Students stand in front of a folding table set up with rows of children's books.
Undergraduate, Adult Degree | In-Person

Elementary Education | Adult Degree

Want to make a difference in the life of a child? Prepare to teach grades K-5 and develop the innovative teaching strategies that will set your students on the pathway to success. 

Why Major in Elementary Education?

Education that inspires. At Belmont, you can put that into practice by pursuing your calling to teach in the K-5 elementary school setting.

Whether it’s your first time in college as an adult student or you’re returning to college as a career changer, you’ll develop the teaching and leadership skills that will guide you toward your future as an educator.

Elementary Education: Ground Zero For Learning

There has never been a more important or a more exciting time to consider a career as an elementary school educator. After many years of debate, there is consensus on the brain science that children’s most formative years are their youngest years.

That places the teachers of our youngest learners at the most critical point of students’ academic careers. At ground zero for learning, elementary educators teach, nurture, support, and love students as they grow and develop academically, socially, and emotionally. College of Education faculty place great emphasis on advocacy for families and children, particularly children from traditionally underserved populations.

Spotlight on the Classroom From Day One

inline-ad-elementary-ed.jpgThrough Belmont’s degree in early elementary education, you’ll will find yourself in the classroom as early as your first semester. Your first education course will expose you to classroom settings because there is no better time to dive in!

In fact, every education course at Belmont will either be embedded in a school setting or have a direct field experience to the content covered. As a result, you’ll have had exposure to public, private and charter schools prior to your final clinical practice experience.

This hands-on learning approach gives you the ability to work with seasoned teachers throughout the Nashville area.


Benefit From the Expertise of Belmont’s College of Education

In addition to the expertise of our Adult Degree Program staff, you'll also have work closely with Belmont's College of Education, where our mission is to teach brilliantly, innovate boldly, advocate passionately, and serve faithfully, and to grow teachers and leaders who embody these ideals.

A faculty advisor will meet with you regularly to discuss your academic and career interests, and you'll be supported by Belmont's Center for Career & Professional Development while you are here and after you leave!

Am I an Adult Student?

Adult Degree applicants should be 24 years or older. However, exceptions for those under the age of 24 might include evidence of two years or more of military service, marriage or having a family of your own.

What makes Adult Degree Programs special?

Your Success is Personal: Our students are not one-sized fits all, and neither is our commitment to you. Your path to a college degree is unique, and we take your success as personally as you do. Our staff and faculty will be with you from the first point of contact all the way through graduation and beyond, providing personalized guidance and assistance so you don’t have to go it alone.

Education Designed to Elevate Your Career: Whatever adult degree program option you choose, a career-focused curriculum will help you elevate your current career or prepare you for new professional or personal opportunities. 

Unique Tuition Discount for Adult Degree Program Students: Belmont is dedicated to offering access to high-quality education for busy adults. Students in Belmont’s Adult Degree Program receive more than a 40% discount off of the tuition cost that traditional Belmont students pay for the very same quality, private school education. 

What You'll Learn 

As an elementary education major at Belmont, you will be able to:

  • Develop teaching methods, materials and content for K-5 students.
  • Gain a variety of practical experiences with children in grades K-5.
  • Understand and design theories of effective classroom organization and management.
  • Under the direct supervision of an experienced mentor teacher, you will student teach in two elementary school settings, with one of the placements serving students with diverse backgrounds.


Career Possibilities

The elementary education degree leads to initial teacher licensure for grades K -5, equipping you to teach in public or private elementary schools in Tennessee or another state. Our faculty work directly with the Department of Education in the state in which you want to gain licensure in order to prepare you for that state's specific requirements.

Learn more about licensure.

Program Details


The elementary education major leads to either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science and requires 128 hours of coursework.

  • BELL Core requirements: 53 hours
  • Education Core courses: 12 hours
  • Education Professional courses: 36 hours
  • Minor requirements: 18 hours
  • General electives: 9 hours

View all program requirements here.

Want to Transfer Previous College Credits?

Request a free transfer credit analysis and see how your courses will transfer to Belmont University. (If preferred, I can provide direct link to the form - this was a landing page)

Courses You'll Take

Courses you'll take include:

