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

Student Success Services

Campus Security

Safety and security of the campus community: students, faculty, staff and visitors, is our number one concern. While Buena Vista University and Storm Lake are relatively safe environments, the campus is not exempt from the types of crime that exist in other northwest Iowa communities. Effective safety and security require cooperation and assistance from everyone at the University. The Office of Campus Security provides 24-hour-a-day security to the campus community. In addition, they offer several services including a 24-hour escort service, vehicle assistance, special needs transportation as well as medical/pharmacy transportation. The office also oversees emergency management and the parking program. Access the Annual Campus Security and Fire Report as well as other pertinent information at

Career and Leadership Development

Career and Leadership Development provides leadership trainings and career readiness services for students aligned with their academic endeavors. The Office encourages students and alumni to achieve their long-term goals by providing career counseling, information about the connection between majors and careers, self-assessment tools and interpretation, occupational information, and career explorations, including shadowing, networking, and internships. Leadership development programs focus on the motto of BVU: Education for Service and inspire students to lead with shared processes and communal results. The staff and resources help students achieve their goals through leadership and alumni connections, job search advice and workshops, connections with employers, graduate school advising, and other tools that help students make a successful transition to the working world.

Student Success Coach Program

BVU has two Success Coaches and four Academic Liaisons who support student growth and success. All new and transfer students will be connected with a Success Coach or Liaison to provide guidance with their transition to college. BVU is committed to ensuring all students have a network of support people to help them excel inside and outside the classroom as they progress to graduation and life as an alumni. Success Coaches are housed in the Career and Leadership Development Office.

Center for Academic Excellence

The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) is the university’s academic support unit, which provides services to enhance the teaching-learning experience for the university community.

The CAE provides tutors in almost all academic areas. All of the CAE tutors are outstanding BVU students who have been chosen because of their academic and teaching skills. Our tutors are trained in learning strategies, study methods, social interaction, strategies for students with disabilities, and specific content area skills such as math methods and correctly citing sources to avoid plagiarism.

The CAE emphasizes the writing process, including content, organization, and revision - not just proofreading. Math and writing tutors are scheduled daily from 9-5. Tutors for other classes are scheduled based upon the tutors’ academic schedules. When students request a tutor for a specific course, we find one for them.

All students benefit from using the CAE. Many of the students who use the CAE are successful students who want to improve upon their skills. We like to say this is a place where good students come to be better students. Some students who require additional support use the CAE to help meet their academic goals.

  • Students can schedule regular weekly appointments with the same tutor.
  • Tutoring is provided at no additional charge to the students.
  • Students can use the CAE as an alternate study location.
  • Students can also meet with the director of the CAE as well as other members of the CAE staff to schedule individual appointments to improve their skills in time management, test taking, and studying.

Students can work with A math specialist, A writing coordinator, an academic coach, or with the tutors.

Hours: Our hours of operation are updated on the CAE web page. We also have information on the CAE web page for study skills and academic skills.

TutorMe is the online tutoring platform used by BVU.

Community and Student Engagement

The Office of Community and Student Engagement supports student engagement, service activities, and experiential learning. Three full-time staff members coordinate and collaborate on a variety of programming and involvement opportunities including:

Alternative Week of Off-site Learning (AWOL) is our Alternative Spring Break Program. Each event pairs a volunteer experience with an opportunity for social interaction and skill development.

Buenafication Day is the university’s most beloved campus tradition in the spring. Classes are not scheduled on this day and students go out into the community and volunteer.

BV Buddies is a student-lead program that pairs a BVU student with a Storm Lake Middle School student for an entire academic year for participation in tutoring and enrichment activities.

Education for Service Program is a four-year developmental program that engages students in high impact practices through service and mentorship programs. This program is being linked with a new Mentorship program for first generation students and students of color launching in fall 2022. Students will receive academic, social, and wellness support. Mentors are supported through the Iowa AmeriCorps program.

