Ball State placed thirty-eighth in the nation in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report ranking of best online graduate education programs.

Approximately 500 students are pursuing Ball State’s online elementary education master’s degree.

If you’re ready to take on a new leadership role in your school system but want to do it on your own terms, Ball State University offers you one of the most customizable master’s in education in elementary education programs in the nation.

You can choose a degree focus that plays to your academic strengths and interests, whether it’s early childhood education, elementary education, or reading and literacy instruction. If you want to choose a specialty area, you can choose from other focus areas: autism, computer education for teachers, gifted and talented education (high ability), human development and learning, middle school education, response to intervention, or English as a New Language.

Academic Advisor

Linda Martin, Professor
Department of Elementary Education

What It’s Like to Pursue an Online Master of Arts in Education (MAE) in Elementary Education

Ball State’s Teachers College ranks in the top 25 in the nation for the number of nationally recognized educator programs it offers. From intimate and interactive classes to innovative and inspiring faculty, other advantages of Ball State’s master’s in elementary education are worth reviewing.

Small, Interactive Classes

  • So you won’t work alone and to assure maximum interaction, classes average around 20 students.
  • Your classmates will be ambitious elementary school teachers from across the country.
  • You will learn from the same professors who teach on our main campus. Our professors are active in their field, have taught in elementary classrooms, and design their courses with you, an active professional in elementary education, in mind.
  • You’ll follow a sequence and timeline of classes so it is possible to finish in four semesters—for example, summer, fall, spring, and summer.
  • You will interact regularly with your professors and classmates in courses that are meant to have immediate applicability to your current classroom.

A Technological Leader

  • This program is an innovative leader in online education. 
  • All of Ball State’s on-site technology resources are available to you online.

A Reputation to Talk About

  • A national leader in education, Ball State Teachers College has been offering online courses since the late 1990s and today offers one of the largest arrays of online teacher- and administrator-preparation in the country. So, you can be assured our professors have experience and skills in online delivery of course materials.
  • Our alumni fill administrative and teaching positions across Indiana and the United States.
  • Ball State is a member of the Quality Matters Program, which sets a nationally recognized standard of best practices for online and blended learning.
  • We also offer a Ph.D and an Ed.D. in elementary education. These programs are available on our main campus in Muncie, Indiana.
  • Designed with new teacher performance assessment models in mind.

For Indiana Teachers

  • If you are an Indiana teacher, the master’s in elementary education is a step towards earning a 10-year renewal on your teaching license when you earn your degree in one of our focus areas.
  • The program is compatible with Indiana’s teacher performance assessment models.  

Recognized, Approved, or Accredited by:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Higher Learning Commission  
  • International Literacy Association (ILA)
  • Literacy Research Association (LRA)
  • Indiana State Reading Association (ISRA)
  • National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC)
  • Indiana Association for the Education of the Young Child (IAEYC)
  • Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)

When you complete the Ball State master of arts in education (MAE) program, you will be eligible to apply for a graduate-level certificate awarded for the focus area you have selected as a part of your degree program. You will receive a certificate verifying your completion of work in the specific focus area of your degree, and the certificate will be placed in your official university transcript.

You may want to update your knowledge on a specialized area (a 15-credit certificate) and not complete the entire MAE degree.

Ball State was founded as a teachers college in 1918, so teacher education has had a unique role on our campus from the beginning. One of the most comprehensive and renowned colleges of education in the country, our Teachers College ranks in the top 25 in the nation for the number of nationally recognized educator programs offered.

While you are a student in the program, you will be treated as a professional educator by our faculty, as well as teacher-classmates with whom you’ll have frequent interaction. The same Ball State professors who teach face-to-face classes on our campus, and all of whom have doctorates, will mentor you and encourage you to use lessons learned when you head off to your daily classroom.

Need more reasons to consider Ball State’s graduate program in elementary education?

Course Requirements

Graduates of this master’s degree program will also have a “certificate of early childhood program administration” listed on their transcripts. Make sure to check with advisor Linda Martin about how to do this.

Or, you can take only the focus area courses for a graduate certificate in early childhood education.

