Are you planning an academic project, immersive course, program, or research to make a meaningful impact on students in Muncie Community Schools?

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

The district 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; however, 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

Deadlines

If necessary, you may submit a proposal outside of the deadlines below, but MCS administration will give priority to proposals submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester projects – submit proposals by July 1
  • Spring Semester projects – submit proposals by Nov. 1
  • Summer Semester projects – submit proposals by April 1

Note: All academic proposals to work with MCS must be submitted through the “Get Started” button below. Reaching out directly to principals or teachers will slow down the review process.

Is My Proposal Considered Academic or Volunteer?

If your project, class, or research is for academic credit and involves frequent, ongoing interactions within the district, then you should submit your proposal through our online form. Please see instructions below for submitting project, program, and/or research 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, community volunteer program manager, at 765-285-6226.

Step 1: Discuss the project with your college representative.

The best way to get started on a project is to run your idea by one of the representatives on our Academic Innovation Council. Each academic college, plus the University Libraries, has a representative assigned to them

College Representatives
  • 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 – Kendra Lowery, Assistant Dean of School Engagement
  • University Libraries – Lisa Jarrell, Head of Educational Technology and Resources Collection

Step 2: 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 3: Submit your proposal.

Access our online form to submit your proposal.

Get Started

After Your Proposal Is Submitted.

  • The appropriate MCS and Ball State administrators will consider your project and provide you with a response within 7-10 business days.
  • While your proposal is being reviewed, please review the following information.

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.

Students

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.

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.

Questions?

Contact Academic Innovation Council Faculty Fellow Kate Elliott with additional questions or concerns.