Student Activities Board (SAB) is a student run organization that provides free, fun entertainment planned to fit the diverse interests of the student body. Activities include movies, comedians, bands, laser tag and more. Each fall SAB hosts Homecoming Week Activities, culmination with coronation of the king and queen.

Student MOVE, (Mobilizing, Outreach, Volunteer Efforts) assists individuals, groups, and faculty wanting to engage in service opportunities. Local, regional, national, and international volunteer opportunities help students realize the importance of civic responsibility and engagement.

Student Organizations provide engagement on campus with over 50 active student organizations representing a wide variety of interests, services, and disciplines. The majority of BVU students involve themselves in one or more organizations as a means of developing skills or interests, and in distinguishing themselves for future careers.

Students who are interested in learning more about any of these programs should visit the Geisinger Student Leadership Center (GSLC) located in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum.

Commuter Student Services

Student Success recognizes that commuter students have different needs on campus and aims to provide services to best support commuters. Commuters will receive outreach about services on campus, including lockers available for student use on a first come first served basis, monthly coffee and lunch events, and details on how to use the fridge in Student Success to store lunches.

Event Services

The office of Event Services assists students with all of their co-curricular scheduling needs. They will schedule rooms for events and meetings, ensure signs and equipment are in the room as ordered, and submit catering requests for food and beverage orders. External events are also scheduled through this office. Event Services also hire work study students during the school year to assist with office duties and a conference staff in the summer to assist with external conferences that come to our campus.

Handicapped Accessibility

Nearly all buildings on the Buena Vista University campus are handicapped accessible. Students seeking assistance regarding accessibility should contact the following individuals: For assistance with the academic program, including accessibility of courses, laboratories, or academic materials, students should contact the director of the Center for Academic Excellence at 712.749.1237. For assistance with the co-curricular program, such as residence halls, food service, student activities, or other programs, students should contact the vice president for student affairs/dean of students in the Office for Student Affairs at 712.749.2123.

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center is a collaborative and integrated approach between Health Services and Counseling Services to enhance the physical and mental health of students to help them achieve academic success, personal development, and lifelong wellness. The goal of the Wellness Center is to provide a holistic and collaborative approach to student health by offering educational health care, preventative services, wellness education, counseling, and mental health services to our students. The Wellness Center also has a Relaxation and Resource Room located in Dixon-Eilers Room 212. This room has been designed to help students explore various resources for improving their emotional and physical health as well as providing a comfortable, quiet space with reading materials, manipulatives, sound machine and comfortable furniture for students to use.

The Wellness Center also provides a Wellness Exercise Room for students to use located in the lower level of the Fieldhouse, L-20 and is available for scheduled wellness programs, individual or group use. The mirrored room offers AV equipment, exercise balls, steps, exercise bands, yoga mats and weights. Students will need to contact the Athletic Department at 712-749-2254 to reserve the room.

Health Services

Health Services Dixon-Eilers Room 207 Phone 1238. Office hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nurse available after hours through Resident Advisor (RA) or campus security by calling 712-749-2500.

Health Services is a professional and confidential service offered at no cost to students. All health records are confidential and do not become a part of the University records. Health Services’ goal is to create a culture of care in which students feel cared for as individuals. Health Services is committed to encouraging students to collaborate and engage in the services provided. Health Services wants students to feel they have inherent value and the right to be treated with dignity through enhancing the educational process by helping to change or modify health-related barriers, promoting optimal wellness and educating students to make informed decisions about health-related concerns.

Health Services’ goal is to enhance the educational process by modifying, changing, or removing health related barriers to learning, promoting optimal wellness, teaching and enabling individuals to make informed decisions about health-related concerns. Students are provided with assessment, treatment and referrals for illness or injury. Referrals and appointments are made to appropriate health care providers. Basic medical supplies and over-the-counter medications are available to students at no charge. Other special equipment such as crutches, ice packs, heating pads and vaporizers are available on a loan basis.

