Student presenting to a classroom

Our nation’s economy relies on the strength and skill of its workforce, and you are critical to training and empowering the next generation of technicians and specialists to achieve through skilled, in-demand careers.

This degree program is a good choice for those with a bachelor's degree who are interested in career and technical education (formerly known as vocational education).

But just as you push others to achieve, it’s time for you to take the next step. Our affordable, online master of arts (MA) degree offers eight tracks—including a customizable option—to tailor your degree.


Learning that Works with Your Life at an Affordable Price

Requiring only 30 credits, no required thesis, our flexible curriculum which is offered year round is designed to help you achieve your degree and professional goals as quickly as possible.

Expert faculty who are leaders in their fields blend industry trends and expertise with tested management and leadership approaches. Always available, academic and technology support staff help you navigate the online experience and explore options to finance your education.

Director of Career and Technical Education License

If you’re interested in becoming a career center director or assistant director, then you’ll need a director of career and technical education license to find employment in these capacities.  For those in Indiana, our program will help you meet the license requirements for Indiana Rules for Educator Preparation (REPA).  This license can be completed at the same time as the Master of Arts in Career and Technical Education degree, and it utilizes many of the same courses.  For out of state students, please consult your state/provincial teacher licensing office for details. Learn more.

Relevant, Flexible Courses

Expect flexible, supported online learning in small class taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus classes in Ball State’s Department of Information Systems and Operations Management. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, our 30-credit program includes a master's thesis option to provide rigorous preparation for those planning on future doctoral studies.

You can take a single course or complete the entire program of study. The degree does not automatically lead toward licensure; however, there are courses which may be used for teacher licensure in Indiana. Additionally, the degree can be pursued along with the Director of Career and Technical Education licensure pattern, for those who are interested in becoming a career center director. For out of state students, please consult your state/provincial teacher licensing office for details.

Meet the Program Advisor

Dr. Edward Lazaros, professor of information systems and operations management and 2017 ACTE Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, talks about his passion for education.

Credit Transfers

You may transfer a maximum of nine graduate credits into this program, subject to conditions and advisor approval.

Degree Options that Meet Your Career Goals

The master of arts in career and technical education consists of professional core courses, research requirements, directed electives, and your choice of eight tracks to equal a total of 30 credit hours.

  • BED 622 Instructional Materials and Strategies for Improvement of Instruction
  • BED 625 Problems and Issues
  • CTE 550 Student Organizations in Education
  • CTE 560 Occupational Safety and Health
  • CTE 569 Organization Coordination of Career and Technical Education

Research Methods

  • BED 616 Research Methods

Research Concentration

Three to six credits from:

  • CRPR 698 Creative Project
  • RES 697
  • THES 698 Thesis

CTE, BED, and other directed electives with program advisor approval.

  • track option courses, other electives, or transfer credits approved by the program advisor.

Out-of-State Students

If you live in a state other than Indiana, state regulatory authorizations for distance programs might impact whether you can earn credits from Ball State. Learn more.

Tracks

This track may interest those who aspire to become a post-secondary administrator or a non-licensed secondary administrator, such as a public school department chairperson or dean of students. Indiana students who plan to pursue the director of career and technical education license will want to take all of the administrative track courses.

If you see yourself as a postsecondary administrator, you will oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at a university, college, community college, trade school, or technical school. Your responsibilities will depend on the area you wish to administer, which could include admissions, the registrar’s office, student affairs, academic units, or any number of areas.

Those interested in being a public school department chairperson will direct their respective departments. They are charged with implementing school policy and sharing the needs of the department faculty with administration. 

For those interested in serving as a dean of students, you will help resolve discipline problems, maintain disciplinary records, help develop and implement school policy, conduct disciplinary hearings, and supervise programs during and after the school day.

Career Outlook

As the demand for workers with postsecondary degrees increases in our nation, more administrators will be needed to serve these students. Through 2022, the employment of postsecondary education administrators is projected to grow by 15 percent, faster than average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This track may also interest those who aspire to become a public school department chairperson, dean of students, or other non-licensed administrator. Through 2022, the employment outlook for public school administrators is expected to grow by 6 percent. 

Courses

  • EDAD 600 Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • EDAC 631 Adult and Community Education
  • EDAD 684 Educational Finance and Ethics
  • EDAD 695 Career/Technical Director Internship (6 credits of EDAD 695 are required unless the student previously took an internship for another administrative license, in which case 3 credits may be required pending review.)
  • SPCE 637 Organization and Administration of Special Education

If you have a teaching license and would like to become a CTE teacher, you will need documented occupational experience in the area you wish to teach. The number of documented occupational experience hours required will vary depending on the state. You may be able to add a CTE license through Ball State’s CTE teacher track within the master of arts in career and technical education. Please note that licensing requirements vary from state to state and are established by state licensing authorities.

