Education was the number one priority for students attending Ballard Normal. Over 3,000 students graduated from the school.
Ballard's student body consisted of grades from 1st through 12th. The lower grades of 1st through 6th were taught in the practice school by future teachers. The junior high school consisted of grades 7th and 8th, and the high school consisted of grades 9th through 12th.
Students in grades 1st through 5th were known as the primary dots. Those in the 5th through 7th grade were allowed to participated in athletic programs that pitted them against local public and parochial elementary schools in what was known as the Playground League. The 8th through 12th grades students were able to competed against other high schools and junior colleges around the state in athletics and academic competitions such oratorical contests.
The students in the upper grades of 7th through 12th were given a "normal education." Normal classes that were taught included Arithmetic, Bible Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Civics, Economics, English, French, Geography, Geometry, Latin, Pedagogy and Practice Teaching, Physics, and Sociology.
Industrial classes included agriculture, tailoring, carpentry, mechanical drawing, and manual training for boys; sewing, cooking, home economics, and housekeeping for girls.
Morning devotionals were held in the Ballard Normal school auditorium at the start of each school day. Students in the 8th grade had a course on the New Testament and 10th grade had a course on Bible History. During religious holidays, extended services were held. Dr. Lewis H. Mounts taught at the school and served as the pastor at the Congregational Church on Monroe Street.
Students were taught cursive using the Palmer Method Penmanship textbook.
“Negro History” had been a part of the curriculum long before the formal introduction of Negro History Week in 1926. A number of Ballard graduates had been history makers such as William Sanders Scarborough. Future author John Oliver Killens talked about his exposure to “Negro History” at Ballard.