Students who are ill, are responsible to notify their professors. Health Services and the Office for Student Success will contact professors of a student’s medical absence if requested by the student. Professors will determine whether or not to excuse an absence.

All full-time Storm Lake students and students residing on campus are required to have medical insurance and complete an online insurance waiver each year. Failure to complete the online waiver by the specified deadline will result in automatically being enrolled in a student health insurance plan offer by the university. The student insurance will be billed directly to your student account. For more information, contact the Business Office at 712-749-2213. Note: If for any reason your insurance carrier changes or is discontinued, you must report this to Health Services within 10 working days.

All Storm Lake full-time freshman and transfer students are required to complete a Student Health form, provide a copy of insurance card front/back and immunization records by the following deadlines to Health Services:

  • August 1st for first semester
  • December 1st for second semester

The completed Student Health Form must be received, and immunization status approved before you will be permitted to complete final registration in August. Students that fail to complete appropriate documentation will have an academic hold placed on them until it is received.

Counseling Services

Professional and confidential mental health counseling services are available for Storm Lake campus students at no cost. Counseling Services provides individual and group counseling, support groups, educational programming, referrals for off-campus care such as psychiatric medication monitoring, and consultation services. Counseling Services is committed to encouraging students to pursue personal growth and development and learn new skills to help develop self-awareness, confidence, and emotional agility. Health records are private and do not become part of the University record.

Lehnus Campus Store

The campus bookstore, located in the Seibens Forum, supplies students with their entire textbook and apparel needs.

Mail and Printing Services

Mail is distributed to student boxes during the scheduled semester and throughout May term. Personal mailboxes are assigned to all students and are located in the Forum in the hallway adjacent to Mail & Printing Services.

Recreation Services

The purpose of the Recreation Services program is to encourage and develop healthy habits among the BVU community by providing students opportunities to become involved, explore the world, and challenge themselves, while building a foundation of healthy and balanced habits through all varieties of Intramural Sports, Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Initiatives. Recreation Services, a division of Student Success, is located in a lakefront house at 27 Peterson Drive. The university has many recreational items that can be checked out for students to use, including canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, camping equipment, racquet ball racquets, disc golf equipment, volleyballs, and golf clubs for lawn golf.

Residence Life

The Office of Residence Life provides the student with an educational experience outside the classroom through activities, educational and social programs, and leadership opportunities. Your residence hall room will be your “home away from home,” and your fellow residents will become family and life-long friends. Residence Life is a fundamental part of the student’s university experience.

Assistant Dean for Student Success and Residence Life: The Assistant Dean is the head of the office of Residence Life and is responsible for the supervision and administration of the residence life program and all functions associated with campus housing.

Area Coordinator (AC): The AC is a full-time staff member responsible for the efficient and effective operation of their residence hall(s). They develop an atmosphere within the residence hall, which is conducive to academic endeavors, social development, personal growth and community living.

Community Coordinator (CC): The CC is in an experienced Resident Assistant that works with the ACs and RAs to positively impact the campus on an area (multiple buildings) level.

Resident Assistant (RA): The RAs are students that serves the campus as resource personnel and paraprofessional advisors. As student leaders, they provide a valuable service to the student and university community throughout the academic year.

