• the development of appropriate learning experiences for children

You should consider the Abbey’s Elementary Education degree program if you

  • enjoy teaching children
  • communicate easily
  • are creative and patient

In addition to coursework, the Belmont Abbey Elementary Education Licensure Program prepares teacher candidates through top-quality mentoring and hands-on experiences including:

  • 90 hours of classroom field experience over two semesters prior to student teaching.
  • A full semester of student teaching, five days a week for 16 weeks, during your final semester of college.

We are guided by our Department of Education Mission Statement:

Guided by the tenets of Catholicism and the Benedictine hallmarks, the Sister Christine Beck Department of Education’s mission is to promote commitment among students to serve and to be advocates for those most vulnerable in society, children. By our own example, we teach our students to understand the responsibilities and privileges entailed in this commitment. Through the study of the liberal arts and the knowledge, skills, and dispositions inherent in education courses and field experiences, we help our students develop minds that are both broad and agile, so they are equipped to make wise and ethical decisions that benefit them and those whose lives they touch.

With an Elementary Education Studies bachelor’s degree from Belmont Abbey College, you will be able to pursue a variety of careers including:

  • teaching grades K-6 in public and private elementary schools

The Abbey Difference:

More than a Career
At Belmont Abbey College we believe that being an elementary school teacher is not only a job, but a calling. Following the college’s mission for the promotion of excellence, the Elementary Education degree prepares its students for careers that focus on strengthening both mind and spirit as they share their love of learning in ways that glorify God.

A Close-Knit Program with a Wide Reputation
Belmont Abbey’s education graduates are heavily recruited for career teaching positions because of the elementary education program’s well-known reputation for quality and excellence. One distinction of our Elementary Education bachelor’s degree is class size: students study in a close-knit cohort of no more than 20 classmates who complete their entire professional sequence (licensure program) together. The merit of a highly-individualized environment can be recognized in the quality of learning and application, reflected in the fact that many Elementary Education BA graduates from Belmont Abbey College are hired as teachers during the student teaching experience or shortly following graduation. Additionally, for more than 3 decades the Abbey’s Elementary Licensure Program has maintained a strong reputation with regional and non-regional schools for graduating teachers who are outstanding classroom leaders.

Exceptional Faculty
Belmont Abbey College boasts an exceptional education faculty. Our instructors are expert advocates for quality K-12 education. Not only do they have extensive experience as classroom teachers as well as an individual area of educational expertise, they also present regularly at national education conferences and are strong contributors to the body of knowledge in the field. Some are respected educational authors. For example, our department chair, Dr. Sara Davis Powell, is the author of two popular college textbooks, both in the 3rd edition, published by Pearson: Your Introduction to Education and Introduction to Middle Level Education.

Federal and State Compliance
The teacher education program at Belmont Abbey College is fully accredited through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

The Sister Christine Beck Department of Education of Belmont Abbey College is in compliance with Section 207 of Title II of the Higher Education Act of the United States Department of Education. This act requires Institutions of Higher Education (IHE’s) to report to the federal and state governments as well as to the public. These reports and relevant data are available upon request from the Sister Christine Beck Department of Education Office.

With an Elementary Education bachelor’s degree from Belmont Abbey College, you will be able to pursue a career teaching grades Kindergarten-6, with 6th grade licensure applying to both elementary and middle level settings. Because of North Carolina’s generous teacher licensure regulations and reciprocity established with other states’ licensing bodies, our education graduates with a K-6 teaching degree may also gain a license to teach at any level K-12 by taking a test in the higher grade’s content area[s].

***Note that counseling, coaching, and administration are totally separate licensure areas. The generosity factor is that teacher candidates may take the exams to add to their teaching licenses, not to a non-teaching career. Our program sets students up for graduate school in these areas.

Program Requirements

Prerequisites for Professional Sequence (15 hours)

  • ED300- Introduction to Education (3 hours)
  • ED303- Children’s Literature (3 hours)
  • ED305- Introduction to the Exceptional Child (3 hours)
  • ED310W- Educational Development and Psychology (3 hours)
  • ED399- Diversity in Education (3 hours)

Before taking any coursework in the Professional Sequence, a student must be accepted into the Elementary Education Teacher License Program.  The Professional Sequence is comprised of three distinct semesters.  The three courses in Professional Sequence I (PS I) serve as prerequisites to Professional Sequence II (PS II), while the four courses in PS II serve as prerequisites to Professional Sequence III (PS III).

