28 or higher AND a HS rank in top 10 percent or HS GPA of 3.75. Students also complete an honors program application and submit an essay to be in the honors program. New international students wishing to enroll in the honors program should see the honors program director.

Current BVU students and transfer students who have completed at least one semester of a strong college curriculum consisting of a minimum of 15 credit hours and who have achieved a 3.5 cumulative GPA may apply to the honors program. Current BVU and transfer students meeting the above guidelines must complete an application form and submit an essay.

The honors program encourages students to develop their academic talents beyond the regular programs at the university and is designed to provide greater depth to the student’s regular academic program through specialized Liberal Arts Core courses, dialogue and research work. Special opportunities may be organized around topics of special interest to students in the program. Students present and defend their final research projects in a public forum. The Buena Vista University honors program is especially suited for students contemplating graduate or professional school, and honors recognition will appear on the transcripts of those students who successfully complete the program. Applications for the program are typically taken in the fall semester. More specific information on the program may be obtained from the honors program director.

International Studies

The university provides several opportunities for students to engage in cross-cultural experiences. Study abroad credits from non-U.S. host institutions will transfer as pass/fail “grades” at BVU with a grade of “C-” or better becoming a pass and a grade of “D” or below becoming a fail.

May Term Education Travel

Each May term, Buena Vista University students may choose from a variety of foreign programs. Past educational travel courses have included travel courses to Australia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Rapa Nui, Spain, Greece, Cuba, the Mediterranean, Fiji, Vanuatu, Peru, Egypt, and Japan. Several domestic travel courses also are offered each year. New York City and a study of Disney and Universal Studios are offered frequently.

Other Study Abroad Options

Buena Vista University’s cooperating agreements provide study abroad and internship abroad opportunities in eleven countries: Austria, England, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Kenya, Australia, China, Spain, and Wales. Course offerings and internship possibilities vary according to country. Further information on these and other international programs may be obtained from the study abroad coordinator or the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Buena Vista University.

Academic Policies

Academic Honesty

Buena Vista University believes that personal integrity and academic honesty are fundamental to scholarship. We strive to create an environment where the dignity of each person is recognized and an atmosphere of mutual trust exists between instructors and students. Accordingly, honesty in all academic matters is expected from all students. Actions contrary to academic integrity will not be tolerated. Any attempt to cheat, misrepresent someone else’s work as one’s own, receive credit for work one did not do, obtain an unfair advantage over other students, or aid another student to do the above will be considered a breach of academic integrity. The faculty has confidence in the integrity of students and encourages students to exercise good judgment in fulfilling this responsibility.

Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with learning or fair evaluation of a student’s work or performance are considered a breach of academic integrity.

Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to:

  • Cheating (intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized material, assistance, or study aids in any academic work). For example, using a cheat sheet for a test, looking at another student’s paper during an exam, stealing or buying all or parts of an exam or paper, altering and resubmitting work for a better grade without prior approval to do so, etc. Cheating includes but is not limited to:
  1. use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations;
  2. use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments;
  3. the acquisition, without permission, of test or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff;
  4. engaging in behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.
  • Plagiarism: representing another’s ideas, words, expressions, or data in writing or presentation without properly acknowledging the source. This includes, but is not limited to, misrepresenting another’s work as one’s original work, using someone else’s idea without giving proper credit, failing to cite a reference or failing to use proper documentation, using works of another gained over the internet and submitted as one’s own work, etc.
  • The term “plagiarism” includes but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without clear acknowledgement. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
  • Falsification and/or misrepresentation of data: submitting contrived or made up information in any academic exercise. This includes, but is not limited to making up data, citing non-existent sources, etc.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any provision of the academic honesty policy. This includes, but is not limited to, working together on a take home exam or other assignment when the option has not been made available, giving your paper/assignment to another student for his/her use, etc.
  • Computer crimes: damaging or modifying computer programs without permission. This includes, but is not limited to, software piracy, hacking, constructing viruses, knowingly introducing viruses into the system, copying programs and/or data belonging to others, etc.
  • Multiple submission: submitting, without prior approval from the instructors involved, any work submitted to fulfill academic requirements in another class. This includes, but is not limited to, submitting the same paper for two different classes, etc.
  • Misrepresentation of academic records: knowingly misrepresenting or tampering with any portion of official records of the University or transcripts. This includes, but is not limited to, forging a change of grade slip or registration form, tampering with computer records, etc.
  • Unfair advantage: trying to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students. This includes, but is not limited to, gaining or facilitating unauthorized access to exam materials (past or present); interfering with another student’s efforts in an academic exercise; lying about the need for an extension on a paper or assignment; destroying, hiding, removing or keeping, library materials, etc.

Any violation of this policy will be treated as a serious matter. The instructor has primary responsibility over classroom behavior and maintaining academic integrity. Instructors are encouraged to specify clearly at the beginning of each course what constitutes violations of academic honesty and the consequences for academic dishonesty. In cases of repeated or flagrant violations, a student may be dismissed from the university. Students who earn an ‘F’ based on academic dishonesty or plagiarism may not withdraw (and receive a grade of W) from the class prior to the end of the Term/semester. Depending on the nature and severity of the offense, the university reserves the right to exact maximum penalty, even in the case of a first offense.

If an infraction is suspected, the following guidelines and procedures apply:

  • A faculty member who suspects a student of academic dishonesty shall inform the student of his/her suspicion and present him/her with the evidence, allowing the student an opportunity for rebuttal.
  • Faculty members, upon determination of an infraction based on the evidence, may determine the penalty for the infraction. This may involve failing a student for a particular assignment, test or course. The penalty must be communicated via BVU email to the student.
  • Upon determination of an infraction, the faculty member should notify, in writing, the student’s advisor, the faculty member’s school dean, and the provost. This notification should include the student’s name, the type of infraction and the penalty (i.e., student failed the assignment, student failed the course, etc.).
  • All information related to any violation will be kept in a special file by provost during the time in which the student is enrolled at Buena Vista University, serving only as a statement of record if the student is charged with a subsequent act of academic dishonesty. In the case of appeal, the file will be destroyed if the student is found to not have violated academic integrity standards. If the student is found to have violated academic integrity, the file remains in the provost’s office until the student’s graduation or three years after the student’s last date of enrollment.

Appeals Process for Academic Honesty

Students may appeal a faculty member’s decision to the dean of the school who oversees that course. The decision from the dean is final.

If an appeal is made to the dean, the following procedures are to be used:

  • A written request for hearing must be made with the dean within two weeks of the faculty member’s decision being communicated with the student. The written notification from the student should include his/her understanding of the events that occurred and his/her reasons for the appeal.
  • The dean will engage in fact-finding that he/she deems appropriate, after which the will meet with the student, his/her academic advisor, and the faculty member involved. In the event the faculty member involved is the student’s advisor, the student will select another faculty member to attend the meeting.
  • The dean’s decision will be communicated in writing via email to the student, the faculty member, the advisor, and the provost within one week of the meeting. If the recommendation from the Dean is expulsion, it will be referred to the Provost for action.

Governing Catalog

Students are governed by regulations and requirements of the catalog under which they enter, unless a subsequent catalog is chosen. Changes in the catalog requirements that occur after a student enters the university as a result of curriculum revision and other faculty actions are not enforced retroactively; however, such changes do become effective as stipulated by faculty.

While administrators and teachers are available to advise, each student is responsible for meeting the catalog requirements for graduation.

Major and Minor Course of Study

When a curriculum revision occurs, students may elect to meet course requirements for a major or minor as specified in the catalog in effect at the time of their admission or they may choose to meet the academic requirements in full of a subsequent catalog. Note: Education (teaching) students must meet the current requirements for teacher certification.

Readmission to BVU

A student whose course of study at BVU is interrupted for an extended period of time - two years or more - must meet the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of re-entry to BVU.

Assessment Program

Buena Vista University values student growth and development. As a consequence, the institution has developed a plan for longitudinal assessment of student academic achievement. Results of the assessment will be studied and used in an ongoing fashion to provide continuous improvement of the academic programs of the university.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy addresses the importance of students’ commitment to academic excellence and outlines the criteria for remaining in good standing at BVU.

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that all federal financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress towards degree completion. In addition to receiving financial aid from one or more of the various federal funds, receipt of state or institutional funds will also rely on a student meeting these standards. These standards apply to a student’s entire degree program including terms in which financial aid was not received. Specific aid programs or departmental standards may require more than the minimum standards described below.

