Non-degreeRank I Post-Master’s Program

Teacher with student

Advance your teaching career with our Rank I program.

Why earn your Rank I at Bellarmine?

The Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education at Bellarmine University prepares caring, effective educators to teach and lead in diverse settings. The Rank I and/or Non Degree Post-Masters programs offer a best practice, researched-based curriculum with a foundation in the liberal arts. This program requires 60 hours of graduate level course work (including the Master’s degree) beyond the baccalaureate degree. A minimum of 15 hours of graduate work must be taken at Bellarmine.

There are currently two tracks available in the Rank 1 program: Literacy Specialist, and Curriculum and Instruction.

The Curriculum and Instruction track is a personalized program of studies designed to enhance the candidate proficiencies in relationship to the Kentucky Teacher Performance Standards. The Teacher Leader program is also available through the Curriculum and Instruction track.

The Literacy Specialist track offers educators an in-depth study of teaching, learning, and literacy leadership. The endorsement across all grade levels will allow the classroom teacher to explore literacy issues related to elementary, middle, and high school students with an emphasis on issues related to struggling readers. Candidates who complete the Literacy Specialist Endorsement (Grades P-12) may choose to remain a highly qualified classroom teacher of reading and writing, may elect to serve as the literacy leader in their school, become the school’s reading coach, or apply for a district level literacy resource position.

Program Highlights

As our theme “Educator as Reflective Learner” suggests, our candidates are integrally involved in ongoing reflective practice as master educators in their classrooms, schools and communities. Reflective teachers use the world of practice, knowledge of pedagogy, knowledge of the learner, and knowledge of content personally to evaluate their effectiveness. This continuous process provides master teachers with a basis for self-evaluation that results in leadership development for school improvement.

Advanced teacher candidates will participate in ongoing evaluation through the use of an individualized Professional Growth Plan, Anchor Assessments within identified courses, Disposition Assessments at specified transition points, and a final culminating project within the candidate’s emphasis or endorsement area. Each candidate will work closely with his/her faculty advisor to regularly review progress toward program completion.

Transcript Review

We can provide feedback about your transcript(s) and coursework. Simply complete the form below by attaching unofficial copies of your transcript(s).

Transcript Review

Career Outcomes

Bellarmine University’s Rank I Curriculum and Instruction in Teacher Leadership program is designed to develop teacher leaders who will be challenged to reflect continuously upon:

  • leadership skills;
  • coaching and mentoring;
  • analysis of assessment and data to impact instruction;
  • strategies for closing the achievement gap through instructional best practices;
  • the need to address equity and diversity in schools; and
  • collaborative efforts to include colleagues, parents, and the community in comprehensive efforts for school improvement.

Faculty Profiles

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. Find all of our distinguished faculty here.

Headshot of Jessica Ivy

Dr. Jessica Ivy is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and STEM Education and the Chair of the MAT program. Before joining the Bellarmine faculty, Jessica was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Mississippi State University. She received her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Secondary Education at The University of Mississippi (UM). She completed a graduate research fellowship at the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at UM working on projects funded through the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.

A former high school mathematics teacher, Jessica’s primary research area involves the integration of technology in teaching and learning explored primarily through the lens of technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK). She is a professional developer and consultant for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and is currently serving on the NCTM Professional Development Services Committee (PDSC).

Jessica is a 2017 Fellow of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program, where her team worked on efforts to improve recruitment and retention of teachers in rural settings and explored solutions for improving education in underserved areas through policy advocacy. She has co-authored one book chapter and one handbook chapter. The most recent chapter, “Adding a New Dimension to Teaching Mathematics Educators” featured in Handbook of Research on TPACK in the Digital Age, is a chapter written in collaboration with Dr. Anna Wann, University of Southern Mississippi. Jessica has 14 published scholarly manuscripts, and has 37 presentations at the international, national, and regional conference levels. In 2017 Jessica received the Imagine, Innovate, and Inspire Practitioner of Distinction Alumni Award from The University of Mississippi. She was the recipient of the 2016 Lucinda Rose Teaching Award at Mississippi State University, and the 2014 Mississippi State Clyde Muse Service Award.

At Bellarmine, Jessica currently teaches Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Mathematics Methods Courses, as well as Foundations of Education.

Kevin Thomas, Ph.D

Kevin Thomas, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Instructional Technology at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to entering higher education, Dr. Thomas taught high school English for 15 years in Tennessee. His research examines teacher and student perceptions regarding the instructional benefits and barriers related to the classroom integration of personal mobile devices. Additional research interests include exploration of the use of Web 2.0 tools to expand the traditional boundaries associated with the classroom through online interaction. Dr. Thomas has been published in Computers & Education, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education and TechTrends. At Bellarmine Dr. Thomas teaches courses related to the integration of instructional technology in the classroom to support student learning.

Dr. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from Trinity College of Vermont in Burlington, VT; his master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN; and his doctoral degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Admission Requirements

  • Valid Professional Teaching Certificate.
  • Two completed recommendation forms: one from the current school principal or his/her designee; and one from an individual who has supervised the applicant in some capacity attesting to the applicants potential as an advanced graduate student, such as teaching colleague, department chair, current/past employers, or former professors.
  • If your undergraduate degree is from an international institution, you were born outside the United States, or English is your second language, you will be required to submit an official TOEFLiBT (internet-based test) score and receive a total score of 80 or higher. We will also consider an equivalent score on the IELTS or MELAB tests. The School of Education Admission, Progression and Graduation Committee reserves the right to require a TOEFL score from any applicant.
  • Additional information is required from international applicants; see the Rank I admission application form for more information.


All advanced-level teacher education programs at Bellarmine University's Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education are recognized by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and are fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

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For more information, call 502.272.7100 or email your questions to