  • EDU 2100 Foundations of Education
    This course provides an overview of the historical and sociological development of the American education systems and instructs candidates to use advocacy for children, families and the profession to uncover unconscious bias and to critically analyze the myths that exist about American education.
  • EDU 2110 Educational Psychology
    A study is made of the processes of education, including such topics as learning, motivation, human growth and development, individual differences, evaluation of achievement, personality and techniques of studying education.
  • EDU 2221 Child Development, Education and Guidance
    This course emphasizes the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of children; the responsibilities of parents; and guidance of children through age eight. Field experience is required. This course is required for early childhood endorsement.
  • EDU 3800 Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners in the Classroom
    Overview of exceptionalities; introduction to pedagogical, curricular and social considerations involved in educating diverse learners in the classroom. The course has a practicum component.
  • MTH 1060 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II
    Topics include data analysis, probability, geometry and measurement. Critical thinking and problem solving will be emphasized. This course will not count toward either a major or a minor in mathematics.
  • EDU 1160 The Practice of Education Seminar I
    A discussion of topics related to the practice of teaching. This seminar will prepare future teachers to complete work necessary to complete the Gateway 2 Interview in the College of Education to earn teacher certification in the state of Tennessee.
  • EDU 2160 The Practice of Education Seminar II
    A discussion of topics related to the practice of teaching. This seminar will prepare future teachers to complete work necessary to complete the Gateway 3 Interview in the College of Education to earn teacher certification in the state of Tennessee.
  • EDU 3030 Literacy I
    This course includes the various theories and methods of reading instruction from the readiness period through the intermediate grades. Current research materials, diagnostic procedures and remediation techniques are emphasized.
  • EDU 3040 Mathematics in the Elementary School
    This course emphasizes basic concepts in mathematics, with application to elementary school mathematics and suggestions for teaching these concepts. For elementary teacher licensure only.
  • EDU 3160 The Practice of Education Seminar III
    A discussion of topics related to the practice of teaching. This last seminar will prepare future teachers to complete final requirements for earning teacher certification in the state of Tennessee and in preparation for the School of Education’s Gateway 4 Interview.
  • EDU 3530 Assessment for Decision Making
    Collection and use of educational data to assess and teach students with diverse learning needs. Educational planning, material adaptation and curriculum development will also be addressed.
  • EDU 4230 Literacy II
    Reading, writing, speaking and listening are studied. Emphasis is put on the selection and organization of materials and on the evaluation of pupil growth in the language arts.
  • SCI 4250 Science in the Elementary School
    This course stresses the examination, design and evaluation of experiences for teaching science in the elementary school. Science content is stressed.
  • Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School
    This course focuses upon the objectives of teaching social studies in the elementary school and how resources may be discovered, used and evaluated in the attainment of these objectives. Content is stressed with special emphasis given to geography as an example of the social studies.
  • EDU 4201 Classroom Management PK-5
    Seminar in teaching, designed to help students be better prepared for their enhanced student teaching experience. This course will also use both quantitative and qualitative research to better understand theories of effective classroom organization and management. Based on research findings and reflective inquiry, the students will refine/design proactive systems of classroom organization and management within the contexts of their student teaching placements.
  • EDU 4404 Student Teaching in Elementary Grades
    This laboratory course gives the teacher candidate experience in two elementary school settings with one of the placements serving students with diverse backgrounds. Teacher candidates will have the opportunity to observe and use appropriate classroom instructional methods and procedures under the direct supervision of an experienced mentor teacher.
  • EDU 4110 Reflective Teaching
    This reflective or inquiry-oriented course looks at the complicated activity of teaching and the conceptual schemata teachers must acquire. Emphasis is placed on developing teaching habits that are consciously informed actions. The course will also require candidates to complete an Action research project to demonstrate their impact on student learning.

Below are some of the opportunities in which you can get involved:

Belmont’s Service-Learning and Volunteer Opportunities
Through Get Connected, Belmont’s online volunteer service directory, you can connect with over 70 area organizations where you can connect and serve. Our teacher candidates take seriously the opportunity to serve the greater-Nashville community and volunteer in programs such as: English Language Tutors with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, athletic coaches with area middle schools, tutoring programs with the YMCA, Martha O’Bryan Center, and area faith-based programs.

Best Buddies©
BESTBUDDIES® builds one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), through school and community friendship programs that provide socialization opportunities to help erase the invisible line that often separates students or adults with and without IDD.

Best Buddies at Belmont is an active student organization where Belmont students and community members with IDD become friends and hang out together with the focus on reducing barriers and building inclusive communities focused on strengths and relationships.

Homework Hotline
Homework Hotline is the largest provider of tutoring in Tennessee, the only service available by phone, and the only program that provides tutoring in six languages. Belmont University teacher candidates serve as a volunteer satellite of Homework Hotline, housed on the Belmont campus. In this way, you can practice teaching techniques while providing one-on-one tutoring to at-risk children.

Kappa Delta Pi National Education Society
Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education, fosters excellence in education and promotes fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. Belmont’s Nu Phi Chapter is additionally concerned with assisting the community and has been involved with food drives, raising funds for local literacy programs, as well as helping with Homework Hotline.

Student Teacher Education Association
Through its affiliation with the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) and the National Education Association (NEA), our student program leads tomorrow's teachers to a bright professional future. STEA exists to help our members move smoothly from student on campus to beginning teacher. This is achieved through a variety of avenues including organization meetings with speakers who highlight opportunities at Belmont and beyond to broaden understanding of what it means to be an educator, discussion of issues and trends in education, conference attendance for members to network and develop professionally, and a focus on service to communities and families. STEA is proud to work with Belmont University for Annual Family Literacy Day each spring by forming a reading circle where we read aloud books around a theme with children from the community. We also collect canned goods for local food banks as well as school supplies for teachers and children in Nashville Public Schools. Each spring we also host a campus-wide Valentine’s Day Card-Making event for the children and families of the Ronald McDonald House and residents of local nursing homes. STEA provides all of the art supplies and the students provide the creativity for these amazing hand-made cards.

Belmont’s Teacher Education Program is approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) legacy site visit of 2021.

The admission decision process for the Adult Degree Program is different from what someone might experience right out of high school. To be eligible for an Adult Degree program,  applicants must be 24 years or older or provide evidence of two years or more of military service, marriage or having a family of your own.

Even if you struggled academically when you first attended college, the Belmont Admissions Committee looks at more than just your academic history. We also consider your professional experience and personal accomplishments as we review your application materials.

Learn more about Adult Degree Admissions & Financial Aid

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Apply by August 1

Start on August 23

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Adult Degree Program

Hallie Caddy
Admissions Coordinator
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