The Standards

Satisfactory academic progress will be measured in qualitative terms by the student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and in quantitative terms by the percentage of hours earned in relation to those attempted (pace). Both qualitative and quantitative progress will be reviewed for status determination. In addition, maximum timeframe for degree completion will be reviewed for continued federal/state financial aid eligibility.

  • Cumulative grade point average (qualitative progress) - Because the transition to university learning is challenging, first and second year students are allowed time to build their CGPA to a 2.0 as they accumulate credits. A student will be making qualitative progress by earning a CGPA within the ranges detailed below. A student’s CGPA will include those grades associated with BVU credits only; grades earned at other institutions are not included. The second and any subsequent grade(s) for repeated coursework will be used in the CGPA computation. Only the first grade will be omitted from the grade point average.
Credits Earned Cumulative GPA
Less than 24 1.75 or above
24-55.99 1.90 or above
56+ or 2 years of enrollment, whichever comes first 2.00 or above
  • Pace (quantitative progress) - Adequate progress towards degree completion is measured by an appropriate ratio of credit hours earned in relationship with credit hours attempted. Students must complete 67% of the hours attempted to be making quantitative progress. Withdrawing from courses and/or failing courses may ultimately result in not achieving the necessary completion rate which would allow a student to graduate in the time allowed (see Maximum Timeframe for Financial Assistance below). A student will be making adequate pace (quantitative progress) towards degree completion if the 67% is met.
  • Maximum Timeframe for Financial Assistance-Undergraduate students will be allowed to attempt up to 180 total credit hours, or for transfer students, 150% of the hours it is determined are needed to complete the attempted BVU degree/program at the time the student enrolls. If the attempted program is not completed within this time frame, even in situations where there has been a change of course of study, financial aid eligibility will be terminated. Appeals will be allowed on a case-by-case basis and should be made to the Office of Financial Assistance. Students who enroll in a second degree or teacher certification may be eligible for aid and will have their academic progress calculated from the credit hours attempted beyond the first degree. Students returning only to complete a major may not eligible for financial assistance.

Upon admission, transfer students are assumed to be making satisfactory academic progress. Courses successfully completed at another institution that fulfill degree requirements at BVU will be included in pace calculations.

All courses completed at BVU are included in the analysis of academic standing. BVU does not use incompletes as a grading option. If a course is repeated, the repeat(s) will count in attempted hours for pace calculation purposes.

Students should be familiar with the change of grade process. If a grade(s) changes after the initial SAP review, the change(s) will require the committee to revisit the student’s status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review Process and Statuses

The Academic Standing/SAP Review Committee is chaired by the Associate Dean of Student Success and includes an Academic Dean, the Director of the Center for Academic Excellence, a representative from Student Success, the Director of Financial Assistance, and a representative from the Registrar’s Office.

Student academic progress is reviewed three times each academic year (following fall, spring and summer semesters). That review will be used to notify, via email, those students whose academic record falls short of the CGPA and/or pace standards described above. These standards apply for both continued enrollment and financial assistance eligibility. Initial failure to reach the standards results in financial aid warning and a status of academic probation. Academic probation due to failure to meet the CGPA standards will appear on official transcripts. Non-degree seeking students are exempt from review.

If a student is place on financial aid warning, financial aid eligibility will continue for that warning period, which is typically one semester. For students on academic probation status, failure to reach academic standards for good standing will result in suspension from the university. The designation of suspension will appear on official transcripts. Academic probation also requires meetings with the Center for Academic Excellence and academic advisor. Failure to adhere to the probation requirements will negatively impact any appeal effort.

Students suspended from the University may appeal the decision (process in following section). Appeals may be granted in cases of extenuating circumstances such as, but not limited to; illness or injury of the student; the death of a relative; family difficulties, such as divorce or illness, interpersonal problems, difficulty balancing school and work, athletics, and family responsibilities; or financial difficulties that may affect a student’s ability to achieve SAP. A successful appeal will be reflected on the transcript as Suspended-Successful Appeal.

Following an initial suspension reinstatement, students will typically remain eligible for federal financial assistance - financial aid probation. The financial aid probation status remains until the student reaches good academic standing. Circumstances of the suspension may result in financial aid suspension; rare instances of reinstatement of second (or more) suspension will be under financial aid suspension.

Following a successful appeal, a student will be placed on academic probation with an academic plan to achieve good standing. The plan is not optional; and must be followed. It may encompass more than one semester/SAP review period. If placed on academic probation with an academic plan, the student is expected to achieve good academic standing following the timeline detailed within the plan. A student placed on an academic plan who is eligible to receive financial assistant will continue to receive assistance if the terms of the plan are being met.

A student without a successful appeal will be suspended.

Suspension Appeal Process

All appeals should be submitted using the University’s appeal after suspension form, which can be found on the Beavernet portal. Students are highly encouraged to work with their academic advisor to submit the necessary information to the SAP committee. Students will be required to submit an appeal prior to the SAP Review Committee meeting. Rarely will an appeal that is submitted after the next semester has begun, be reviewed.

The appeal includes an explanation the circumstances that prevented the student from meeting SAP, what has changed in the student’s situation, and the specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken, and when those classes will be taken. Before a decision is made, the student’s progress, the details in the appeal, along with any input from the areas represented by the SAP committee will be reviewed by the Academic Standing/SAP Committee to determine if and how the student can regain good academic standing.

If the student’s appeal is approved, the student will be permitted to return. The financial assistance status and eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid consideration will be stipulated in the SAP Committee academic plan. At the end of the next review period, the student will either continue with a multiple semester/term academic plan, return to good academic standing or be suspended.

Typically, an appeal will be granted only once. Under limited circumstances, a second appeal may be considered. However, to continue to receive financial assistance, the student must either provide circumstances that hindered the student from making SAP that are different from the previous appeal or, if using the same circumstances as the previous appeal, the student must provide information that details what has changed that would now allow him/her to meet SAP requirements at the time of the next evaluation.

The final decision on continued financial aid eligibility will be made by the Office of Financial Assistance/Vice President of Enrollment.

Re-establishing Satisfactory Academic Progress

Other than in situations where an appeal is granted, a student who has lost eligibility for federal, state, or institutional aid can only regain eligibility by taking action that brings them back into satisfactory academic progress. Neither paying for classes nor sitting out any length of time affects a student’s academic standing so neither is sufficient to re-establish financial assistance eligibility. However, if a previously suspended student applies for re-admission to BVU after an academic suspension, that student may be allowed to return, with the benefit of financial assistance, if an appeal is submitted and approved and an academic plan is created to assist the student in attaining satisfactory progress. The student would continue to be eligible for financial assistance if plan specifics are being met. (See above for limitations on the number of appeals allowed with financial aid consideration.)

Process for Re-Admission After Suspension

Students suspended from the university because of failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements as outlined above wishing to apply for re-admission should:

  1. Consult with their academic advisor for assistance in preparing the application for re-admission , which asks the applicant to discuss circumstances that prevented the student from meeting SAP in the past, what has changed in the student’s situation, and the specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken.
  2. Submit an appeal after suspension form, which can be found at this web address: bvu.edu/suspensionappeal. Students who are unable to access this appeal application are encouraged to work with their academic advisor to submit the necessary information to the SAP committee. Readmission applications must be received in sufficient time for processing of those requests. It is recommended that these requests should be submitted a minimum of one month prior to the beginning of the semester/term in which the student wishes to re-enroll.
  3. The re-admission/appeal application will be reviewed by a committee composed of Provost and includes an Academic Dean, the Dean of Students, the Director of the Center for Academic Excellence, the Director of Financial Assistance, and a representative from the Registrar’s office.
  4. Upon return, the student will be eligible for federal, state, or institutional aid so long as an academic plan has been created and approved by the Office of Financial Assistance.

Notification of Academic Status

Students will receive notification of their status after application for re-admission within two weeks of the review dates.

Notification of probation or suspension is sent from the Registrar’s Office to the student and copied to the student’s advisor or appropriate online personnel. However, it is the student’s responsibility to know the standards of academic progress (see “The Standards” above) and failure to receive the notification will not nullify the academic status. Qualitative probation and suspension will be noted on the academic transcript for the semester/term in which that status is earned.

