Master’s in business education (for business and marketing educators) graduate Adam Coats says degree was a win-win proposition for him and his middle school students.

“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.”


After Adam Coats graduated from Clemson University in 2011, he began working

Adam Coats

for South Carolina’s Department of Social Services as a human services specialist, investigating reports of child abuse and neglect.

Although he had frequent contact with children and their families, he thought he could make a greater impact on working inside 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.” He 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 distinctive features of the degree is that it offers nine different tracks. Coats chose the customizable 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.

As a classroom teacher, he has found that greater influence that he 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.