Career and technical education teachers typically teach in occupational areas such as computers, graphics, radio and television, health occupations, cosmetology, machining, welding, police, fire and safety, vehicle service, and construction. Most CTE teachers enter the classrooms of public schools, including middle and high schools, as well as community colleges. Others teach in technical, trade, and business schools.

Career Outlook

To replace teachers who are retiring, the need for career and technical education teachers is expected to grow 9 percent through 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses

  • BED 592 Managing Work-Based Learning Programs
  • BED 593 Philosophy, Organization, and Administration of CTE
  • BED 620 Improvement of Instruction with Technology

On community college campuses, enrollments have surged in recent years. And according to Higher Education Employment Report, job openings at community colleges are seeing significant growth. Meanwhile, veteran educators are retiring. 

Through 2022, the employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow by 19 percent, faster than average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Instructors are particularly needed for occupational areas such as computers, graphics, radio and television, health occupations, cosmetology, machining, welding, police, fire and safety, vehicle service, and construction.

Teaching gives you the opportunity to share your expertise. At the community college level, you will divide your time between teaching students and performing administrative duties such as advising and serving on committees. 

Because a master’s degree is typically needed to teach or advance at the community college level, the community college faculty and industrial trainers track within Ball State’s master of arts degree in career and technical education may just be the ticket you need.

Career Outlook

If you think you’d rather teach in an industrial or business setting, you can facilitate in-house training programs that support corporate objectives and provide professional development of employees. Depending on the size of the organization, trainers may plan, coordinate, and teach employees or teach training methods to staff specialists—such as instructional designers and program developers—who provide the instruction. 

Former Construction Project Manager Retools to Teach

In the late 2000s, the Great Recession redirected Jim Brunson’s career trajectory. Read his story.

Job prospects for industrial trainers are expected to grow by 11 percent through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses

  • EDAC 631 Adult and Community Education
  • EDAC 634 The Adult as a Learner
  • EDAC 635 Strategies for Teaching Adults
  • EDAC 648 The Community Educator
  • EDAC 655 Continuing Education for Professionals
  • EDAC 681 Managing Community Education

The computer technology track is ideally suited for computer support specialists, system and network administrators, system and network engineers, information technology project managers, directors of technology, or information technology consultants. 

Whether you already carry such a title—or are looking to transition to such a role—Ball State’s computer technology track within the master of arts in career and technical education might be the perfect career boost.

Career Outlook

If you are considering transitioning into a technology field, you might note that employment for such positions is expected to grow by 17 percent, faster than most occupations, through 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. As businesses and organizations grow and upgrade computer equipment and software, so will the need for day-to-day support services.

This track will connect you with professors who are leaders in their fields and with classmates who are professionals in the computer technology field.

Courses

  • EDTE 650 Curricular Integration of Learning Technology
  • EDTE 652 Multimedia Web Design and Development for Education
  • EDTE 660 Instructional Design and Technology
  • EDTE 665 Visual and Digital Literacies
  • EDTE 670 Technology Policy and Pedagogy
  • EDTE 685 Information Systems for Instruction and Assessment

Schools across the country are assessing and improving curricula and teacher effectiveness. So, directors of curriculum and curriculum managers are needed in elementary and secondary schools, and various educational institutions, such as colleges, professional schools, and education support services, to raise education standards.

If you’d like to work with teachers and principals to coordinate and implement standards of effectiveness, Ball State’s curriculum track within the master of arts in career and technical education may be the one to follow.

Career Outlook

If you aspire to a position such as a curriculum director, curriculum manager, or an instructional coordinator, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends a master’s degree. Employment in this field is projected to grow 13 percent through 2022, according to the bureau.

Courses

  • EDCU 601 Principles and Procedures of Curriculum Development
  • EDCU 620 The Secondary School Curriculum
  • EDCU 630 The Junior High and Middle School Curriculum
  • EDCU 640 The Alternative School Curricula
  • EDCU 673 Curriculum Evaluation
  • EDCU 675 Evaluation of Educational Personnel to Strengthen Curriculum

For teachers who specialize in family and consumer sciences.

Courses

  • BED 592 Managing Work-Based Learning Programs
  • BED 593 Philosophy, Organization, and Administration of CTE
  • BED 620 Improvement of Instruction with Technology
  • Six graduate family and consumer science content courses selected after consultation with the program advisor

Course work for this track option covers introductory legal elements and an introduction to examining finances to help build your leadership skills. This track also provides an examination of managing human capital and a survey of marketing.