Dismissal

The University reserves the right, upon recommendation from the Academic Standing Committee, to dismiss a student who fails to meet the standards even after being placed on probation or suspension. A student who has been dismissed from the university is not eligible for re-admission.

Appeals

A student has the right to appeal the decision of the Academic Standing Committee in cases of suspension and dismissal. The appeal is made to the Provost and consists of an explanatory letter submitted to that office within two weeks of receipt of notification of suspension or dismissal. The decision of the Provost is final.

Appeals related to continued financial aid eligibility must be made through the Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Athletic Eligibility

As a member of the NCAA, Buena Vista University student-athletes must adhere to the NCAA academic eligibility guidelines as set forth in the NCAA Division III Manual. These requirements shall apply for practice, for regular-season competition and NCAA championships. They include the following:

  • To be eligible for practice or competition, a student-athlete shall be enrolled in at least a minimum full-time program of studies leading to a baccalaureate or equivalent degree as defined by the institution. To be eligible for competition, a student-athlete shall be enrolled in not less than 12 semester or quarter hours, regardless of the institution’s definition of minimum full-time program of studies.
  • Graduate Student/Postbaccalaureate Participation: A student who has graduated from an NCAA Division III institution may participate as a graduate or postbaccalaureate student at the Division III institution he or she most recently attended as an undergraduate or another Division III institution, provided:
  1. The student is enrolled and seeking a second baccalaureate or graduate degree;
  2. The student has eligibility remaining; and
  3. The student’s participation occurs within the applicable 10-semester/15-quarter period.
  • Be eligible as defined by the academic standing policy. Students are considered academically eligible and making satisfactory progress if their academic standing exceeds the suspension standards detailed in the academic standing policy.

Further, student athletes shall meet the following conditions:

  • A student-athlete shall not engage in more than four seasons of intercollegiate competition in any one sport.
  • A student-athlete shall complete his/her seasons of competition during the first 10 semesters in which the student is enrolled in a collegiate institution in at least a minimum full-time program of study.
  • When determining initial eligibility for a new transfer student who has ever participated in intercollegiate athletics, the student must have been academically and athletically eligible had he or she remained at the previous institution.

Full-time status is defined as enrollment in 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students, and 6 credit hours per semester for graduate students. Students that drop or withdraw from a course during a semester, falling below the credit hour minimum, shall be ineligible. A waiver of the minimum full-time enrollment requirement may be granted for a student enrolled in the final term of his/her baccalaureate program. Review of student academic progress occurs in January, June, and September by the university’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) committee.

Student Grade Appeal Process

Undergraduate students having concerns in the academic area are encouraged to resolve these concerns through direct communication with the professor or administrative office involved, with school deans or with the provost. Often these concerns will involve a dispute over a grade. On those rare occasions when disagreements may not be resolved directly, the appeals process detailed below may be used.

Students having academic related concerns should first consult with the faculty member involved. In the case of a grade, no grade may be changed after it has been filed in the Registrar’s Office except by action of the faculty member or the decision of an appeal by the vice president for academic affairs. If a grade remains uncontested for a period of 6 weeks into a subsequent semester/term following the date published as the official end of the semester/term, it will be assumed to be correct and will not be eligible for change. For example, a grade from the spring semester must be appealed no later than six weeks into the following fall semester.

Prior to a formal appeal, the student should discuss his/her questions with the faculty member involved. The appeal process is intended for those rare occasions when students and faculty cannot come to an understanding of the faculty member’s assessment of the student’s work.

Steps students* must take in appealing a grade include:

  1. In writing, the student identifies his/her concerns by drafting a letter indicating the course, instructor, the grade received, the grade the student believes he/she should have received, and the reasons why a grade different from the one assigned is more appropriate in his/her judgment. This letter should be emailed to the dean of the school for the course in question.
  2. Generally, within a week’s time, the school dean will meet with the student. The student should provide the dean with an electronic copy of any related course materials in question in advance of the meeting.
  3. The school dean will meet with the faculty person involved with the grade challenge. At this point, the faculty member may also provide electronic copies of documents for review in advance of this meeting (papers, final exams, etc. for which the student does not have ownership).
  4. Based on the materials and information from the student and faculty member, the school dean resolves the question(s) identified in the appeal. The school dean may choose to ask for a meeting with the student and faculty member or consult with others as appropriate; the school dean’s final decision of the appeal will be communicated via BVU email to the student and faculty person involved. If a change of grade is warranted, appropriate paperwork for a change of grade will be initiated by the school dean and be communicated to the registrar.
  5. The student or faculty member may appeal the school dean’s decision to the Provost. Such an appeal must be sent in writing via email and must state the reason(s) for the appeal. The appeal must be submitted within two (2) business days after receiving the decision from the school dean, and must include a forwarding the paperwork the school dean received to the Provost. The Provost reviews the materials and may ask for meetings with the student and/or faculty member involved. The Provost communicates her/his decision in writing within 2 weeks of receiving the request for appeal. The decision of the Provost is final.

*Note: Students taking education courses should refer to the Teacher Education Handbook for the grade appeal process specific to the School of Education. The Teacher Education Handbook is available on the Teacher Education page of the BVU website.

Student Academic Concern Appeals Process

Student concerns which are for issues other than grades should be handled similarly to how grades are handled. Because of the specific nature of a concern a student may have about how the interaction with a faculty member is occurring, it may be most appropriate for the student to meet with the dean of the school initially rather than first speaking to the faculty member.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that governs the release of and access to student education records. FERPA affords Buena Vista University (BVU) students the following rights with respect to their education records:

  1. The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of the day BVU receives a request for access.

A student must submit a written Request to Inspect and Review Education Records form, specifying the record(s) you wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

An education record is any record, with certain exceptions, that 1) personally identifies and is directly related to a student or students and 2) is maintained by the institution. Records may be in any format or medium. Examples of educational records entitled to FERPA protections include, but are not limited to:

  • Grades
  • Transcripts
  • Course schedule
  • Most conduct and disciplinary files
  • Student account and financial aid information
  • Student employment details.

Under FERPA, certain records are NOT considered part of the education record. They are:

  • Sole Possession Notes. Sole Possession Notes are made by one person as an individual observation or recollection and kept in the possession of the author. As long as these notes remain in the sole possession of the author, they are not considered part of the student’s education record. Once these notes are disclosed to another party (or placed in a physical or electronic location where another party could view them) they cease to qualify as sole possession notes and become a part of the student’s education record. Also, notes composed in conjunction with a student or in the presence of a student are not considered sole possession notes.
  • Law enforcement records
  • Health, medical, counseling, and treatment records
  • Alumni records unrelated to the student’s academic or student affairs records
  • Employment records, unless the individual is employed as a result of their status as a student.
  1. The right to request an amendment to your education records if you believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask BVU to amend a record should submit a written Request to Amend or Remove Education Records form, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed, and specifying why it should be changed. The Office of the Registrar will notify you in writing of BVU’s decision with regards to your request. If you do not agree with BVU’s decision, the Registrar will advise you regarding appropriate steps to request an appeal.

  1. The right to provide written consent before BVU discloses personally identifiable information (PII) contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

Release of student education records, even to parents of dependent children, is not done at BVU without the express written consent of the student (see exceptions that permit disclosure without consent below). If you wish BVU to release all or part of your education record to a third party, you must submit a written Authorization and Consent to Release Education Records form, specifying the record(s) you wish to release and the individual(s) or groups to whom you wish to disclose your education record(s). Please note, if a non-custodial parent is on the Authorization and Consent to Release Education Records form, information in a student’s education record may be shared with that parent, at BVU’s discretion. However, the non-custodial parent will never be allowed access to the information provided on the student’s FAFSA or other financial information, such as a tax return or W-2, and the student will not have access to parent tax/income documents.

FAFSA application data may only be used for the application, award, and administration of Title IV funds (federal), state aid, and institutional aid programs.

Exceptions that permit disclosure without consent are listed below:

  1. Disclosure to school officials with a legitimate education interest.
    1. A school official is typically a person employed by BVU in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including safety and security personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of BVU who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks.
    2. A school official is determined to have legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to:
  • perform appropriate tasks that are reasonably necessary based on his or her position or duties;
  • perform a task related to a student’s education;
  • perform a task related to the discipline of a student; or
  • provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.

