The BS in Mathematics with Secondary Education Certification prepares students with a strong content knowledge in mathematics and pedagogical skills for teaching in the 21st century.
Mathematics Education at Ship
Contemporary mathematics education research, international and national mathematics achievement tests, and current professional standards point to the need for mathematics teachers who are competent in content and pedagogical knowledge. Currently, there is a demand for highly qualified mathematics teachers in our nation's secondary schools. Someone who enjoys and excels in mathematics and has the potential to establish positive learning relationships with young people should consider a career in teaching mathematics.
Shippensburg University embraces the challenge of preparing strong mathematics teachers for the 21st century. Ship graduates are in great demand to fill teaching positions that are available locally and across the country. Shippensburg University's program is nationally recognized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
The BS in Mathematics with Secondary Education Certification is a thoughtfully planned sequence of courses designed to prepare future teachers for teaching mathematics in grades 7 through 12. The program is designed to provide a strong and diverse mathematics content knowledge complemented by an awareness of best practices and effective strategies for teaching mathematics. Class sizes are small, so students get to know faculty well. A key strength of the program is that students earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, in addition to a teaching certificate. The program prepares the graduate for a rewarding career as a mathematics teacher as well as for further studies in mathematics.
Three capstone courses, related to teaching mathematics, provide an integrated approach to understanding the theories, principles, and practices of teaching and learning mathematics along with the use of technology in the mathematics classroom. The 3 courses are taught by the mathematics education faculty, each having secondary classroom teaching experience. Students develop a shared vision for teaching and learning mathematics through:
- Active explorations
- Mathematics education readings and resources
- Case studies
- Peer teaching
- Classroom technology
The Shippensburg University mathematics faculty is a team of energetic individuals who are experts in their fields of study — in addition to being dynamic teachers! They believe in teaching mathematics for understanding and enjoy collaborating with students on mathematical research projects and other student-oriented activities. There are additional opportunities for students to be involved with grant-related activities and to attend professional conferences at the local, state and national level.
The Department of Mathematics classroom facilities include a mathematics teaching lab. The mathematics education lab has an extensive library including a collection of the National Science Foundation’s recognized Standards-based curricula, publications from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and many activity resources for teachers.
The department’s computer classroom contains 32 networked desktop computers. In addition, the secondary mathematics teaching lab has an interactive whiteboard and wireless laptops. The department also has sets of TI-83+ and TI-84 calculators and other hands-on teaching materials.
Careers in Mathematics Education
During the freshman year, students are paired with a mathematics education faculty mentor who will guide them through a series of pre-professional experiences to introduce them to the teaching profession. In the first few years, students spend a total of 3 days observing mathematics teaching in suburban, rural and urban settings. In addition, students volunteer as mathematics tutors. Students also become active in a professional organization, participate in community service projects and become involved in departmental activities.
During the senior-year capstone courses, students observe and work with two secondary mathematics teachers for 7 to 8 days in their classrooms. This immersion experience prepares the prospective teacher for the pace and practice of day-to-day teaching.
Student teaching is the culminating experience in the program. Students are typically paired with 2 cooperating teachers so that they spend 8 weeks in 2 different classrooms. There are opportunities to teach in both urban and rural settings. Mathematics education faculty from the Department of Mathematics supervise student teachers
The Math Club is open to all students interested in mathematics and is the most popular extracurricular activity within the department. The Math Club’s activities include attendance at department seminars, travel to regional mathematics meetings, and several social events. The Math Club is a student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).
A subset of the Math Club is the Pennsylvania Iota Chapter of Kappa Mu Epsilon, a national mathematics honor society. Membership in Kappa Mu Epsilon is by invitation only. Only students who maintain a high academic standard are eligible.
For students interested in applied mathematics, Shippensburg is home to a student chapter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Ship students also participate in annual mathematical modeling contests and a weekly problem-solving contest with problems posted. Winners receive prizes and are eligible to attend the national contest finals.