Student on computer

UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

The Major in Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers (MELT) prepares elementary school teachers to become leaders in their profession. Students will obtain a strong mathematics background, taking several of the mathematics courses required of the math major for secondary school teachers. Graduates will be well prepared to serve as "mathematics specialists" in their schools – able to mentor other teachers and play leading roles in curriculum decisions. The major is limited to students enrolled in the teacher education program in the College of Education who seek certification at the grades 1-8 level.

A good candidate for the MELT major:

The MELT major is rewarding but also demanding. There is a big jump in difficulty from MATH 1400 to MATH 2350 (Foundations of Mathematics), and a second jump from MATH 2350 to 3000 and 4000 level mathematics courses. Students should anticipate these challenges, and be prepared to work hard and seek help outside of class. [Richard Dahlke's guide for students, How to Succeed in College Mathematics, is a valuable resource].

Students planning to complete the MELT major should consult with an advisor in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (Dr. Jack Moyer, Dr. Peter Jones or Dr. Karl Byleen) and with the Director of Undergraduate Advising in the College of Education. It is important for students to meet with their advisors as early in their studies as possible in order to map out a path to timely graduation.

Special note regarding academic progress in the major:
An average GPA of 2.750 in MATH courses is required for student teaching. So grades of BC or lower must be offset by grades of B or higher. A grade of CD or lower is especially serious, because the course must be repeated, possibly extending the time to graduation. Several grades of CD or lower make it unlikely that the student will be able to complete the major. In that case, a different academic major should be considered.

Course requirements

The major requires the following thirty-one hours of mathematics courses, all of which carry three credits except for MATH 2031 and MATH 2032, which carry two credits each:

MATH 1400 Elements of Calculus 1
  (or MATH 1410 or 1450 or advanced placement credit for 1450)
MATH 2030 Problem Solving and Reasoning for Teachers
MATH 2031 Number Systems and Operations for Elementary School Teachers
MATH 2032 Algebra and Geometry for Teachers
MATH 2350 Foundations of Mathematics
MATH 3100 Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory
MATH 4300 History of Mathematical Ideas
MATH 4320 Theory of Numbers
MATH 4420 Foundations of Geometry
MATH 4630 Mathematical Modeling and Analysis
MATH 4720 Statistical Methods

Requirements for certification

To be eligible for the middle childhood/early adolescence teaching license, students must complete the following courses offered by the College of Education: EDUC 1210, EDUC 1220, EDUC 1964, EDUC 2227, EDUC 2330, EDUC 2347, EDUC 2964, EDUC 3240, EDUC 4217, EDUC 4297, EDUC 4317, EDUC 4357, EDUC 4540, EDUC 4964 and EDUC 4966. Students must also check with their advisers in the College of Education in regard to sequence and admission requirements. Usually, EDUC 4966, Student Teaching, is the last course to be completed in the program. Students must apply and be approved by the Office of Teacher Education to student teach.

Program Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program of study, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of and ability to communicate school mathematics
  2. Demonstrate a knowledge of the connections between student learning and mathematics as they relate to major topics in elementary school

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Summer Research Experience

The Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science hosts a Summer Research Experience (REU) for Undergraduates. This program provides undergraduates with an intensive, faculty-mentored, summer research experience in the areas of applied mathematics, high-performance computing, statistics, ubiquitous systems and mathematics education. Learn more