Legitimate educational interest does not convey inherent rights to any and all student information. The law discriminates between educational interest and personal or private interest; determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, educational interest does not constitute authority to disclose information to a third party without the student’s written permission.

School officials have access to student information only for legitimate use in the completion of their responsibilities as university employees. Need to know is the basic principle - not curiosity. All Buena Vista University employees with access to student-related data must understand the need for maintaining the confidentiality of student records under federal law and University policy. School officials have a legal and ethical responsibility to safeguard confidential student information in their possession.

  1. Disclosure of education records that BVU defines as Directory Information. These items may be released without your consent and include:
  • Student name;
  • Addresses (local/campus and home/permanent);
  • Email address (institutional and personal);
  • Telephone numbers (local/campus, home/permanent, and mobile);
  • Major, Minor and Concentration field of study;
  • Date and place of birth;
  • Status (including current enrollment, dates of attendance, full or part time, withdrawn);
  • Graduation information (including whether a degree was conferred and/or the degree and date it was conferred);
  • Class rosters;
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports (including the weight and height of members of athletic teams);
  • Photograph(s) and/or video footage;
  • Degrees, honors, awards received (e.g., Dean’s List); and
  • Most recent educational institution attended.

You have the right to withhold the release of your Directory Information, or if you have previously instructed BVU to withhold Directory Information, you have the right to remove the hold on your Directory Information. To do so, submit a written Request to Withhold/Release Directory Information form and return to the Office of the Registrar.

Please note: only students who wish to withhold the release of, or remove the hold on their Directory Information need to fill out this form. No action is needed for students who agree with the release of their Directory Information.

  1. To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer;
  2. To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, if the disclosure is in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal or state supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to these programs;
  3. In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
  4. To organize conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction;
  5. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions;
  6. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  7. To appropriate officials, including parents of a student, in connection with a health or safety emergency;
  8. Information the school has designated as “Directory Information”;
  9. To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding;
  10. To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her;
  11. To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.

 

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by BVU to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Students are encouraged to contact the Register at registrarsoffice@bvu.edu with questions or concerns about this Policy. Students also have the right to contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington D.C. 20202-4605 with a complaint about BVU’s compliance with the Act.

Registration for Academic Courses

Transcripts From High School and Other Institutions

All students are required to provide an official copy of their final high school transcripts, AP, CLEP credits, and transcripts of any college credit directly to the university by the beginning of the semester or term in which they enroll. Official copies must be received via U.S. Mail. Without official transcripts and records, a student will not be allowed to register beyond the initial semester.

Classification of Students

First Year Students: Students who have earned fewer than 24 credit hours

Sophomores: Students who have earned a minimum of 24 credit hours

Juniors: Students who have earned a minimum of 56 credit hours

Seniors: Students who have earned a minimum of 87 credit hours

Numbering of Courses

This Catalog includes comprehensive descriptions of each academic program, including the requirements of each academic major, minor, concentration area, and the program in general education. Furthermore, all undergraduate academic programs consist of courses bearing numerical designations at the 100, 200, 300, or 400 level. Courses are assigned a numerical designation to reflect (a) whether a prerequisite attaches to a course; (b) the way in which disciplinary content is presented by faculty and encountered by students in the course; and (c) the way in which interdisciplinary skills and modes of inquiry are presented and encountered by students in the course.

When engaged in degree planning and course registration activities, students are reminded of the following scheme:

Courses Numbered 000-099

000-level courses, such as MATH 075 , prepare students for success in 100-level courses and are required of students only when indicated by an ACT/SAT subject area score or performance on a BVU placement examination.

100-level Courses

  • Prerequisite(s) ~ 100-level courses have no prerequisites apart from instances when a student is required, due to an ACT/SAT subject area score or performance on a BVU placement examination, to complete a 000-level course. In rare instances, a 100-level course may have another 100-level course as a co-requisite.
  • Disciplinary Content ~ 100-level courses emphasize basic terminology, concepts, theory, ideas, and perspectives for the purposes of recall, explanation, and acquisition of elementary competency in some skill areas. 100-level courses are often surveys of an academic field or discipline and may be a student’s first and only college-level exposure to some subject matter. Many 100-level courses are foundational to further study in one or more undergraduate programs. Thus, at the discretion of the instructor and/or due to the standards of the discipline, 100-level courses may introduce higher-order intellectual skills, such as capacities for application, interpretation, analysis, and appraisal of claims.
  • Interdisciplinary Skills / Modes of Inquiry ~ When relevant to the course, interdisciplinary skills and essential methods of inquiry and/or analysis are introduced.

200-level Courses

  • Prerequisite(s) ~ 200- level courses may have one or more prerequisites or corequisites, but a prerequisite or corequisite is not essential for a course to have a 200-level designation.
  • Disciplinary Content ~ 200-level courses emphasize basic terminology, concepts, theory, ideas, and perspectives. Courses offered at the 200-level also challenge students with learning activities involving application and transfer of knowledge to new questions or problems relevant to one or more academic disciplines. At the discretion of the instructor and/or due to the standards of the discipline, higher order intellectual skills, such as those compelling students to make connections among ideas and generate original, creative work may be included.
  • Interdisciplinary Skills / Modes of Inquiry ~ When relevant to the course, interdisciplinary skills and essential methods of inquiry and/or analysis are introduced.

300-level Courses

  • Prerequisite(s) ~ With some exceptions, 300-level courses have one or more prerequisites, typically at the 100 and/or 200 level. A 300-level course may have another 300-level course as a co-requisite.
  • Disciplinary Content ~ 300-level courses may involve introductory-level content, especially when aimed at orienting students to a field or subfield within an academic discipline, but universally compel students to demonstrate learning through application of terms, concepts, perspectives, or theories, often in new and creative ways. Furthermore, in 300-level courses, students are challenged to draw connections among ideas and/or rigorously evaluate claims. Many 300-level courses prepare students for enrollment in 400-level and capstone experiences. Thus, at the discretion of the instructor, students may be challenged to demonstrate capacities for independent management of tasks and projects.
  • Interdisciplinary Skills / Modes of Inquiry ~ Interdisciplinary skills and, when relevant, essential methods of inquiry and/or analysis are developed beyond the 100-course level and selectively integrated with one or more course learning goals aimed at disciplinary content.

400-level Courses

  • Prerequisite(s) ~ 400-level courses have one or more prerequisites and are intended for students of advanced matriculation.
  • Disciplinary Content ~ 400-level courses typically require students to demonstrate competencies associated with 300-level courses AND engage in significant independent, self-directed work leading to original, and perhaps, creatively formulated responses to questions and problems animating an academic discipline or field of professional endeavor. Some courses warrant a 400-level designation due to the volume and/or complexity of material presented to students or the extent to which students are expected to demonstrate mastery of essential content.
  • Interdisciplinary Skills / Modes of Inquiry ~ Interdisciplinary skills and, when relevant, modes of inquiry and/or analysis are seamlessly integrated with course learning goals and are often part of comprehensive assessments of student learning.

Credit Hour Definition

Except as provided in 34 CRF 668.8(k) and (l), Buena Vista University defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the awarding of credit hours. 34 CFR 600.2

Traditional Academic Semester. Consistent with this policy, academic credit is assigned on a schedule consistent with the Carnegie Unit. Thus, BVU requires the following quantities of (a) instructor-guided learning activity, such as that led by a University professor in classroom or laboratory setting, and (b) independent learning activity performed by the student in the context of a 15 week semester followed by a final examination period:

15 Week Semester (Not Including a Two-Hour Final Exam Period)

Course Credit Hours Minutes of Weekly, In-Class or Instructor-Guided Learning Activity Minutes of Weekly, Independent Learning Activity (student work performed outside of class) Approximate Total Min. (Hours) of Organized and Independent Learning Activity in 15 Week Semester
1 50 min. 120 min. 2550 min. (42.5 hrs.)
2 100 min. 240 min. 5100 min. (85 hrs.)
3 150 min. 360 min. 7650 min. (127.5 hrs.)
4 200 min. 480 min. 10,200 min. (170 hrs.)

The Eight Week Online Term. BVU courses following an eight-week term - examples include those provided by the institution’s Online Programs - require quantities of instructor-guided and independent learning activity approximating that expected in traditional fifteen-week semesters. Thus, a three-credit hour course delivered in an eight-week term requires of students approximately 127.5 hours of learning activity, roughly one-third of which ought to be instructor-guided.

