Touro College’s Graduate School of Education Tackles Nationwide Shortage of Trained Mathematics Teachers

Date: August 08, 2011
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Barbara Franklin
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New York, N.Y. – Touro College’s Graduate School of Education will offer a master’s in mathematics education leading to a professional certification, beginning this fall.

The new degree program, believed to be among the first of its kind in New York state, ideally suits individuals already holding initial New York State Teacher Certification in Adolescent Mathematics or who have already satisfied all the requirements for such certification but who still need a related master’s degree in order to convert this first level initial certification to the higher level professional certification required by New York state.

Specifically designed as an 18-month, part-time program for individuals who are working or who have family responsibilities, the program offers evening courses that meet weekly at Touro’s Manhattan campus. Unlike other graduate programs in mathematics education, the new program combines advanced mathematics content and advanced courses in teaching mathematics.

The program also fills a demand in New York state for skilled mathematics teachers, a need that is only expected to grow in the coming years. According to the National Math and Science Initiative, which is dedicated to improving math and science achievement in the United States, the nation will face a shortfall of more than 280,000 highly-qualified math and science teachers by 2015.,/p>

“Touro College prides itself on its contributions towards improving mathematics skills and student performance,” said Dr. Lamar Miller, dean of the Graduate School of Education. “Our new program supplements our existing efforts to educate highly-skilled math teachers who will be able to fill a great need. The program provides a comprehensive array of coursework that equally balances instruction in mathematics content areas, evidence-based practices and instructional techniques, and classroom management strategies.”

The new program offers 10 courses for a total of 30 credits. Classes include Leadership in Mathematics, which focuses on the activities and responsibilities of department chairs and school principals, for those teachers who might like to move into such positions in the future; and a course on Research Investigations in Mathematics Education, which focuses on how teachers can use both published research on educational issues and their own research in their classroom to improve their classroom teaching.

“We hope the program will attract teachers who received their teaching certification when they completed their bachelor’s degree and now are seeking a master’s degree from an institution of higher learning, such as Touro College,” said Program Chair and Professor Dr. Brenda Strassfeld.

The new master’s degree program - an M.S. in Mathematics Education Leading to Professional Certification Grades 7-12, joins the existing M.S. in Mathematics Education leading to initial certification that Touro began last fall. Currently there approximately 4,000 students enrolled in the Graduate School of Education, making it among the largest graduate schools of education in New York state.