Bachelor of Arts in Education

Build a rewarding life as a teacher with our Bachelor of Arts in Education major.

The Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education at Bellarmine offers programs leading to teacher certification in Elementary, Middle School, Secondary, and Special Education (Learning and Behavior Disorders).

Why earn your education degree at Bellarmine?

The concerned and caring faculty and small community atmosphere make Bellarmine’s School of Education a wise choice for a successful academic career. Professional education courses, field-based experiences in the schools, and a strong liberal arts background prepare students to meet the challenges of teaching diverse learners. The School of Education’s outstanding programs gives our students an invaluable advantage in reaching professional career goals. In addition, last year our students obtained a 99 percent pass rate on the PRAXIS tests, which students are required to take to be certified to teach in the state of Kentucky.

Program Highlights

DUAL CERTIFICATION - Students earning certification in either Early Elementary (P-5) or Middle School Education (5-9) will also receive certification in Learning and Behavior Disorders (Grades P-12). The Bellarmine School of Education believes that earning dual certification in general and special education competencies prepares our graduates for the many diverse and challenging classrooms of tomorrow. Graduates will be leaders in education, serving their communities by helping every child develop to his/her highest potential. Bellarmine is one of only a small number of colleges and universities in the nation with a teacher preparation program that requires this type of intense learning environment.

SECONDARY EDUCATION - Our secondary education program offers teaching certification for grades 8-12 in the following areas: biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, and social studies. Secondary education majors graduate with a content major and teacher certification in that content area.

Programs of Study Requirements

Observation and Student Teaching

The faculty in the School of Education believe that learning to be an effective teacher happens through an exploration of both theory and practice. Therefore, teacher candidates begin observation and field work in the first semester of their freshman year and continue this every semester of their four years. On average, Bellarmine students obtain 30 hours of field work experience each semester. In the fall semester of senior year, candidates complete a semester-long student teaching experience. This intensive professional semester enables candidates to refine the teaching skills that will prepare them for a rewarding career.

Technology

The School of Education uses a variety of materials and technology in the everyday classroom. Students get hands-on experience with technology used in public schools, standardized and diagnostic tests, and real-life examples of techniques and materials used in classrooms. Classrooms are equipped with Smart Board Technology and iPads, which allows students to be more interactive with information from the Internet, classroom presentations, and teaching materials.

Continuous Assessment Plan

The philosophy of the continuous assessment plan of the School of Education is that the professional educator engages in a continuous, lifelong professional development process based on authentic reflection. A continuous assessment is conducted by the candidate, the teacher education faculty, and relevant practitioners (cooperating teachers) during the certification process.

The School of Education’s continuous assessment plan is based on three transition points:

  1. Admission to Teacher Education Program
  2. Application for the Professional Semester
  3. Exit/Teacher Certification

Alumni Story

Elizabeth Fuller

“My education at Bellarmine provided me with the necessary skills to not only succeed in my field but to really excel and be a leader. My first boss told me he always hired Bellarmine graduates over anyone else. Having a degree from Bellarmine really means something in the community and is something to be proud of. You will become your very best and will succeed long after you graduate, but you can always trace that success back to BU where the foundation for all your successes began. ”

Elizabeth Fuller ‘03
2012 Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year
Third Grade Demonstration Site Teacher
Atkinson Academy for Excellence

Career Prospects

Graduates of the education program find employment in elementary, middle, and secondary education in both public and private schools. Bellarmine teachers are always in high demand.

On Campus Experiences

Kappa Delta Pi is the international honor society for education students. Our chapter, Alpha Gamma Epsilon, offers members leadership, service and scholarship opportunities throughout their teaching careers.

Faculty Profiles

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty.

Belinda C. Harlow, Ed.D

Belinda C. Harlow, Ed.D.
Belinda C. Harlow, Ed.D, Associate Professor of Education, began her career in education after receiving her initial teaching certification from North Georgia College and University. She expanded her knowledge base by receiving a Masters Degree in Special Education from the University of Nebraska and taught special education for seven years. She then went on to earn a Masters Degree in Counseling Education from Texas Tech University and to work as a school counselor for eight years. She earned her Doctorate Degree in Special Education from Texas Tech University in 2007. Her research experience and interest is in the study of undeveloped attachment in children and its effects on their connection with and behavior in the school setting.

Winn Crenshaw Wheeler, Ph.D.

Winn Crenshaw Wheeler, Ph.D.
Winn Crenshaw Wheeler, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Literacy. She received her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on literacy and instructional coaching from the University of Louisville. Dr. Wheeler holds a Masters of Education in Elementary Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Elementary Education and History from Elon University. Additionally, she is a National Board Certified Teacher (Middle Childhood Generalist). Prior to her work at Bellarmine, Dr. Wheeler worked in public education for twenty years where she served as a classroom teacher and literacy coach. Her research interests include adolescent literacy, fluency development, writing assessment and instruction, professional collaboration, instructional coaching, and curriculum design. At Bellarmine, Dr. Wheeler teaches courses in literacy at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Amy E. Lein, Ph.D.

Amy E. Lein, Ph.D.
Amy E. Lein is an Assistant Professor of Special Education. Before coming to Bellarmine, Dr. Lein was a Master Coach for Minnesota Math Corps and adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she earned her PhD in Educational Psychology and won the 2016 Balow Dissertation Award. As a former public-school teacher, she taught special education and general education mathematics at the high school and middle school levels in both the Boston metro area and in Charlotte, Michigan. Her research areas of interest include mathematics interventions for struggling students, student engagement, and teacher preparation and development. Her research has resulted in peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Preventing School Failure, Educational Research and Evaluation, The Journal of Learning Disabilities, Learning and Instruction, and The Journal of Educational Psychology.

Dr. Jessica Ivy

Dr. Jessica Ivy
Dr. Jessica Ivy is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and STEM Education. 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.

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you below.

Accreditation

All teacher education programs at the undergraduate level are fully accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), 2010 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036; and approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board.

Contact Information

Mary Ann Cahill, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Literacy
Chair of Undergraduate and MAT programs
mcahill@bellarmine.edu

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