Courses provided in the context of BVU’s Online Programs involve modalities typical of distance learning experiences, such as “live”, synchronous instructor and online asynchronous instruction. Moreover, in these settings, instructor-guided learning activity is defined broadly. Examples include, but are not limited to, “live” or recorded lectures, instructor responses to students’ discussion posts, and written commentary on assignments, quizzes, and exams. Independent learning activity takes many forms. Completing reading assignments and problem sets, performing library research, writing essays, and participating in small group discussions are examples.
Compliance. Oversight and compliance monitoring of BVU’s credit hour policy is a function of the Office of Vice-President for Academic Affairs/Provost.

Typical Course Load

The normal class load is 14-16 credit hours per semester in order to complete the minimum required 120 credit hours during a four-year period of study at Buena Vista University’s Storm Lake campus. Full-time status requires enrolling in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester at the Storm Lake campus. In unusual circumstances, a student may be permitted to take more than 17.5 credit hours. In such cases, an Academic Action is required with the dean of faculty making the final determination. Generally, seniors and honor students only are permitted to enroll in more than 17.5 credits any given semester. Additional fees will be assessed for anything beyond the 18th credit hour.

Normal load and full-time status for online programs is 6 credit hours per eight-week term.

The university reserves the right to regulate class size, add, delete, or otherwise alter the published course listings.

Adding Courses

A student may add a course during the first week of the fall or spring semesters or prior to the third class meeting in a summer session, half semester course. Students at the Storm Lake campus must obtain the approval of the instructor of the course, their advisor, and the dean. A student may drop or add a course the first two days of May term. After the second day no changes will be permitted in May term.

Online students may add a course within the first four working days of the start of the term. Students can submit an online form for this through the Registrar’s office or through their advisor.

Dropping Courses

Students at Storm Lake may drop a course prior to the third class in May term or during the first week of a semester or equivalent period for other terms. Course changes are generally made via online registration. Courses dropped after online access is closed must be completed via academic action. Courses dropped prior to the deadline will not appear on the permanent record unless such drop results in a change of status (full-time/part-time) and/or a change in tuition/cost. Courses dropped before the deadline which result in a change of status (full-time/part-time) and/or a change in tuition/cost occurs, will be processed as withdrawals and a “W” will appear as a grade on the permanent record. Students who drop a class before the deadline, and a change of status (full-time/part-time) and/or a change in tuition/cost occurs, will also be responsible for prorated tuition charges. Courses dropped after the deadline will be processed as withdrawals and a “W” will appear as a grade on the permanent record. Students withdrawing from classes after the deadline, and for whom a change of status (full-time/part-time) and/or a change in tuition/cost occurs, will be responsible for prorated tuition charges. A student’s status for the semester will be classified as their hours enrolled, minus hours withdrawn at the end of the second week of classes. For example, a student who was originally enrolled in 12 hours and considered full-time, but withdraws from 1 or more hours, will be considered part-time. If a student withdraws from all courses within the first two weeks of the semester, they are considered withdrawn, and not included in BVU’s enrollment numbers. Return to Title IV policies will be followed for any complete withdrawal.

Students enrolled in online courses may change courses of equal value (online for online, face-to-face for face-to-face) until the published drop/add deadline (as set in the Calendar) of that course’s site. Courses dropped and not replaced prior to the deadline will appear on the permanent record because such drop results in a change of status (full-time/part-time) and therefore a change in tuition/cost. In other words, courses attended (or, for online courses, for which any academic activity was recorded) and subsequently dropped before the deadline which result in a change of status (full-time/part-time) and/or a change in tuition/cost occurs, will be processed as withdrawals and a “W” will appear as a grade on the permanent record. Students who have attended (or participated in any academic activity in an online class) and choose not to attend that class any longer will also be responsible for prorated tuition charges. Courses dropped after the deadline will be processed as withdrawals and a “W” will appear as a grade on the permanent record. Students withdrawing from classes after the deadline will also be responsible for prorated tuition charges.

Withdrawal from Courses

A withdrawal from a course or from the institution may be initiated by a student during the first two-thirds of the semester or an equivalent period for courses meeting less than a full semester. (See academic calendar for specific dates).

A withdrawal grade of “W” will be recorded for students who officially withdraw from a course or from the university prior to the published deadline. If a student chooses to leave the institution after the deadline for a grade of withdrawal, they will earn whatever letter grades the instructor deems appropriate for work completed. A “W” grade is not used in the grade point average (GPA) calculation, but is counted toward hours enrolled. Return to Title IV policies will be followed for any complete withdrawal.

Administrative Withdrawal Policy

Buena Vista University expects students to abide by the Student Code of Conduct and all academic policies and procedures as outlined in the Student Handbook and College Catalog. Violations of written policies may result in removal from the University via the Administrative Withdrawal Policy. Undergraduate students may be administratively withdrawn regardless of class level. Administrative withdrawals may affect a student’s financial aid awards, residential status and/or student visa status.

The Policy: The University administration has the authority to withdraw a student from the university, and to revoke a student’s registration at any time during a semester or term for failure to comply with university policies and procedures and/or being unable to continue with classes, including, but not limited to:

  • Found to be detrimental to the welfare of the BVU community through threats to others.
  • Extenuating circumstances result in student failing to attend all classes for a significant period (ex. Called to the military)

Students Who Are Administratively Withdrawn:

  • Are responsible for all debts and other charges related to their enrollment including room and board fees.
  • Are not eligible for a tuition refund.
  • Will receive WA grade notations if the withdrawal occurs prior to the final date for withdrawal in a term/semester. The WA notation does not affect a student’s grade point average.
  • Administrative withdrawals after the final date for withdrawal in a term/semester will be recorded as FA and does affect a student’s grade point average. No other grades for the semester may be assigned.
  • Will lose their eligibility for residential status or athletic competition.

Procedure for Administrative Withdrawal:

A violation of the Student Code of Conduct must be documented and reported to the Vice President of Student Success. The VPSS will investigate the violation and determine if the behavior warrants a withdrawal from the university. The VPSS then notifies the student of the decision, and the steps required to leave the university. The Provost, appropriate School Dean and faculty, and the Registrar will be notified of the decision, with copies to the Office of Financial Assistance and Information Technology. Copies of any notice of administrative withdrawal will become part of the student’s permanent file.

Administrative Withdrawal Appeals:

If a student chooses to appeal the withdrawal, the following guidelines are articulated in the Student Code of Conduct will govern the process:

  • The student must initiate the process of appeal within three business days of the date of the receipt of notification of withdrawal from VPSS.
  • The student must send a written appeal to the VPSS with documentation that supports their argument against administrative withdrawal.
  • A student may appeal the VPSS decision to the next level (President) following the steps as outlined in the Student Handbook, Student Code of Conduct, Article XI, Appeal Process. The decision of the President is final.

Medical Leave Policy

Student health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance for Buena Vista University. BVU recognizes there may be times a student needs to pause their studies to care for their own health. A medical leave of absence may be granted to a student up to two times during their enrollment to seek treatment for a documented physical or mental health condition.

A student desiring a medical leave of absence must provide a written request to the Vice President for Student Success. The request must be accompanied by a letter from a physician or appropriate licensed health care professional describing the nature of the illness for which the leave is requested, and the estimated length of time for recovery.

The Vice President for Student Success will notify the student in writing of the final decision, including starting date for the leave and a date when the leave will be reconsidered. Students’ leave will be a minimum of three months to allow time for treatment; however, the student may appeal this decision to return early, adjust to a part-time schedule, and/or pursue online opportunities if it will assist with their treatment plan. Appeals for an early return earlier than three months should be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Student Success.

The Vie President for Student Success will also notify the Provost’s Office, the Registrar’s Office, the Financial Aid Office, and the Office of Business Services.

A student who is granted a leave of absence will be withdrawn from all courses by the Registrar, and their permanent record will be marked with a “W”. The University’s refund policy, which applies to all students who withdraw from BVU, will apply to medical leaves as well. Students granted a medical leave must meet with the Director of Financial Assistance to discuss the impact of a medical leave on a student’s financial aid. Students may appeal any balances to the Vice President for Student Success. Appeals will be reviewed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing, and Vice President for Student Success.

