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Math for Education Careers

Advice for undergraduates considering careers in K-12 education.

Planning to teach high school

Typically students who want to be high school math teachers double major in mathematics and secondary education, so that they are formally certified to teach and also have a degree with a major in mathematics.  We offer a B.A. degree in mathematics with the Teachers Option.  

This option starts with the standard lower division track in mathematics:

MATH 142 Calculus I
MATH 143 Calculus II
MATH 244 Calculus III
MATH 266 Principles of Mathematics
MATH 315 Introduction to Linear Algebra.

The student must then complete four upper division courses in areas specified by the requirements for secondary ceritification:

  1. MATH 401 Elementary Theory of Probability (offered every fall)
  2. MATH 405 History of Mathematics (offered every other spring) 
  3. MATH 411 Abstract Algebra (offered every fall)
  4. An advanced course in geometry - either MATH 441 Foundations of Geometry or MATH 447 Non-Euclidean Geometry (offered every other spring)

Finally, the student must complete an upper level mathematics elective, with attention paid to prerequisites.

The need to double major in mathematics and secondary education makes this a tight schedule if students are to graaduate in four years.  Students are encouraged to contact both the Department of Educational Studies and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science early, and to get an advisor in each department.

Planning to teach K-8

The mathematics requirements depend on the specific program.

Students in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Special Education, Special Education, and Secondary Education in a field other than mathematics are required to take one course from:

MATH 122 Finite Mathematics

MATH 124 Mathematics and the Art of M.C. Escher

MATH 125 Mathematics and the Real World

MATH 126 Statistics in Sports and Politics

MATH 130 Elementary Stats w/ Computers 

 

Students in Elementary Education and Middle School in a field other than mathematics are required to take two math courses:

MATH 124 Mathematics and the Art of M.C. Escher

And one course from

MATH 122 Finite Mathematics

MATH 125 Mathematics and the Real World

MATH 126 Statistics in Sports and Politics

MATH 130 Elementary Stats w/ Computers

 
For Education programs one can substitute a course from the following list for one of the above courses.

MATH 120 College Algebra

MATH 132 Survey of Calculus

MATH 141 Pre-Calculus

MATH 142 Calculus I

Programs that require a CS course: CSCI 110 counts. For students under old core it counts as the third language course.

 

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