Chair or Program Director: 

Kathleen Cooter, Ph.D., Chair of the Undergraduate Education and Teacher Certification Programs
Bellarmine Office Building 316, Phone 502.272.7987,


Anne B. Bucalos, Ed.D.; Sarah Bush, M.Ed.; Robert B. Cooter, Jr., Ed.D; Theresa Magpuri-Lavell, Ed.D.; Christy McGee, Ed.D.; Corrie Orthober, PhD.; David Paige, Ed.D.; Lauren Pohl, M.A.; Belinda Richardson, Ed.D.; John Sizemore, M.Ed.; Kevin Thomas, Ph.D.; Christopher Walsh, Ed.D.; Carl Williams, MAT; Dottie Willis, Ed.D.

Jean Green, Placement Director
Bellarmine Office Building, 502.272.8191,

“Educator As Reflective Learner”

The Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education at Bellarmine University offers programs leading to teacher certification in Elementary (Primary–5), Middle School (5–9), Secondary (8–12) and Special Education, Learning and Behavior Disorders (Primary–12).

In order to meet the needs of diverse learners in the schools of the 21st century, Bellarmine’s undergraduate program is designed to offer certification in elementary grades and special education or middle grades and special education. All graduates from these programs, which can be completed in four (4) years, will have two teaching certifications, one in regular education and one in special education.

Our secondary education program offers teaching certification for grades 8–12 in the following content areas: biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, and social studies. Secondary education students graduate with a concentration in an academic area and teacher certification in that content area.

Bellarmine also offers teaching certification for Art and Music which is a Primary through grade 12 certification. These students graduate with a major concentration in Art or Music and complete requirements for teacher certification in that content area.


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.

Program Objectives

In addition to its unit mission, vision, and overall theme, the AFTSE requires candidates in all initial and advanced programs to demonstrate acceptable performance on its Program Objectives through the following criteria of continuous assessment: individual course assessments, field and clinical evaluations, disposition assessments, benchmark and/or anchor assessments, and Capstone Project and/or standardized exams (where appropriate). Based on this program assessment data, the candidate who achieves proficiency accomplishes the following Program Objectives:

  • Collaborates with education stakeholders, including parents, teachers, administrators, and the community, to improve student learning and achievement;
  • Reflects on diverse field and clinical experiences, making instructional decisions based on individual learner needs;
  • Demonstrates educator dispositions that value the dignity and unique development of individual learners, and the intellectual, moral, ethical, and professional competencies that characterize effective teaching and leading;
  • Analyzes data to make pedagogical and content based decisions that inform teaching, learning, leading, and achievement in the 21st Century; and
  • Employs Valli’s five reflective processes which include technical, personalistic, deliberative, in and on action, and critical reflection.

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. 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: Admission to Teacher Education Program, Admission to the Professional Semester, and Exit/Certification.

Admission to Teacher Education (Transition Point 1)

Students preparing for the teaching profession and initial teacher certification must be accepted into the teacher education program. Formal application for admission may be made upon completion of a required set of courses which includes Education 200, Foundations of Education. Applications are obtained through the School of Education office. Transfer students desiring teacher certification will be screened upon completion of twelve semester hours at Bellarmine and must meet all admission criteria.

General criteria for acceptance into teacher education programs are as follows:

  1. Evidence of specific competency levels in the following basic skills: oral and written communication, reading, writing and mathematics. Applicants to teacher education must demonstrate these competencies through their liberal arts and professional course work (including experiences in the field) and by meeting minimum score requirements on the American College Test (ACT) or other tests sanctioned by the School of Education.
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5.
  3. A minimum grade of B- in all Education classes.
  4. A minimum grade of C+ in Eng. 101; Comm. 103 or 205.
  5. Elementary & Middle School majors – a minimum grade of C+ in Math 101 and 102.
  6. Successful completion of transition point benchmarks.
  7. Receipt of satisfactory recommendations from instructors of Education courses, selected General Education courses, and cooperating teachers of field-based experiences.
  8. Appropriate teacher dispositions as delineated by the School of Education.

Application for the Professional Semester (Transition Point 2)

Application for the Professional Semester must be filed with the School of Education during the spring semester prior to the term in which the student plans to student teach. Students must have been accepted into the teacher education program. General criteria for acceptance into the Professional Semester are the following:

  1. Senior standing as determined at Bellarmine University by satisfactory completion of 90 or more semester hours of course work.
  2. Required number of field experiences, and satisfactory completion of those experiences.
  3. Acceptable academic requirements including:
    1. An overall academic standing of at least 2.5.
    2. An academic standing of at least 2.5 in the teaching major and in the teacher education program.
    3. Completion of three-fourths of all required professional Education courses with an academic standing of at least B- in each course.
    4. Completion of at least three-fourths of the course work for the teaching major and/or all of the course work.
    5. Approval of the Teacher Education faculty. This decision is based upon evidence that the student demonstrates maturity, interpersonal and communication skills, and the attitudes, dispositions, knowledge, competence and judgment necessary to be an effective teacher.
    6. Appropriate teacher dispositions as delineated by the School of Education.

Teacher Certification (Transition Point 3)

In order to be granted certification in Kentucky the following criteria must be met:

  1. Bellarmine’s Teacher Education faculty must officially recommend that a student be issued the appropriate certification. Such a recommendation must validate that:
    1. the student has been admitted to teacher education,
    2. the student has passed his/her supervised Professional Semester experience, and
    3. the student has completed the approved program of studies for the certificate to be issued.
  2. The Teacher Education program graduate must pass the appropriate PRAXIS Assessments.

The application for certification can be obtained in the School of Education office once the above criteria are met. Upon receipt of a completed certification application, the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board issues a Statement of Eligibility. When the candidate has secured employment and returned a Confirmation of Employment, the State issues a provisional one-year certificate for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP).

Programs of Study

Specific programs of study for each teacher education program are outlined in the Degree Requirements section below. Curriculum advisement contracts for each of these programs are available in the School of Education office.

Degree Requirements

Course Listing