To return from a medical leave of absence and resume studies at BVU, the student must submit a written request to the Vice President for Student Success accompanied by a letter from the physician or appropriate licensed health care professional stating that the student has aptly recovered from the illness/condition that led to the student’s departure and is now ready to resume their studies. The student’s letter should include a plan for return and ongoing treatment to promote a successful transition back. This plan can include regular meetings with the Center for Academic Excellence, counseling, and/or their advisor. This will be used to create a care plan for the student’s return.

The decision to readmit a student following a medical leave will be made in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Success (Storm Lake) or the Vice President of Extended University Programs (EUP student). The Vice President for Student Success will notify the student in writing of the decision along with the care plan they must follow during their return. The appropriate departments will be notified of the decision.

Repeating Courses

A course may be repeated once at the discretion of the student. A subsequent repeat is allowed only upon prior approval through special academic action.

Repeat of courses originally taken for a letter grade must be taken for a letter grade. Repeat of P/F courses may be taken either for a letter grade or P/F.

For purpose of grade point average, the second and any subsequent grades for repeated courses will be used in the CGPA computation. Only the first grade will be omitted from the grade point average. All repeated grades will be shown on the transcript; however, only the last grade will be used to satisfy graduation requirements, including total hours earned. Courses taken at Buena Vista University must be repeated at Buena Vista University.

If a student repeats a course for which academic credit was previously earned, that course cannot be completed a third time and be counted toward enrollment status for purposes of financial aid eligibility. For further information, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Permission to Study Off-Campus

Students desiring to enroll in another post-secondary institution with the intent of applying credits earned to a Buena Vista University degree program must secure written approval in advance of taking the course. Prior to the final 30 credit hours (senior year), the student’s academic advisor and school dean must approve the request to transfer courses from another institution back into Buena Vista University. The dean of faculty must approve such transfer requests during the final 30 credit hours.

Requests to take courses at other institutions will not be accepted when they are taken for the following purposes: failed BVU courses and/or BVU courses repeated in order to obtain higher grades. No more than 12 credit hours may be taken from another institution during a summer and no more than a total of 24 credit hours (summer coursework) may be used toward graduation. Juniors and seniors may not transfer two-year college credit into BVU, with one exception - required courses not offered at the Buena Vista University location of enrollment.

Students enrolled at one BVU location who wish to enroll in courses at a second BVU location with the intent of applying credits earned to a Buena Vista University degree or endorsement program must secure written approval in advance of taking such an “off-campus” course. Students must receive written approval of such “off-campus study” requests from the student’s academic advisor and the school dean.

Note: Field experiences, such as those available to education majors, ought to be completed in the student’s “home” department. Exceptions require approval from the “home” department as well as the faculty and administration mentioned above.

It is expected that Storm Lake students will take face to face Storm Lake classes whenever possible. Full-time Storm Lake juniors and seniors (or other students obtaining special permission) will be allowed to take three credit-hours online (or any other associated modalities through Online Programs) per semester (three credit-hours Term 1 or 2; three credit-hours Term 3 or 4) at no additional charge. The following rules apply:

  • Students must be full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours) at Storm Lake in order to enroll in online or site courses. Enrolling in and later dropping credits at Storm Lake resulting in less than 12 credit hours of Storm Lake enrollment is not permitted.
  • All students must pay online rates for online credits enrolled in during any summer session. Terms 5 and 6 are viewed as summer registration and any enrollment is charged at the online tuition rate.
  • Students desiring to take an online class will need to provide a clear and compelling justification as to why they need to take the online class:
    • course not offered on the SL campus
    • course offered only infrequently on the SL campus which disrupts a student’s four-year plan
    • transfer students in need of courses off-rotation to avoid delay in graduation,
    • time conflicts
    • facilitating a student’s ability to study abroad for a semester or engage a semester long specialized internship, etc.)
  • Students will still need to file an academic action for permission to take the free online course during any Term, and will be required to provide an approved four-year plan to demonstrate the need to take the online course.
  • Because of the intensity of courses and the considerable overlap in time between May term and Term 5, if a student is enrolled in 3 or more credits during May term, Term 5 registration is not permitted. If a student is not enrolled in May term, or is enrolled in 2 credits, a 1 or 2 credit online or site course would be permitted. Any Term 5 online or site enrollment is counted as part of the summer semester. Students enrolled only in Term 5 online (and not anything for May term) will not be permitted to live in the residence halls during May term.
  • If adding such courses results in an overload (more than 18 credit hours), the student will be charged at Storm Lake rates for the overload. Students may choose to enroll in these courses in the summer to avoid overload fees.
  • Students may take two online courses per term during the summer (Terms 5 and 6). Two courses, however, may not be possible in Term 5 given it is reviewed as part of the total credit hours in a student’s spring load at Storm lake (maximum of 18 credit hours.

Withdrawal from the University

A student who seeks to withdraw from the university may do so during the first two-thirds of the semester or an equivalent period for other terms. The academic record will reflect the term’s enrollment. A grade of “W” will be recorded for all courses. To initiate a withdrawal a student at the Storm Lake campus must inform student affairs staff, who initiates the withdrawal process and informs the appropriate offices within the university. Online students must inform the staff at the location of record who will notify appropriate offices. Failing grades will be recorded for students who withdraw after the deadline. Students who earn an ‘F’ based on academic dishonesty or plagiarism may not withdraw (and receive a grade of W) from the class prior to the end of the Term/semester.

Grading Policies

Grading Reports

A grade report is available to students via the Beavernet registration system at the end of each grading period. A student may specifically request a printed copy.

Letter Grades

Student grades normally are reported in letters including “+’s” and “-’s”: A-excellent; B-good; C-satisfactory; D-poor; F-fail; L-co-requisite lab; IP-in progress; NRR-no report received; P-pass; F-fail; CR-credit/pass; AU-audit.

IP - In Progress

In consultation with the Registrar, this grade is to be used in rare cases for courses where the course requirements extend from one term into another by university design (i.e. student teaching). This is a non-punitive grade. If a grade change has not been submitted by the end of the next academic term, a grade of “F” will be conferred.

L-Co-Requisite Lab is non-punitive and does not affect grade point calculation. It designates a 0 credit co-requisite lab course.

Calculation of GPA

Grade point average is computed by dividing honor points by the number of hours attempted for letter grade. Honor points are determined by multiplying the number of semester hours per course by the honor points assigned for each letter grade. For example, a three-hour course with a grade of “B” would result in nine honor points (3 x 3 = 9). Honor points for each course are computed and totaled and divided by the total letter-graded hours. Grade point averages are computed for the semester or term and for the cumulative record.

A student’s cumulative grade point average will include BVU credits only. Grades earned at other institutions are not reflected on the BVU official transcript.

Contract for Change of Grade

Under exceptional circumstances a student may be unable to complete all assigned coursework by the end of the term. In such cases it is the student’s responsibility to confer with the instructor regarding the specific nature of the difficulties. Upon request of the student, the instructor will evaluate the situation. If the instructor agrees that major unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the student prevent timely completion of course requirements, the instructor will record on the official grade roster a grade that reflects the grade earned for all work required for the course. The student will submit an Academic Action requesting a contract for a grade change that indicates the work to be completed and a completion deadline, determined by the instructor and not to exceed six weeks into the subsequent term/semester. If a student is unable to meet with the instructor due to a catastrophic situation, the vice president for student success or the school dean may authorize the instructor to issue a “NRR” until such time as the student can be reached. This grade (NRR) must be replaced by a permanent grade no later than six weeks into the subsequent semester or term or the grade will revert to an “F.” When the work is completed, the instructor will report a grade change to the registrar. If no grade change is reported, the original grade will remain. The deadline may not be extended except by written permission of the academic dean or designee. In some cases, a change of grade may affect a student’s status for financial assistance. Upon request of the student, the student’s aid eligibility may be reevaluated. Any appropriate changes will take effect at the beginning of the next term of study immediately following the change of grade. Aid changes will not be made retroactively.

Honor Points
Honor points are allocated for each credit hour earned as follows:

A 4.00 honor points
A- 3.67 honor points
B+ 3.33 honor points
B 3.00 honor points
B- 2.67 honor points
C+ 2.33 honor points
C 2.00 honor points
C- 1.67 honor points
D+ 1.33 honor points
D 1.00 honor points
D- 0.67 honor points
F 0.00 honor points

Pass/Fail Grades (P/F Option Alternative)

Courses not otherwise designated may be taken pass/fail, but no more than two courses in the major field or a total of eight pass/fail courses may be credited toward graduation. Courses for which grading is only pass/fail do not count toward these totals. A student may choose no more than three pass/fail courses in an academic year, one of which may be the May term course. No more than one pass/fail course may be taken in a given semester. Students cannot take more than one course in a minor as P/F.

