Ball State’s historic partnership with Muncie Community Schools (MCS) is shaping the district into one of the nation's most innovative and transformative urban public education systems in the nation.

MCS welcomes project proposals from Ball State faculty, professional staff, or graduate students that span the entire district, multiple schools, or a single school, class, or program. Priority is given to proposals that address one or more of the following themes: 

  • Safe and Healthy Schools
  • Cultural Competency and Community/Family Engagement
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Leadership, Finance, and Governance


Submit proposals by the following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester –  July 1
  • Spring Semester  –  Nov. 1
  • Summer Semester – April 1

In rare cases, MCS will consider projects submitted after the above deadlines. Please note any special circumstances in the description of your late submission in order to be considered.

Is My Proposal Considered Academic or Volunteer?

If your project, program, or research is for academic credit and involves frequent, ongoing interactions within the district, then submit your proposal through the online form. Please see instructions below for submitting proposals.

Those interested in pre-service teacher class/school observations or methods/practicum courses should contact the Office of Teacher Education Services and Clinical Practice (OTES) to move forward.

If you want to volunteer time or services within the district (i.e. presenting to classes, assisting with field day, tutoring support, etc.), please contact Tiffani Arnold-Pine, Ball State's community volunteer program manager, at 765-285-6226.


Connect with your college representative for guidance and support. These individuals — part of the MCS-Ball State Joint Academic Innovation Council — are eager to brainstorm project ideas with you, answer questions about the submission process, and more.

  • College of Communication, Information and Media – Kate Elliott, Lecturer of Journalism
  • College of Health – Shannon Powers, Associate Teaching Professor of Kinesiology
  • College of Fine Arts – Kevin Gerrity, Associate Professor of Music Education 
  • College of Sciences and Humanities – Bryan Byers, Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology; and Lynne Stallings, Associate Professor of English
  • Miller College of Business – Kelsey Brasel, Assistant Professor of Accounting
  • R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning – Jennifer Warrner, Associate Teaching Professor of Construction 
  • Teachers College – Ruth Jefferson, Associate Professor of Special Education
  • University Libraries – Lisa Jarrell, Head of Educational Technology and Resources Collection

Step 1: Speak with your chair or supervisor.

Inform your department chair or supervisor before submitting a project proposal. The project proposal process does not require a signature or letter from your chair or supervisor. Reviewers assume you have discussed the project or research with those who need to be aware of your proposal.

Step 2: Submit your proposal.

The submission process is your opportunity to present an idea to collaborate with MCS, and the form is a series of basic questions for MCS to determine whether the proposed project, research, or program is a good fit for the district at this time.

Because we value your time, we encourage you to submit your proposal during the ideation stage, prior to contacting the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or securing external funding. Once MCS approves your proposal, you can finalize details of the proposal prior to the start date of the project, research, or program.

Approved ongoing projects, research, and programs do not need to resubmit each year, unless the scope of the project changes enough to warrant a new proposal. If you are unsure, contact your college representative.

Get Started

After Your Proposal Is Submitted.

  • The appropriate MCS and Ball State administrators will consider your proposal and provide you with a response within 7-10 business days. If you do not receive a response within that timeframe, please send an email to the reviewers via the submission portal or email Kendra Lowery, Assistant Dean for School Engagement in Teachers College.
  • The submission portal allows you and MCS administrators reviewing the proposal to ask clarifying questions, share additional information, etc.
  • While your proposal is being reviewed, please review the following information.

Take a look at the Muncie Community Schools background check policy.

Faculty/Professional Staff

Ball State employees engaged in an academic project, program, research, or volunteer effort that involves direct, frequent contact with MCS students must complete a national background check (good for one academic year). Ball State Human Resources will contact you to authorize the check, at no cost to you. You will be notified once the background check is complete.

For faculty-led Efforts with Students

Once your project is approved (via Submittable), please send a list of student participants to Ball State’s Office of Teacher Education Services and Clinical Practice (OTES) via email at least 10 business days before entering an MCS building. Please use the subject line, “Background Check List for Approved MCS Proposal.” Students are responsible for the cost of their background check ($25) and must complete the EduRisk training, Protecting Children from Sexual Misconduct.


Ball State students engaged in an academic project, program, research, or volunteer effort that involves direct, frequent contact with MCS students must complete a national background check (good for one academic year) through the Office of Teacher Education Services and Clinical Practice (OTES). You are responsible for the cost of your background check ($25) and must complete the EduRisk training, Protecting Children from Sexual Misconduct 10 business days before entering an MCS building. Check with your instructor about your responsibility to contact OTES (email) and other expectations related to communications and interactions.

For Graduate Students

If you are embedded within the schools but not associated with a specific project, your background check will be processed through Ball State’s Human Resources. You will receive an email from HR to authorize a national background check, at no cost to you.

Employee and Student Volunteers

If your volunteer activities do not involve direct, frequent contact with MCS students, your background check requirements may be different. Please contact Tiffani Arnold-Pine, Office of Community Engagement, for more information.

For Employee Volunteers

Ball State allows employees to volunteer on university time, with supervisor approval. Muncie Community Schools uses GivePulse to share and manage volunteer opportunities that are available to faculty, staff, and students.

All Ball State Faculty, Staff, and Students Entering Muncie Community Schools

Please print the background check confirmation cover sheet and carry it with you at all times while in Muncie Community Schools. Upon arrival at any school, please present a driver’s license or photo ID and confirmation of your background check to the front office.

If you suspect that a student is being abused or other critical incidents such as threats to school safety, you must report it. Discuss the procedures for mandatory reporting of critical incidents with the appropriate MCS faculty member (classroom teacher) or administrator in the school you are placed.

For a more detailed overview of the pre-screening process, procedures, and expectations at Muncie Community Schools, please review Working with MCS (PDF). District teachers helped create this overview of school culture to ensure you enjoy a rewarding, safe and productive experience at Muncie Community Schools.


For questions about the proposal process, contact Kendra Lowery, Assistant Dean for School Engagement in Teachers College. For general questions about the Academic Innovation Council (AIC) or MCS-Ball State partnership, contact AIC Faculty Fellow Kate Elliott.