Business education grad believes teaching is in his blood

After Adam Coats graduated from Clemson University in 2011, he began working for South Carolina’s Department of Social Services as a human services specialist, investigating reports of child abuse and neglect.

“I love that I can share something that I am passionate about with others to broaden their understanding. I guess teaching is in my blood." - Adam Coats, South Carolina schoolteacher and graduate of Ball State’s business and marketing education master’s degree program. 

Although he had frequent contact with children and their families, he thought he could make a greater impact working inside the local schools. So he returned to college, earned teacher certification, and began his career as a middle school technology teacher.

For Coats, it’s more than a career. In his words, he’s “carrying the torch” for “an educated America” and creating “a well-rounded society” motivated, in part, by his “love for students.”

Coats had only been in the classroom for a year when he decided to pursue graduate work. Researching online options, he discovered Ball State’s business and marketing education degree.

One of the distinctives of the degree is that it offers nine different tracks. Coats chose the customized track because it gave him 12 hours of electives. “This allowed me to take courses in a wide variety of other concentrations without limiting myself to one specialized track,” he says.

Another draw is the range of teaching tools that teachers can take into the classroom immediately. Before entering the program, Coats used YouTube and Dropbox in his lessons but on a limited basis.

“Now I use all kinds of Web 2.0 tools such as Edmodo, Glogster, Skype, and Twitter, just to name a few,” he says.

Coats, who graduated with his Ball State master’s degree in 2014, believes graduate work has kept him current with trends and research in his field. “I can share and practice these new ideas in my classroom, which is a win-win for both me and my students,” he says.

Coats recently took a new position as technology teacher at Robert Anderson College and Career Academy in Anderson, South Carolina, where he is teaching classes such as digital literacy, digital multimedia, and computer applications.

“I love that I can share something that I am passionate about with others to broaden their understanding,” he says. “I guess teaching is in my blood.”

His master’s degree barely finished, Coats is now enrolled in an educational specialist degree in administration and supervision, which will give him certification in building level administration.

And as a classroom teacher, he has found that greater influence he had desired. In his first year of teaching, one student confided in him that his family never expected him to make it off the streets. After continued conversations and encounters, in which the young man shared his exciting life decisions, Coats was overwhelmed to see he had made a positive impact.

“This means more than any kind of money you can make,” he says.