A course in which the student has earned an “F” will show on the transcript as attempted and be treated as any other course if repeated. The instructor determines the level of achievement required in order to receive the “P” grade.

Designation of a course grading system may be changed once until the end of the ninth week of classes in a regular semester, or the ninth class period during May term, or approximately two-thirds of the way through a term. Only one such change is permitted. Students must secure their advisor’s signature before they will be allowed to switch to pass/fail grading. (See academic calendar for specific dates).

Earning a “P” in a pass/fail course does not count in the grade point average or the cumulative grade point average. However, earning an “F” in a pass/fail course does count in the grade point average and the cumulative grade point average.

The pass/fail option cannot be exercised in repeating a course for change of grade previously earned under the traditional letter grade system.

Domestic and international travel courses may be graded P/F or with a letter grade. Internships will only be graded P/F.

Class Attendance

The value of a college education depends on full participation in the life of the college community. Because students are expected not merely to receive information passively or to pass examinations, but to participate actively in classes, it is important that unnecessary class absences be avoided. Faculty members have the responsibility to establish an attendance policy and inform students of the policy at the beginning of each course.

Excused Absences for University-Sanctioned Events

Reasonable Accommodation

Buena Vista University adopts the view that student learning and professional development occur in a wide range of settings including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, participation in co-curricular activities such as music performances, academic and career development conferences, community service projects, and athletic competition. Thus, it is the policy of Buena Vista University to make reasonable accommodations to students whose participation in a University-sanctioned event causes an absence from class on the day of a scheduled quiz, examination, presentation, or other graded activity. It must be emphasized that the norm of reasonable accommodation does not apply to events or activities of little or no discernable value from an educational point of view.

For the purposes of this policy, a University-sanctioned event is defined as an activity organized and supervised by an academic or co-curricular department or program and provided to students pursuant the learning or professional development goals adopted by that department or program.

Faculty members are assured flexibility in meeting the reasonable accommodation requirement. Furthermore, that which constitutes a reasonable accommodation will vary according to the characteristics of the course, such as the pedagogical approach adopted by the faculty, the frequency of graded activities, and the logistical considerations that go into planning each class meeting. Examples of a reasonable accommodation include, but are not limited to:

  • (where exams and quizzes are concerned) an opportunity for a “make-up” quiz or examination on a date immediately prior to or immediately after the date of the absence
  • (where graded, in-class activities are concerned) an opportunity to complete, either immediately prior to or immediately after the date of the absence, an assignment or other graded task comparable to that identified in the course syllabus
  • granting students, the option of “dropping” a pre-determined number of graded assignments, quizzes or exams from the schedule of graded elements in a course. This approach is available only when authorized by the faculty member and clearly indicated in the course syllabus.

Student Responsibilities

Notification of Likely Absence(s)

Students who seek excused absences stemming from participation in a University-sanctioned event must ensure that their faculty members are in possession of an excused absence notification letter or e-mail message originating with a faculty or staff member associated with the sponsoring unit or program. The excused absence notification letter or e-mail message may refer to a series of scheduled events or may refer to a single event. The notification letter or e-mail message shall be sent by the sponsoring unit or program at the earliest date possible. For each absence on the day of a scheduled, graded activity, it is the responsibility of the student to discuss with the faculty member prior to the absence the specifics of any requested accommodation. Students are reminded that providing short notice of an impending absence may diminish the faculty member’s ability to provide an educationally sound and professionally responsible accommodation. Ideally, notification to faculty will occur at the beginning of the semester in which the absences are scheduled, but the identification of opportunities arising in the course of a semester may require later notification. The excused absence notification letter or e-mail message shall include the following information:

  • name(s) of participating students
  • date(s), location(s), and a brief description of the event(s).
  • indication of the sponsoring unit or program
  • date of departure from campus and exact time when the student is expected to report for departure.
  • expected date and time of the student’s return to campus.

Denial of an Excused Absence

Inasmuch as Buena Vista University seeks to make reasonable accommodations to students who miss class as a result of participation in one or more University-sanctioned events, it is nonetheless the case that excessive absences are inconsistent with students’ academic success. Thus, instances may arise when a faculty member determines that a student either has or will accumulate as a result of absences for University-sanctioned events a quantity of missed-class-time contrary to the student’s academic interests. In addition, it may occur that an absence on a particular day will either jeopardize a student’s academic well-being or, in a faculty member’s estimation, unduly burden the administration of a course. In all such cases, a faculty member may choose to deny a student’s request for one or more excused absences. Doing so requires the consent of the school dean and written notification to the student, the student’s academic advisor, and the staff or faculty member in charge of the unit or program sponsoring the event(s) generating the absence(s). The letter of notification must indicate both that an impending absence will not be treated as excused and the grounds on which this conclusion is reached.

Right to Appeal Denial of an Absence

A faculty member’s decision to deny an excused absence may be appealed to the Provost. Prior to doing so, however, students must seek informal resolution of the matter by consulting, first, the faculty member issuing the denial and the Dean of the school in which the course is delivered. If attempts at informal resolution are unsatisfactory, the student may formally appeal the denial of an excused absence.

An appeal of a decision to deny an excused absence must be received via email by the Provost within a five working-day period after notification of the faculty member’s decision. In consultation with the parties indicated above, the Provost will make a final determination as regards the faculty member’s denial of an excused absence. When making a final determination, the Provost will consider (a) the University’s policy of providing reasonable accommodations to students encountering absences for University-sanctioned events; (b) the feasibility of providing a reasonable accommodation to the student under the circumstances arising in the case; and (c) the likelihood that the student’s academic success will be prejudiced by an impending absence.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts can be ordered through the National Student Clearinghouse’s (NSC) website link provided on the BVU website. Transcripts cannot be faxed or emailed by BVU staff, however, they can be sent electronically through the NSC website. A financial obligation to the university will prohibit release of transcripts. A student’s educational record cannot be disclosed without prior written consent of the student.

Academic Honors

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List recognizes full-time students achieving a 3.5 grade point average for the semester.

Graduation Honors

Students who are completing their initial baccalaureate degree and have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours from BVU will be eligible to graduate with Latin honors; Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude. The minimum cumulative grade point averages for these honors are 3.5, 3.7, and 3.9 respectively. Students who are completing a second or subsequent baccalaureate degree and have completed a minimum of 45 credit hours from BVU in that program will be eligible for the honors Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction. The minimum cumulative grade point averages for these honors are 3.75, 3.85, and 4.0 respectively. By policy, BVU will only award one baccalaureate degree to any individual; however, students who have undertaken coursework at BVU prior to matriculating in the second degree program may not count that coursework towards the 45-hour requirement or the grade point average requirement for such honor, nor shall coursework completed at any other institution count toward either requirement. Honors recognized at commencement ceremonies including honor cords and announced honors will be based on the cumulative grade point average from the previous grading period (specific calendar date to be determined by the Registrar’s Office). Honor cords will be the same for parallel levels of each category of graduation honors. Actual honors awarded will be listed on the official transcript and are based on cumulative grade point average at the end of the degree program.

  • Cum Laude: cumulative GPA of 3.50 to 3.699
  • Magna Cum Laude: cumulative GPA of 3.70 to 3.899
  • Summa Cum Laude: cumulative GPA of 3.9 or above
  • Distinction: cumulative GPA of 3.75-3.849
  • High Distinction: cumulative GPA of 3.85 to 3.999
  • Highest Distinction: cumulative GPA of 4.0

Academic Schools

The various major study areas of Buena Vista University are grouped within four schools, each of which is administered by a dean. These four schools and their respective course study areas are as follows:

Harold Walter Siebens School of Business

The Harold Walter Siebens School of Business offers undergraduate majors in Business, Accounting, and Agricultural Business. Courses found under the following course prefixes are overseen by the Dean of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business: ACCT, AGBU, BUSN, ECON, ENTR, FINC, MGMT, MIS and MRKT.

