Buena Vista University
BUENA VISTA UNIVERSITY
Storm Lake, Iowa
Founded in 1891, Buena Vista University (BVU) is a leading New American College, preparing students for successful careers as well as leadership and service in their communities. With approximately 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students on its main campus in Storm Lake, Iowa, plus an additional 1,500 students at fifteen branch sites throughout Iowa, BVU offers a balance between traditional liberal arts courses and innovative experiential-learning opportunities that require the practical application of knowledge. Long a leader in information technology, BVU is currently at the nation's forefront in providing "anytime, anywhere" online access with the launch of BVU Online, its new virtual campus.
Distance Learning Program
BVU Online, the online campus of Buena Vista University, is committed to providing access to higher education to learners who, because of family and job responsibilities, need a great deal of flexibility in achieving their educational goals. Consistent with BVU's reputation for offering a technology-rich learning environment, the mission of BVU Online includes online delivery of a curriculum with the highest academic quality, an interactive and dynamic online learning environment, support services providing the highest level of convenience for students, and programs, courses, instructors, student support, and an online learning experience that is consistent with BVU's goal of education for service.
BVU's e-learning platform, Angel, provides a full suite of online tools and features, including discussion areas, chat rooms, assignment drop-boxes, grade-books, and individual progress tools. Community areas enable students to interact with others outside of class, receive public announcements, and access the BVU Online calendar for important dates and information for their program. A complete student-orientation course provides details and tutorials on the e-learning platform's easy-to-use tools. A free demo of the course software is available at http://www.bvuonline.org/bvu/resource/aboutbvuonline/bvuonlinecoursedemo.aspx.
Programs of Study
BVU Online programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. BVU Online offers students high-quality online programs and courses led by experienced faculty members. Students can earn a graduate degree completely online and complete course work anytime and anywhere it is convenient.
BVU Online's Master of Education (M.Ed.) program, offered in two tracks, provides a curriculum designed under the guidelines of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
The Master of Education with a specialization in effective teaching and instructional leadership prepares teachers with the skills necessary to master, implement, and evaluate research-based effective teaching practice and provides the knowledge and skills necessary for data-driven leadership.
The Master of Education with a specialization in teaching English as a second language prepares teachers who work with English language learners with the knowledge of second-language acquisition, assessment procedures, skills, and techniques to more effectively address the academic and social challenges presented by an increasingly diverse population of students.
BVU Online enables students at all levels to take individual courses in a wide number of fields. For a complete listing of the available undergraduate and graduate courses, students should visit: http://www.bvuonline.org/bvu/resource/registration/coursedescriptions.aspx.
Before enrolling in a BVU Online program, students receive academic advising by phone with a BVU counselor. Once enrolled, students have access to online registration tools, an online bookstore, state-of-the-art online library resources (40 searchable online databases) and reference help, 24/7 technical support (online and by phone), study guides, and access to career resources and the BVU Help Desk, which is available 24/7 online and by phone during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time).
All credits earned through BVU Online are recorded on a Buena Vista University transcript and do not appear any differently than the on-campus courses. Graduate students may transfer up to 6 credit hours into the M.Ed. program if approved by the Graduate Office.
Instructors in BVU Online programs hold advanced master's or doctoral degrees (in the graduate program) and also bring a wealth of practical experience to the online classroom. All BVU Online faculty members must complete the BVU Online instructor's certification program that emphasizes providing high-quality feedback to students in an online environment as well as facilitating courses. Faculty members have been specially trained to work with adult learners and online students, so they understand what it means to balance the demands of family, career, and education. Instructors interact with students via e-mail, on the phone, or in online chats and are eager to support each student's success.
Candidates for the graduate program must have a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution and a minimum 2.75 GPA in their undergraduate work. In addition to the application, candidates must submit a copy of a valid teaching certificate or license and three letters of recommendation (from a principal, a colleague, and a reference of choice).
Tuition and Fees
For 2005–06, graduate tuition is $350 per credit hour. Supplemental fees include a $50 application fee and an $80 technology fee that covers Microsoft Office Pro, SPSS, and Mathematica, which are provided to students upon their acceptance. The cost of books is not included.
Students accepted into any of the BVU Online programs may be eligible for financial aid. Prospective students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov and release the information to Buena Vista University. The University's Title IV school code is 001847.
BVU Online courses are offered throughout the year in eight-week terms, beginning in late August. Students may enroll at the start of any term. Students should apply at least four weeks prior to the start of a new term to ensure that the admissions process is complete for the term start. For a calendar of term start dates, prospective students should visit http://www.bvuonline.org/bvu/resource/programs/calendar.aspx.
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