Residence Hall Live-In Requirement: To be eligible to reside in campus housing a student must be admitted and enrolled as a full-time (minimum 12 credits) degree seeking undergraduate, or graduate student (6 credit hours per semester) at the University. All undergraduate students are required to reside in campus housing. All residential students are required to have a meal plan. Those students enrolled in semester long internship programs, student teaching or study abroad is exempt from the requirement to live in campus housing for that semester. The student must notify the Assistant Dean for Student Success & Residence Life before the completion of the previous semester of their change in status. Exceptions must be approved by the Assistant Dean in conjunction with the Vice President for Student Success. Students are responsible for terms and conditions of their existing housing contract and must fulfill mandatory immunization requirements as outlined by Health Services to live in residential facilities. Students who are legally married, living with parents or legal guardians, enrolled for fewer than twelve semester credit hours, completed eight previous semesters at BVU, are 23 years of age at the time of fall registration, or have served in military service and are receiving GI benefits are not required to live on-campus. Students who are younger than 17 years of age or who are 23 years of age or older must request permission in writing to reside on campus. Additionally, students who are under the age of 18 require parental consent to reside on campus. These requests must be submitted to the Vice President for Student Success or designee and will be processed on a case by case basis. Students permitted to reside on campus who are younger than 17 years of age or who are 23 years of age or older may be subject to semester reviews where residential eligibility is evaluated. Buena Vista University reserves the right to make housing decisions based on the holistic development of the student and individual circumstances.

Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Spiritual Life/Campus Ministry/Chaplain
Buena Vista University seeks to nurture spiritual growth, build moral responsibility and provide creative opportunities for each student to carry the attitude of “servanthood” as an element of life’s vocation and calling. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the campus welcomes students of all religious backgrounds and faith and values the diverse national, religious and ethnic make-up of the entire university community. A time for praise and worship (‘The Thursday Morning Charging Station’) is provided on Thursday at 11 a.m. throughout the academic year in the ‘Underground’ of Smith Hall as the BVU community to gather, pause, pray, celebrate and reflect in the midst of our hectic schedules. The student ministry leadership within W.I.F.I. (Worship and Praise/IMPACT/Fellowship of Christian Athletes/InterVarsity) help coordinate the current faith-based organizations on the BVU campus. The purpose of these organizations is to assist and encourage students in their spiritual growth as well as provide opportunities for developing meaningful, supportive friendships. Activities include Bible and book studies, worship, recreational events, community service projects, along with large and small group retreats. The University Chaplain provides leadership for the practice and development of spirituality and an appreciation of differing world religions. Additionally, the Chaplain offers a variety of confidential counseling, spiritual direction, and a variety of resources for spiritual growth as well as pre-marital counseling, weddings, grief counseling, and memorial services.

Multicultural and International Student Services
Buena Vista University seeks to promote inclusivity on campus by providing outstanding academic, diversity, and social programming as well as high level support for a diverse student body. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion is responsible for creating an environment advantageous to broadening the perspective of diversity and inclusion, developing opportunities for students to learn and understand the importance of multiculturalism, and creating pathways for students, faculty, and staff to come together for cultural exchange and celebration. This is facilitated by programming efforts, such as Diversity & Inclusion Week, community collaborations, and six multicultural student organizations advised within the Center. These organizations are Asian Culture Club, Black Student Union, International Student Club, Multicultural Engagement Leadership Team (MELT), Organized Active Support for International Students, and RAICES (Spanish for “roots”). The purpose of these organizations is to assist and encourage students in their cultural exploration and identity development. The international student services program aids students from around the world in learning, acclimating to new environments and exchanging cultural ideas and education.

Library Services

The BVU library exists to meet the information needs of our students, faculty, and staff, regardless of their physical location. The library offers 150,000 book volumes and access to over 29,000 periodical titles in print or online format within a comfortable and elegant study atmosphere that features a mix of individual and group study seating areas. Reference services include group and individual instruction in the use of both electronic and print library resources as well as assistance with all research and information queries. An online chat option allows for interactive dialog with a librarian. Reference librarians may be reached by telephone 712.749.2095, toll free 877.288.2240 or via e-mail,

Access to the online catalog and over 50 research databases is available around the clock. The library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) service allows students to reach beyond BVU Library’s own collections to obtain books and articles from other libraries all over the world.

Other features of the library include networked computers and wireless access for those using laptops, replacement batteries for laptops at the Circulation Desk, and photocopier, scanning and FAX services. The lending period for most library materials is 30 days.