MCS-Ball State Partnership


In July 2018, Muncie Community Schools (MCS) and Ball State University (BSU) commenced their historic partnership to transform Muncie’s education system into an innovative cradle-to-career, community-based model that will prepare all learners, regardless of background or circumstance, to succeed in college, career and life.

Our vision relies on close collaboration with local business and professional sectors, nonprofit service providers, community-based foundations, Muncie leaders, MCS families and the district’s nearly 5,000 students, 350 teachers, 10 principals, classroom aides, counselors and other support staff and volunteers. That collaboration involves the interplay between both the aspirations of our community for civic engagement, economic vitality, quality of life and the assets of our families, community and schools.

This collaboration also addresses one of the driving tenets of our work: culturally responsive practices that reflect and respect our students and families, leading to their engagement with us. We will transform the culture of our district by ensuring that families and learners who may be struggling are not seen as problems or distractions. Instead, we will recognize their strengths so that our district can best serve them.

To guide this effort, Ball State appointed a diverse and engaged MCS Board of Trustees that works closely with a joint MCS-BSU Academic Innovation Council (AIC) and a Community Engagement Council (CEC). Collectively, these members of the Muncie and Ball State communities have come together in unprecedented ways to build a foundation for developing one of the nation’s most transformational urban public education systems. Over time, our students will thrive in an inclusive, equitable, safe and effective educational environment that prepares graduates to compete locally and globally.

For more about this one of-a-kind partnership, please visit


Another unique aspect of this partnership is the decision by Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns to designate a liaison from the BSU Office of Teacher Education Services and Clinical Practice to work in MCS buildings, making each one a Professional Development School (PDS). These PDS Liaisons teach and support MCS teachers in a variety of ways, which are chronicled in a monthly newsletter: