Student Success. Now.

Preparing Students. Now.

Ball State provides a distinctive, high-quality educational experience that is in demand in a competitive market.

Students expect a competitive advantage when they graduate. It's the confidence that comes from knowing they are prepared—not only for their first job, but their second, and a job market that will evolve as they grow. They are endowed with the ability to do well for themselves and do good for their communities.

Ball State graduates have already integrated classroom knowledge with real life application before they don their cap and gown. Through immersive learning, they develop real-world solutions to real-world problems.

Immersive learning sets Ball State apart from other universities, and sets up our graduates to lead Indiana.  

Preparing Students

More than 16,400 students have led more than 1,000 immersive learning projects so far.

Our new strategic plan, Education Redefined 2.0: Advancing Indiana, is in alignment with the goals of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE). For the last five years, we have strengthened the academic profile of the student body and focused on student success.

Note the following improvements based on our last strategic plan:

  • We have the most improved four-year graduation rate in Indiana.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that Ball State had the sixth highest long-term improvement in six-year graduation rates of any public research university in the nation.
  • We have shown an improvement in the quality of students' performance, with 54 nationally ranked and recognized academic programs as well as 59 winners of major national scholarships and fellowships and three Rhodes finalists since 2006.
  • We have increased our freshman retention rate by 6.8 percent over five years.
  • From 2000 to 2008, Ball State achieved the greatest improvement in graduation rates of any four-year institution in Indiana and currently has the third highest graduation rate in the state.

Evidence of Success

According to Hart Research, the majority of employers are looking for employees to use a broader set of skills and have higher levels of learning and knowledge than in the past. The study found that employers seek graduates with a significant project that demonstrates a depth of knowledge of community-based field experience that connects classroom learning with real world application. Employers consider such practices, like immersive learning, the top two emerging educational practices that prepare college students for employment success. Employers also indicated that they would be focusing on hiring graduates from four-year colleges.

According to research conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, Indiana is in the upper half of states in both college entry and college completion and confers baccalaureate degrees at a rate higher than the national average. The study also found that experiences like immersive learning matter. It found that real world learning experiences create a better, work-ready college graduate. The research, commissioned by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, suggests that quality, not quantity, is the most pressing issue facing Indiana.

Senior Survey Results

Our graduates tell us that they are well prepared to join the workforce and for further education, as indicated by our Senior Survey. More than 95 percent of seniors told us that their Ball State education helped them develop their ability to:

  • solve problems
  • think critically
  • make informed judgments
  • make connections between what is learned in class and experiences in life
  • develop knowledge and skills applicable to a career.

Additionally, according to our 2010 Alumni Survey of 2008-09 graduates:

  • About 60 percent of employed graduates found employment prior to or within 3 months of graduation. And about 80 percent found employment within six months.
  • About 80 percent held employment within their major or in an area related to their major.
  • Eighty-six percent of employed respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs.
  • About 70 percent of full-time employed graduates worked in Indiana.

Success Stories

Ball State at the Games

BSU at the GamesAs the world's top athletes competed in London in 2012, Ball State students were crafting behind-the-scene stories for media outlets nationwide. About 40 students from eight fields of study created BSU at the Games, serving as a news agency to create original content for websites, newspapers, radio, and television outlets. The immersive learning experiences marked the first time a large group of American students covered the games.

"I had the chance to prove what I'm capable of as part of a student team covering the London Olympics for media outlets. That allowed me to break into an up-and-coming field immediately after graduation." Kait Buck, '12

Super Bowl Social Media

Super Bowl Social Media - Lucas Oil StadiumSarah Boswell, '12, solved problems in 140 characters or fewer during Super Bowl XLVI. Working with Raidious, an Indianapolis interactive marketing firm, Boswell and fellow students sifted through endless feeds of Twitter and other forms of social media searching for ways to assist those with questions or concerns involving the big game or the state capital. Social media has never been tracked before on such a scale.

"This is how we communicate with our friends and everyone else when we’re at these big events - we share these events digitally through social media. Monitoring these channels will be a big part of putting on these events, and our students got to be there at the very beginning." John Strauss, journalism instructor

Rhodes Scholar Finalist

Abby Shemoel, '11Abby Shemoel, '11, was a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and a Udall Scholar. Her passion and curiosity led her to study urban landscapes and sustainability issues. She was able to intern in Argentina, where she studied with an environmental agency.

"One of the things I've appreciated the most about Ball State is that there are so many opportunities to study and travel abroad."


Sharing Responsibility For Completing Education

Ball State takes seriously our responsibility to help students complete their education on time and with a degree that can assure a return on investment.  

"Though high school engagement was positively related to first-year engagement, all students reported higher engagement when they also perceived higher levels of campus support." - National Survey of Student Engagement

We have taken many steps to encourage timely completion of a degree through initiatives and student support. Some of those initiatives include:  

  • Freshman Connections. U.S. News and World Report has applauded this program for the last nine years. This program provides common learning experiences that connect new students to one another and to university faculty and staff.
  • Career Guidance. All freshmen complete an assessment during orientation, which helps them make more informed decisions earlier and reduces the risk of multiple major changes, all of which can increase the cost of their degree.  
  • Credit Reduction. In 2012, Ball State reduced the minimum number of credits required for an undergraduate degree from 126 to 120 in an effort to reduce barriers to four-year completion. About 85 percent of our students are now in programs that will require only 120 credit hours. This change will save a typical student about $2,000.
  • Special Tuition. Students can take more hours for less money by combining traditional, online and summer options.
  • Completion Scholarship. Hoosier students can earn a $500 scholarship for graduating in four years or less. 

About 70 percent of full-time employed graduates worked in Indiana

College Pays Off, Literally

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE), students pursuing a college degree will have more opportunities, higher earnings, and greater job security. The ICHE Return on Investment Study notes that four out of five jobs lost during the recent national recession were held by individuals with a high school diploma or less. However, Hoosiers who earn a four-year bachelor's degree can double lifetime earnings compared to those with just a high school diploma and can count on a historical unemployment rate that is half the overall rate. This trend held true during the recent economic crisis.

If a Hoosier...The above graphic can be found in the ICHE Return on Investment Study.

Ball State University is responding to the challenges and concerns in our economy now, and we are being recognized for our efforts. 

We challenge constraints. We advance problem solving. We embrace accountability.

Promoting Student Learning and Institutional Improvement: Lessons from NSSE at 13
"Service-learning, a National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) high-impact practice, is associated with a wide range of positive educational outcomes, including increased academic engagement and learning (Jacoby and Associates, 2009)."
Kait Buck
"My company, Fizziology, is a social media research firm in Indianapolis with clients from L.A. to London. Kait's experience covering the Olympics with a student team proved she could bring the energy and polish we need to provide quality insights to clients. I snapped her up her a week after graduation." - Jen Handley, CEO of Fizziology