Early Childhood Education

Master of Arts in Education with a Focus in Early Childhood Education (30 credits)

This program helps you build compelling learning environments for children from birth to age 8, including the roles of literacy development, child development, classroom creativity, and family and community partnerships in early childhood programs.

This focus area meets and exceeds national accreditation requirements that early childhood program administrators complete at least 9 credits, or a minimum of 144 clock hours, in the areas of administration, management, and leadership of early childhood education. 

Courses You Will Take

  • EDRD 615 Early Literacy Development (3 credits)
  • EDPS 627 Child Development (3 credits)
  • EDEL 630 School, Family, and Community Partnerships (3 credits)
  • EDEL 640 Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • EDEL 641 Early Childhood Program Leadership (3 credits)
  • EDEL 644 Education in a Diverse Society (3 credits)
  • EDEL 648 Play and Creativity in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • EDEL 649 Infant and Toddler Education (3 credits)
  • EDEL 651 Educational Programs for Young Children (3 credits) - Prerequisite EDEL 640
  • EDEL 653 Observations and Assessment in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • EDEL 676 Research in Elementary Education (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Education with a Focus in Reading-Literacy Instruction (30 credits)

The teaching of literacy/reading is a central issue in today's school culture. As a teacher you are faced with increasingly complex demands that require a deep understanding of literacy and well-developed decision-making abilities.

The literacy instruction focus for your master's in elementary education will provide you with the deep understandings and practical skills needed to help children succeed in reading.

Courses You Will Take

  • EDRD 645 History of Reading (3 credits)
  • EDRD 620 Disciplinary and Integrated Literacy in Elementary Classrooms (3 credits)
    or EDRD 615 Early Literacy (3 credits)
  • EDEL 680 Advanced Teaching Methods in Language Arts (3 credits)
  • EDRD 610 The Teaching of Reading in the Elementary School (3 credits)
  • EDRD 545 Integrating Technology in the Literacy Program (3 credits)
  • EDRD 627 Teaching Literacy to Diverse Learners (3 credits)
  • EDRD 650 Organization and Support of a School Reading Program (3 credits)
    or EDRD 640 Current Trends and Issues in Literacy (3 credits)
  • EDRD 680 Classroom Reading Diagnosis (3 credits) - prerequisite EDRD 610 or 620
  • EDRD 630 (3 credits)
  • EDEL 676 Research in Elementary Education (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Education with a Focus in Elementary Education (30 credits)

While mastering specific classroom skills are critical to becoming an effective teacher, as an educator today, you also need to know the role of education in today’s diverse society, the importance of forming family and community partnerships, and how technology can support the teaching and learning experience.

This focus helps enhance the daily practice of today’s teacher leaders.

Courses You Will Take

  • EDEL 600 Basic Concepts in Elementary Education (3 credits)
  • EDPS 603 Human Growth and Development OR EDPS 627 Child Development (3 credits)
  • EDRD 610 The Teaching of Reading in the Elementary School (3 credits)
  • EDEL 626 Discipline and Classroom Management (3 credits)
  • EDEL 630 School, Family, and Community Partnerships (3 credits)
  • EDEL 644 Education in a Diverse Society (3 credits) 
  • EDEL 655 Principles of Differentiation in the Elementary Classroom OR EDEL 657 Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Elementary Classroom Programs (3 credits)
  • EDEL 660 Effective Use of Technology in the Elementary School (3 credits)
  • EDEL 663 Understanding Data to Inform Teaching and Learning in Elementary Schools (3 credits)
  • EDEL 676 Research in Elementary Education (3 credits)

In addition to the other fields of study, Ball State’s Teachers College has other focus areas outside of elementary education that give you even more flexibility to design the program you need to meet your career and personal goals. These allow you to combine your graduate-level elementary education courses with a different specialty to create a customized master’s degree to meet your unique career goals. 

These allow you to combine your 15 credits of core elementary education courses with 15 credits in another specialty. Possible specialties might include: 

Certificate Options

Graduates of with these focus areas can have these certificates listed separately on their transcript. Make sure to check with advisor Linda Martin about how to do this. Or, if you do not want the entire master’s degree, you can take only the focus area courses for a graduate certificate in these specialized areas.

Ready to Apply?

You will first want to check if you meet the admission requirements for the Ball State Graduate School. Then you may apply.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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