Follow This Track to a Leadership Role

This track may benefit individuals with expertise in a specific technology occupational area and who want to transition into leadership roles.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers are responsible for an organization’s computer-related activities. They help determine an organization’s information technology goals and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The need for computer and information systems managers will grow as firms increasingly expand their business to digital platforms.

Similar occupations include:

  • Application Development Directors
  • Chief Information Officers
  • Chief Technology Officers
  • Computer Operations Managers
  • Computer Security Managers
  • Data Operations Directors
  • Data Processing Managers
  • Information Systems Directors
  • Information Systems Managers
  • Information Technology Directors
  • Information Technology Systems Directors
  • Internet Technology Managers
  • IT Directors
  • IT Security Managers

Industrial Production Managers

Industrial production managers supervise the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the work of creating a wide range of goods, such as computer equipment, automobiles, or paper products.

Job Outlook

Job outlook will depend on industries in which you are employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Similar occupations include:

  • Industrial Managers
  • Industrial Production Manager
  • Manufacturing Director
  • Plant Chief
  • Plant Control Manager
  • Plant Manager
  • Plant Production Manager
  • Plant Superintendent
  • Production Manager

Administrative Services Managers

Administrative services managers plan, direct, and organize the supportive services of their organization. An administrative service manager’s specific responsibilities may vary. But typically they maintain facilities and supervise activities that include recordkeeping, mail distribution, and office upkeep.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for administrative services managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, as fast as the average for all occupations. The responsibilities of managing facilities and being prepared for emergencies will remain important in a wide range of industries.

Similar occupations include:

  • Administrative Director
  • Administrative Manager
  • Administrative Officer
  • Administrative Service Manager
  • Business Unit Manager
  • Director of Operations
  • Facilities Manager
  • General Manager
  • Industrial Property Manager
  • Office Manager
  • Records and Information Manager
  • Records Management Director

Executives

Top executives formulate strategies and policies to make certain that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for top executives is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand will vary by industry and is largely dependent on the rate of industry growth. Top executives should face strong competition, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Similar occupations include:

  • Technology officer
  • Information officer
  • Director
  • General Operations Manager

Sales Manager

In addition to managing their organizations' sales teams, sales managers set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for the sales representatives.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for sales managers is expected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as average for all occupations. Employment growth for sales managers will depend mainly on the growth in the industries that employ them.

Similar occupations include:

  • District sales manager
  • E-commerce director
  • Regional sales manager
  • Sales account manager
  • Sales coordinator
  • Sales director
  • Sales executive
  • Territory sales manager

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers plan and administer programs to broaden the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees. They also manage a team of training and development specialists.

Job Outlook

The demand for training and development managers is expected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job prospects should be favorable, particularly in industries with a lot of regulation, such as finance and insurance.

Similar occupations include:

  • Workforce development director
  • Development manager
  • E-learning manager
  • Education and training manager
  • Employee development director
  • Employee development manager
  • Job training coordinator
  • Job training specialist
  • Labor training manager
  • Skills training coordinator
  • Training and development manager
  • Training manager
  • Workforce development director

Courses

  • BED 592 Managing Work-Based Learning Programs
  • BED 593 Philosophy, Organization, and Administration of CTE
  • BED 620 Improvement of Instruction with Technology

One to three courses selected from the list below:

  • ACC 501 Financial Accounting
  • FIN 500 Corporation Finance
  • MGT 500 Managing Organizational Behavior
  • MKG 505 Survey of Marketing
  • RMI 570 Risk Management and Insurance

The customizable track allows you to design a plan of study that meets your specific personal, professional, or career goals. You will work with the program director and advisor for the master of arts in career and technical education to design a customized plan of study, which can consist of online course offerings from the entire Ball State University graduate catalog.

This track provides the utmost in flexibility. It is typically for individuals who are looking to customize an online master’s degree program to advance their professional goals or help them attain a specific career objective.

The customized plan of study typically is in alignment with a specific occupational area, which may include computers, graphics, radio and television, health occupations, cosmetology, machining, welding, police, fire and safety, vehicle service, or construction.

Courses

  • courses to be selected after consultation with the program advisor

How to Apply

Your first step in taking program courses is to meet the admission requirements of the Ball State Graduate School and apply online. There are no separate departmental admission requirements for this degree.

Apply Now

Want to Learn More?

Request information and we will connect you to your academic advisor, who can discuss, your career goals, application deadlines, flexible class schedules, and more.

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