School of Liberal Arts

The School of Liberal Arts offers undergraduate majors in animation, art, art education, communication studies, criminology and criminal justice, digital media, English, graphic design, history, human services (online students only), music production, organizational leadership (online students only), political science, pre-professional art therapy, psychology, strategic public relations, scientific illustration, social work, social science, and Spanish. It also offers a Bachelors of Applied Studies degree and a Masters degree in organizational leadership. The following course prefixes are overseen by the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts: ARTD, COMM, CRIM, DIGI, EAP, ENGL, ESL, ESOL, GDES, GNDR, GRAD, HMSV, IDST, MILS, MUSC, OBVU, ORGL, PHIL, PSCN, PSPA, PSYC, RELI, SCWK, SOCI, SPAN, STPR.

School of Education

The School of Education offers an undergraduate major in elementary education, and students within the school also study specific areas leading to secondary education licensure. A number of endorsement programs beyond the majors and minors are available for students seeking a teaching license. Primary endorsements include: Early Childhood, Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate K-8 and 5-12, Teaching English as a Second Language K-8 and 5-12, Reading K-8 and 5-12 and Coaching Authorization K-12. Upon successful completion of current teacher education programs, the student may be eligible for certification by the State of Iowa to teach appropriate course work in elementary and secondary schools. The School of Education also offers masters programs in the areas of mental health counseling, professional school counseling, curriculum instruction and teacher leadership, secondary education, and special education. The following course prefixes are overseen by the Dean of the School of Education: BUED, EDAG, EDCO, EDUC, ECSE, ESSI, GECI, GEDU, GEOG, GMHC, GPSC, GAEA, GPRD, GFPD, GRED, DISC, PHED, PRKK, SEDU, SPED, TEAC, and TESL.

School of Science

The School of Science offers majors in Agricultural Sciences, Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Computer Science, Corporate Mathematics, Exercise Science: Kinesiology, Mathematics, Rehabilitation Health Sciences, and Engineering Physics. The Bachelor’s of Applied Science degree is also a program in the School of Science. The following course prefixes are overseen by the Dean of the School of Sciences: AGSC, BCHM, BIOL, CHEM, CMSC, EXSC (non-education courses), GENS, HONR, MATH, and PHYS.

Pre-Professional Programs - Storm Lake Campus

Buena Vista University offers a number of pre-professional programs. Specific course requirements vary with each particular professional and school area and are worked out in detail with the faculty advisor.
Pre-professional programs offered at the university include:

Allied Health Sciences Optometry
Chiropractic Medicine Osteopathy
Dentistry Pharmacy
Engineering Physical Therapy
Law Podiatry
Medical Technology Theology
Medicine Veterinary Medicine
Mortuary Science  

3+3 Accelerated Law School Entry Programs

Buena Vista University has partnerships with the University of Iowa College of Law, Creighton University School of Law, and Drake University Law School. Each partnership offers programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree from BVU and a Juris Doctor from the partner law school. Students in this program will be considered for early admission at the partner law school if they have completed all BVU requirements, complete a minimum of 90 credit hours of specified course work at BVU, are recommended by BVU’s designated pre-law advisor and meet the partner law school’s requirements for entry prior to enrollment at the partner law school. See, “Political Science - Legal Studies ” in the academic catalog or contact BVU’s pre-law advisor for a complete description of requirements. Successful completion of one year of full-time study (30 semester hours) in the partner law school’s Juris Doctor program will satisfy the remaining requirements for a baccalaureate degree at BVU. Students who meet these requirements will be allowed to participate in commencement as if s/he had remained on the BVU campus for the entirety of their academic program of study.

3+2 Accelerated Master of Athletic Training Program with Drake University

This partnership offers programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Science degree from BVU and a Master of Athletic Training (MAT) degree from Drake University. Students complete 90 credit hours of work, completing the general education program and completing pre-requisite science courses while at BVU, as approved by the Dean of the School of Science. Successful completion of one year of full-time study (30 semester hours) at Drake University in the Master of Athletic Training Program will satisfy the remaining requirements for a baccalaureate degree at BVU. Current admissions standards and processes for applying to this program are available through the office of the Dean of the School of Science.

3+4 Accelerated Pharmacy Doctorate (PharmD) Program With Drake University

This partnership offers programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Science degree from BVU and a Pharmacy Doctorate (PharmD) degree from Drake University. Students complete 90 credit hours of work, completing the general education program and completing pre-requisite science courses while at BVU, as approved by the Dean of the School of Science. Successful completion of one year of full-time study (30 semester hours) at Drake University in the Pharmacy Doctorate (PharmD) Program will satisfy the remaining requirements for a baccalaureate degree at BVU. Current admissions standards and processes for applying to this program are available through the office of the Dean of the School of Science.

3+4 Accelerated Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) Program With Des Moines University

This partnership offers programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Science degree from BVU and a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from Des Moines University. Students complete 90 credit hours of work, completing the general education program and completing pre-requisite science courses while at BVU, as approved by the Dean of the School of Science. Successful completion of one year of full-time study (30 semester hours) at Des Moines University in the Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine Program will satisfy the remaining requirements for a baccalaureate degree at BVU. Current admissions standards and processes for applying to this program are available through the office of the Dean of the School of Science.

Affiliation Agreements with Des Moines University for the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA), Master of Science in Anatomy (MSA), Master of Biomedical Sciences (MS programs

This partnership between Buena Vista University (BVU) and Des Moines University (DMU) provides an enhanced opportunity for qualified students at BVU to apply and interview for the DMU Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA), Master of Science in Anatomy (MSA), Master of Biomedical Sciences (MS) degree programs. Current admissions standards and processes for applying to this program are available through the office of the Dean of the School of Science.

3+2 Accelerated Master of Athletic Training (MSAT) Program with Grand View University

This partnership offers programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Science degree from BVU and a Master of Athletic Training degree from Grand View University. Students complete 90 credit hours of work, completing the general education program and completing pre-requisite science courses while at BVU, as approved by the Dean of the School of Science. Successful completion of one year of full-time study (30 semester hours) at Grand View University in the Master of Athletic Training Program will satisfy the remaining requirements for a baccalaureate degree at BVU. Current admissions standards and processes for applying to this program are available through the office of the Dean of the School of Science.

Program with Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Buena Vista University shares a dual degree program in engineering with Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science. The dual degree program allows students to earn a baccalaureate degree from Buena Vista University and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Washington University. Students will be considered for admission to the engineering program if they are recommended by the liaison officer designated by Buena Vista University, have the requisite cumulative grade point average, and complete all continuance course requirements prior to entering Washington University. Typically, students will attend Buena Vista University for three years. Courses taken at Washington University may be used to meet the degree requirements (major/minor, total credit hours for graduation, etc.) of Buena Vista University.

Minimum course requirements to be fulfilled at BVU include a minimum of 60 credit hours of transferable university credit (courses with grades below “C” - do not transfer).

Technical Subjects Required: Mathematics - a calculus sequence (MATH 210, 211, 230) that includes exposure to multivariable calculus, plus a separate course in differential equations (MATH 225). Physics - one-year, calculus-based sequence that includes lab (PHYS 211, 212 for 4 credits each). Chemistry - all students: one-year sequence that includes lab (CHEM 151, 152). Chemical engineers only: One-year sequence in organic chemistry (CHEM 261, 262). Computer Programming - one course in a high level language. The language of preference depends on the intended major. C++ or JAVA generally preferred. Humanities and Social Sciences - no less than 18 credit hours in approved areas, with at least 6 credits of the 18 credits being in the humanities and at least 6 credit hours must be in the social sciences. Three credits of the 18 credit hours must be from courses numbered 300 or higher. English Composition - one course, acceptable examination scores, or university licensure of proficiency.

These requirements are based on Washington University and Buena Vista University will accept no responsibility for changes made by Washington University. Contact the School of Science office for further information.

Program with Palmer College of Chiropractic

Buena Vista University and Palmer School of Chiropractic have entered into a cooperative program leading to a bachelor’s degree from BVU and a doctor of chiropractic degree from PCC. Generally, students in this program complete three years of specific required coursework at BVU prior to enrollment at PCC. Current admissions standards and processes for applying to these programs are available through the office of the Dean of the School of Science.

Early Admission into Professional School

In addition to the pre-professional programs listed above, a student who has met all general education requirements for graduation during three years of residence at Buena Vista University may seek approval to enter a professional school in order to obtain credit not offered on our campus, and to waive the usual baccalaureate degree requirement that the senior year be spent in residence at Buena Vista University. The Provost should be consulted for approval.