About the Alliance

About the Alliance

The Alliance for Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation, supported by the Ball State University Teachers College, is a research hub, innovative teacher preparation space, and national teacher education training site.


The Alliance is a research hub where faculty experiment with culturally responsive practices that will improve educational outcomes for children locally and nationally. This hub is derived from careful and thoughtful experimentation with community-engaged teacher preparation, the research from which is nationally disseminated. The Alliance also serves as a national research distribution network—collecting, showcasing, and sharing best practices in community-engaged teacher preparation from colleges and universities throughout the country.

Teacher Preparation

As a hybrid, experimental initiative, the Alliance provides space for Ball State teacher candidates, faculty, and community members to collaboratively develop and implement research-based, culturally-responsive practices that improve educational outcomes for children. The Alliance is a natural extension of a long-term, existing initiative within the Department of Elementary Education. Started in 2009, the Schools Within the Context of Community (SCC) program is a unique approach to teacher preparation. SCC has been receiving national attention for its efforts to prepare culturally responsive, community-engaged teachers. A partnership between Ball State and the Whitely Neighborhood of Muncie, Indiana, SCC has been recognized by the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a model of Exemplary Culturally Responsive Teacher Education. The program has also been lauded in Rethinking Field Experiences in Preservice Teacher Preparation (Hollins, 2015) and is profiled in the book Transforming Teacher Preparation for Social Justice (Zygmunt & Clark, 2015). The program has additionally generated significant scholarship on the part of program faculty, with 25 combined papers and presentations, and over $2 million in grant funding. In 2016, the American Educational Research Association bestowed SCC with the Innovations in Research on Diversity in Teacher Education Award.

Professional Development

The Alliance is a national training site that offers customizable experiences for universities, schools, and community partners who seek to better prepare community-engaged teachers who can implement culturally relevant instruction to help lessen the achievement gap and improve educational equity for children.

An annual Institute on Community Engaged, Culturally-Responsive Teacher Preparation is held each summer, during which teacher educators and their school and community partners attend training conducted by Ball State faculty, other prominent national scholars in the field of community-engaged teacher education, and our community partners. Faculty in teacher education at Ball State are recruited and mentored through the Alliance Faculty Fellows Program in order to expand the pool of community-engaged teacher educators campus-wide. For those outside the Ball State community, we host semi-annual “Boot Camps” on community-engaged teacher preparation, where scholars and their school and community partners learn on-the-ground strategies for transforming their programs of teacher preparation. The Alliance additionally offers personalized site visits and consultations contributing our experience with research, pedagogy, and community-engagement. As we connect, mentor, and learn from each other, we are creating a national community of scholars and scholarship around community-engaged teacher preparation.

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