When high school business teacher Nick Albers chose Ball State Online’s master’s in business education and its dual credit track, he knew what his future employer was looking for.

His chosen track certifies him to teach dual credit, courses that earn students both high school and college credit without leaving the high school. Albers, who graduated and began teaching at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio, this past year, says he plans to teach College Credit Plus (CCP) classes, which are similar to dual credit classes, through Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio, next year.

In fact, Albers thinks the dual credit track was key to getting the classroom offer from Tippecanoe.

Administrators like dual credit track

“Administrators find this valuable because it allows students to stay in high school and earn college credit instead of needing to leave the school,” he says.

Albers’ Ball State degree also prepared him to manage and implement Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). These organizations—known as BPA (Business Professionals of America), DECA, and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)—provide teachers with tools to bring classrooms to life and resources to help students boost skills in leadership, citizenship, and entrepreneurship.

Albers will pursue CTSO partnerships

Pursuing memberships and partnerships with these national organizations was already on Tippecanoe’s short list.

The master’s in business education taught Albers to be a more effective teacher before he even stepped into the classroom at Tippecanoe.

“The program made me a more effective teacher because I completed course work in a variety of business classes to build my content knowledge even further,” says Albers, who notes that he took courses in accounting and decision-making, entrepreneurial leadership, human resource management, information systems, professional selling, and risk management and insurance.

How technology helps teaching

Ball State’s graduate-level business education students also consider how technology can support teaching.

“I learned how to implement different forms of technology to build collaboration and problem solving among my students,” he says. “In my ‘Improvement of Instruction with Technology’ course, I learned how to use Web 2.0 tools and other resources such as blogging, cell phones, digital journals, multimedia creation, podcasting, and social networking.”

Mastering effective pedagogy practices have made Albers’ first year of teaching a positive experience. He credits his master’s degree for letting him create a specialized path that fit his career needs.

Program rigorous, courses relevant

“The program was rigorous and the courses were relevant, practical, and flexible,” says Albers. “Every course was structured and was easy to follow. I knew what to expect from professors every week.”

Albers liked that professors were diligent about students knowing the concepts presented in the classroom.

“They were effective mentors,” he says. “They helped me to succeed in every way.”