A hallmark of virtually any Ball State experience is a strong connection to the real world. Experiential and immersive learning is a way of life here, and students across campus have valuable opportunities to build upon their learning through internships and other real-world experiences. Ball State Teachers College is no exception, but we take the concept even further, because many of our real-world connections instruct not only students but allow the whole institution to learn.

Burris Laboratory School, for example, is an actual K-12 institution, operated by Teachers College for decades. It offers an excellent learning environment for its schoolchildren, a valuable hands-on learning opportunity for our students, and a laboratory for developing and demonstrative innovative teaching concepts.

Burris Laboratory School has once again been listed among the nation's best high schools by U.S. News & World Report. A recently released 2013 analysis listed Burris Laboratory School as third in the state, and in the top 500 schools in the nation, earning Burris a U.S. News Gold Award. Burris was ranked #405 (out of 21,035 high schools.)

Charter schools are hotbeds for innovation as well, which is why Ball State sponsors charter schools in Indiana.

The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities is another real-world school operated by Ball State specifically for the education of youngsters—in this case, those with extraordinary intellectual ability and a strong commitment to scholarship. Like Burris, it’s equally beneficial to the students and faculty of Teachers College.

The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities is listed among “America’s Best High Schools” by the Washington Post. The academy is Indiana's only public residential high school for gifted and talented students. The 2013 ranking highlights the best 1,000 public high schools in the nation—the ones that have proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready grads. The list is based on six components provided by school administrators: graduation rate (25%), college matriculation rate (25%), AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25%), average SAT/ACT scores (10%), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10%), and AP courses offered per student (5%).

Another connection is the Professional Development Schools Network a group of collaborative planning partnerships designed to enhance the professional development of current teachers along with the training of new ones, at the preschool through high school levels.

Our Professional Educators Initiative is designed to bring low-cost, just-in-time professional development to classroom teachers who wish to elevate their teaching effectiveness to an even higher level. These all-online courses are taught by Teachers College faculty and are aligned with Indiana’s evaluation standards.