Apr 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

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Dean: Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Silva
Black Hills State University
1200 University Street Unit 9004
Spearfish, SD 57799-9004

The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences includes the School of Behavioral Sciences and the School of Education.

From the School of Behavioral Sciences it is possible to earn the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Exercise Science, Human Services, Outdoor Education, Psychology, and Sociology. An Associate of Science (AS) degree is available in Human Services. Graduate students may earn a Masters Degree (MS) in Strategic Leadership.

From the School of Education it is possible to earn the Bachelor of Science in Education (BSED) degree in Early Childhood Special Education, K-8 Elementary Education, K-12 Physical Education, and K-12 Special Education.  Graduate students may earn a Masters of Education degree in Reading, a Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction, or a Master of Science degree in Secondary Education (post baccalaureate secondary teacher certification).

Students enrolled in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences must fulfill the general education requirements listed in this catalog. Transfer credits - no grade of less than a “C” will be credited toward any major or minor in this college.


School of Behavioral Sciences

The Exercise Science major has two fairly distinct career paths that include pre-professional science for allied medical and health fields and fitness for public or private industry or educational settings.  The science option provides the depth of study of the human body’s structure and function that provides the prerequisite knowledge for admission to graduate programs such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Exercise Science, and Physician’s Assistant.  Students wanting to enter fitness-based professions as personal trainers, fitness personnel managers, or floor managers, require the business background of finance, marketing and promotion, and personal interaction.  These students take the management option.

The Human Services major is an interdisciplinary program that reflects the reality of the human service philosophy and occupations.  The major teaches the common knowledge and skills and then allows students to pursue one of three emphases in Community Service, Aging and the Elderly, or Justice Studies.  Students who have completed the AAS in Law Enforcement Technology from Western Dakota Technical Institute since 2000 with course work grades of “C” or better might be eligible for 16 hours of electives when selecting this major with the Justice Studies Emphasis.  The 36 hours of major requirements must be completed prior to the electives being awarded.  

Outdoor Education is an interdisciplinary major combining instruction in basic environmental sciences, training in education skills for outdoor settings, and experience in adventure programming pursuits. 

The goals of the Psychology major are to prepare students for successful entry level employment and provide a strong academic foundation for graduate and professional study in psychology, counseling, and other related fields.  The curriculum includes a liberal arts foundation as well as courses focusing on specific knowledge about animal and human behavior.  Students are introduced to psychology as a discipline, a science, and a profession with many areas of application.  As part of the program, students have opportunities to enroll in internships in applied areas and engage in faculty mentored research projects.

The Sociology major develops the acquisition of a sociological perspective that incorporates an understanding of social structures and their influences on human behavior, methods of research and empirical analysis, and linkages between private troubles and public issues.  The curriculum offers the opportunities for multiple experiences in using the sociological imagination, linking their personal lives to larger social processes, building and applying theory and collecting and evaluating data to examine and test the theories. 


Master of Science in Strategic Leadership(MS)
4 Year Bachelor of Science (BS) Majors

Exercise Science: Management
Exercise Science: Science
Human Services
Composite Outdoor Education
Sociology: Culture & Society
Sociology: Law & Justice
Sociology: Social Resilience

2 Year Associate of Science (AS) Major
   Human Services
Outdoor Education


School of Education

The mission of the School of Education is to prepare competent, confident, and caring professionals.  Competent graduates demonstrate broad knowledge and apply research-based instructional practices; they reflect and think critically to impact all students.  Graduates exhibit confidence in their ability to positively affect student learning, behavior and motivation.  Caring graduates establish relationships in an environment of mutual respect and rapport as evidenced by all students feeling valued and safe.

The teacher education program at Black Hills State University prepares students for licensure to teach in preschool, elementary, middle, and secondary schools.  Physical education, special education, art, music, and Spanish are kindergarten through twelfth grade preparation programs.  Middle school preparation options include mathematics, sciences, social studies, and language arts.  Secondary school preparation options include English, speech communication, biology, chemistry, history, business, industrial technology, math, and composite majors in language arts, social science, science, and math/science.  All teacher education programs maintain approval from the South Dakota Department of Education and the Wyoming Professional Standards Board, and are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

A Pre-Admission Teaching Practicum experience provides those who think they may want to enter the teaching profession an opportunity to enter local/area school districts for direct observation and some teaching in a small group or with an individual student.  This Practicum requires significant time traveling to and being in schools.  A series of pre-admission courses further assists students in determining if they are interested in pursuing teaching.

The teacher education program develops the skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed by future teachers.  The components of the teacher education programs include a thorough understanding of content, an understanding of human growth and development, and the application of pedagogy in which strategies and techniques of effective teaching are developed and practiced.  The curriculum for a prospective preschool, elementary school, middle school, special education or secondary school teacher requires four years of college study leading to a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) degree.  The freshman year is devoted to General Education courses and the beginning of subject matter preparation in the major.  Professional education begins in the sophomore year and continues in a logical sequence during each semester until graduation.  Students apply for admission into the Teacher Education Program when they have completed 64 credit hours.  An internship is done in the senior year after the student has completed the necessary prerequisite courses in the Professional Education Core and also has acquired background in the major and minor teaching fields. 

Although the curricula are designed to meet teacher certification requirements in South Dakota, students need to be aware that these requirements change independent of the publication of this catalog.  All education students should therefore stay in close contact with an advisor in the School of Education to make certain that there have been no certification changes pertinent to their program prior to graduation.

In order to meet teacher certification requirements, all students must pass a standardized content teacher certification exam prior to being allowed to student teach.  Students who do not take the test or who do not pass the test are not allowed to student teach.  All students must also pass a standardized pedagogy exam during their student teaching semester.  Black Hills State University is a teacher preparation institution, not a licensure or certifying agency.  In order to be certified as a teacher in South Dakota, the student, upon successful completion of the prescribed program, must apply to the Department of Education Office of Policy and Accountability, Pierre, South Dakota.  Certification applications are available in the Office of Field Experiences.    

Secondary Content Teaching Majors

Content teaching majors are clearly defined in the catalog.  The courses listed will meet the requirements in professional education for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education.  In planning a program, the student, with the assistance of an advisor, should select the courses to meet the requirements of general education and a teaching major.  Students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree with a non-teaching major wishing to complete a teacher certification program should contact the chair of the School of Education.


Master of Education in Reading (MEd)
Master of Science in Secondary Education (MS.SEED)
Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction (MS.CI) Areas of Emphasis
  Mathematics Specialist
Technology Integrationist
Science Specialist
4 Year Bachelor of Science in Education (BSED) Majors
  Early Childhood/Special Education
Elementary Education
K-12 Special Education
Composite Math and Science Education
Composite Science Education
Physical Education
  Athletic Coaching
Early Childhood Education
Library Media
Middle School
Physical Education




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