Degree and Program Issues

How quickly can I finish this degree?

For a person who works full time and takes one course in each of the Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions, 3 1/3 years would be needed to take all 30 credits. (Each 3-credit course typically requires 9 to 12 hours per week.) If a full-time student who does not have any full-time job is able to take up to 9 credits in each the Spring and Fall Semesters, then it is likely that by also taking summer courses, that person would finish this degree in one year plus one semester.

I want to study how computers are used in the classroom. Is the MA in technology education for me?

Technology education evolved out of industrial arts. The program typically includes subject areas such as transportation, communication, manufacturing, and construction. (Industrial arts used to include areas such as woods, metals, drafting, electronics, and graphic arts.) Computer technology is certainly one of the areas covered under technology education, but it is not the only area. Students interested in studying how computers are used in the classroom would be better served by a degree program in educational or instructional technology. Ball State offers a master's degree and doctoral degree in educational technology through the Department of Educational Studies.

More information about technology education can be found on the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) Web Site.

If I already have a master's degree, will this degree help me?

This depends on your situation. In some instances, teachers use courses in the master's degree to satisfy their particular licensing requirement. Others use the courses for continuing education or to strengthen a deficiency, and then there are those who are true lifelong learners. If you already have a master's degree, you might instead consider starting a doctoral degree. (Ball State does not offer a doctoral degree in technology education or career and technical education.) Doctorates can open up many more doors than a second master's degree. In many fields you can begin a doctorate even if your bachelor's and master's degrees were in other fields.

Is there a review of this program I can see?

An internal review of the online graduate programs from the Department of Industry and Technology is performed each spring. You can find those reports on this Web site:

2004 - 2005 Online Education Report (PDF)
2003 - 2004 Online Education Report (PDF)
2002 - 2003 Online Education Report (PDF)
2001 - 2002 Online Education Report (PDF)

Is there a time limit regarding how long I can take to finish my degree? Does this apply to transfer courses?

Yes. All degree requirements must be met within six years unless the graduate school dean approves an extension. The timeframe also applies to credits that have been accepted for transfer to Ball State. The student is responsible for keeping track of their progress toward graduation.

What is the difference between the MA in technology education and the MA in career and technical education?

The technology education program prepares teachers who teach general education, mostly at the middle and high school level. That is, they work with future doctors, homemakers, carpenters, philosophers, etc., providing a general introduction to a variety of technological fields. A few years ago, they were called industrial arts teachers, and they taught classes such as woods, metals, drafting, ceramics, graphic arts, electronics, CAD, plastics, power and energy, etc. But there was an evolution into a redesigned curriculum in many places, and now technology teachers commonly teach courses such as manufacturing, construction, energy systems, transportation, communication, the principals of technology, technology and design, information processing, and Project Lead the Way. However, their students are not being prepared for a particular occupation; this instead is general education.

The career and technical education program used to be called industrial vocational/technical education or vocational education. Here, we prepare teachers who typically work in vocational-technical centers or at high schools to train students to enter jobs in the trade and industry areas, such as building trades, heating ventilating and air conditioning, automobile mechanics, auto body repair, and electronics technology. Some of the students in our program instead teach in industry and quite a few have been community college faculty members.

Why is the degree a master of arts instead of a master of science?

The master's degrees in technology education and in career and technical education were originally submitted for approval to the state higher education commission as master of arts degrees in education, since they are both concerned with education. Ball State University offers some master of science degrees, but not in these two areas. Unlike the master of arts degrees, a thesis is required for nearly all students in a master of science program.