Professional Sequences (36 hours)

Professional Sequence I

  • ED400- Classroom Management (3 hours)
  • ED402- Curriculum and Instructional Design (3 hours)
  • ED403- Arts Integration (3 hours)
  • ED404- Math Foundations for Elementary Teachers (3 hours)

Professional Sequence II

  • ED407- Literacy and Assessment (3 hours)
  • ED408- Teaching Social Studies in Elementary School (3 hours)
  • ED409- Teaching Science in Elementary School (3 hours)
  • ED410- Teaching Mathematics in Elementasry Schol (3 hours)

Professional Sequence III

  • ED471- Student Teaching Seminar (3 hours)
  • ED475- Student Teaching (9 hours)

Other courses (16-21 hours)

Secondary Education Content

With K-6 Licensure, a minor in Secondary Education Content is available.

Recognizing the need for well-prepared teachers in middle and high school classrooms, teacher candidates majoring in Elementary Education may add a content area minor as partial fulfillment of either a total of 24 hours in a subject area or a passing score on the appropriate Praxis II exam, one of which is required to apply for add-on licensure in the chosen content area.

Here are the steps an Abbey student follows to add the SEC minor. The student will…

  1. successfully complete the Elementary Education major leading to K-6 licensure
  2. receive a clear K-6 NC teacher license, granted after passing state required exams
  3. choose a content focus* and a level focus (middle 6-9 or high 9-12)
  4. complete the Secondary Education Content minor (15 hours) consisting of:
  • ED415 Curriculum, Instruction, and assessment for Secondary Classrooms
  • four content area courses chosen in consultation with the content area department and chair of the Department of Education, based on current state standards for NC middle and high school curricula
  1. pass a state-required Praxis II Content Exam OR acquire a total of 24 hours in the content area for middle or high school (a passing score on the high school exam will lead to a 6-12 license in the content area; a passing score on the middle school exam will lead to a 6-9 license)

* NC content areas include Accounting, Business Management, English, Math, Biology, History, Political Science, Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science, Sociology, Drama/Theater, Sport Management (qualifies for Business licensure)

If all requirements are met, the student will graduate with a clear license to teach all subjects K-6 and a chosen content area in grades 6-9 or 6-12

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.

Recommendation for Licensure

Upon completion of all program requirements, including those summarized below, a student is eligible for recommendation for teacher licensure in North Carolina. Recommendation for licensure in other states is subject to the laws and requirements of those states, and compliance with those regulations is the responsibility of the student. The process for recommendation for licensure is explained in the Student Teaching Handbook.

To receive Belmont Abbey College’s recommendation for licensure in North Carolina a student must:

  • Complete all required coursework with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75.
  • Grade of C or better in each major course
  • Pass the edTPA evaluation criteria.
  • Receive the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Education and of the Licensure Officer.
  • Receive the recommendation of the student teaching supervisors (IHE and LEA) and the designated LEA official responsible for LEA coordination of the senior-year student-teaching experience (Form IHE-01b).
  • Successfully pass a background check
  • Complete all necessary application materials, obtain official transcripts and pay any required state licensure fee(s)

Note that as of Fall 2016 teacher preparation programs may recommend a student for a temporary license who have not passed one or more of the three North Carolina Test for Educational Licensure (NCTEL) exams. To be fully licensed in North Carolina, with whatever reciprocity is possible in other states, teacher candidates must pass all three NCTEL exams. NC allows temporary licenses to be used for two years.

Federal and State Compliance:

The Elementary Education Teacher Licensure Program at Belmont Abbey College is fully accredited by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

The Sister Christine Beck Department of Education of Belmont Abbey College is in compliance with Section 207 of Title II of the Higher Education Act of the United States Department of Education. This act requires Institutions of Higher Education (IHE’s) to report to the federal and state governments, as well as to the public. These reports and relevant data are available upon request from the Sister Christine Beck Department of Education Office.

Education Program Faculty

Dr. Sara Davis Powell – Chair and Professor of Education
B.S., Southern Nazarene University
M.A., University of Colorado- Denver
Ph.D., University of Colorado- Denver

Dr. Amanda Kloo – Associate Professor of Education
B.A., Chatham College
M.A., Columbia University
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Judith McDonald – Associate Professor of Education
B.S., University of West Virginia
M.Ed., University of North Carolina- Charlotte
Ph.D., University of North Carolina- Greensboro

Dr. Lisa O’Neill – Assistant Professor of Education
B.S., Appalachian State University
M.Ed., University of North Carolina – Charlotte
Ed.D., Gardner-Webb University

Benette Sutton – Instructor of Education and Director of Student Teaching
B.A., Sacred Heart College
M.A., University of North Carolina- Charlotte

Dr. Laura Campbell – Director of Teacher Education, Charlotte Campus
B.S., Saint Thomas Aquinas College
M.Ed., University of South Florida- Fort Myers
Ed.S., Barry University-School of Education
Ed.D., Barry University


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