Middle School Mathematics Certificate Program
Overview
The Middle School Mathematics Certificate Program is a professional development program intended to meet the needs of licensed teachers who desire to extend their mathematical and pedagogical knowledge in middle school mathematics. The program, housed in the Department of Mathematics, consists of eight graduate mathematics courses specifically designed to provide a broad mathematics background appropriate for middle school teachers and a familiarity with the current middle school curriculum and assessment ideas. The program will offer 10 graduate credits through oncampus summer courses and academic year webbased courses. Teachers will be awarded a Certificate in Middle School Mathematics upon successful completion of this 10credit program and achievement of a passing score on the Praxis II Subject Assessment: Middle School Mathematics (a national test administered through the Educational Testing Center).
The content and pedagogical practices of these courses are consistent with the reform recommendations of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Therefore, the contentrelated outcomes for each of the courses focus on both the teaching and learning of mathematics. More specifically, the learning objectives for each course include the following:
 Development of multiple strategies or approaches to solve and explain mathematical problems.
 Development of a knowledge base regarding current and historical research on the teaching and learning of mathematics.
 Development and modification of instructional activities and assessment tools for appropriate use in the classroom.
 Development and implementation of an action research plan to analyze student learning outcomes in mathematics.
Statement of Benefits to Mathematics Department, College of Science and Allied Health, and licensed school teachers
The proposed certificate program will serve as an indicator that the University, including the College of Science and Allied Health, supports a strong and active mathematics education program, which, in turn, will attract students interested in mathematics education.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires that all teachers be “highly qualified” in the grade level and subject they are teaching. This certificate program will enable licensed teachers who are teaching or who wish to teach middle school mathematics to demonstrate that they are “highly qualified” to teach in this area.
A recent survey (Miron, Middle Level Mathematics Teacher Survey, UWL, 2003) indicated that 89% of Wisconsin middle school teachers have minimal preparation in mathematics. Moreover, the middle school mathematics curriculum has changed significantly within the past decade. Topics such as probability, statistics, algebra and functions, not previously included in the middle school curriculum, are now emphasized. Methods of assessing student learning in mathematics have also changed significantly. Hence this certificate program has the potential to benefit a large number of licensed teachers.
The program also has the potential to impact hundreds of middle school students each year by enhancing the mathematical content knowledge and teaching skills of their classroom teachers.
Goals
The goals of the certification program are to offer a comprehensive mathematics program that:
 Enhances and extends teacher content knowledge in mathematics and its relationship to the mathematical content appropriate for middle school students.
 Models research based teaching methods consistent with the current recommendations for the middle school mathematics classroom.
 Introduces teachers to multiple assessment measures used to examine student learning outcomes.
 Provides opportunities for teachers to critically examine student learning outcomes in mathematics through action research methodologies.
 Increases the number of teachers who meet the definition of “highly qualified teacher”^{*} as outlined by both Federal Regulation (ESEA/NCLB) and Wisconsin DPI requirements under PI34: The Quality Educator Initiative.
^{*}The Wisconsin DPI definition of a “highly qualified” teacher is one who meets all the requirements of PI 34 for the subjects and levels that he/she is teaching, including a rigorous exam in the subjects being taught.
^{ }
Admission to the Program
The admission requirements are:
 A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
 (a) an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.85 on a 4.00 scale, or (b) an average of at least 3.00 in the last half of all undergraduate work, or (c) an average of at least 3.00 for no fewer than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate institution. Admission on probation may be granted to applicants with undergraduate grade point averages below 2.85, who are otherwise qualified, if there is evidence of the applicant’s ability to do satisfactory graduate work.
 Departmental approval to enter the certification program.
 Teaching Licensure.
 A minimum of 3 years teaching experience.
These admission requirements are consistent with UWL’s general admission requirements to graduate study (see page 11 of the Graduate Catalog).
Program Requirements
The program will require teachers to take six 1credit summer courses and two 2credit academic year webbased courses. All credits will be in the Mathematics Department.
MTH 651 Numbers and Operations in Middle School Mathematics (1 credit)
MTH 652 Geometry and Measurement in Middle School Mathematics (1 credit)
MTH 653 Algebraic Reasoning in Middle School Mathematics (1 credit)
MTH 654 Probability in Middle School Mathematics (1 credit)
MTH 655 Statistics in Middle School Mathematics (1 credit)
MTH 656 Functions and Graphs in Middle School Mathematics (1 credit)
MTH 657 Mathematical Problem Solving in
Middle School Mathematics (2 credits)
MTH 658 Mathematical Assessment in Middle School Mathematics (2 credits)
Proposed Schedule

2005 
2006 
Summer 
MTH 651 MTH 652 MTH 653 
MTH 654 MTH 655 MTH 656 
Fall 
MTH 657 

Spring 

MTH 658 
In addition to coursework, the completion of the certificate requires all students to submit a passing score (minimum of 152) on the PRAXIS II Subject Assessment: Middle School Mathematics (20069). Currently 20 states require passing scores on this test to be able to teach middle school mathematics. Because Wisconsin does not require this test, a passing score of 152 has been recommended for certification. All but 3 of the states requiring this test set a passing score of 152 or less. Of states closest to Wisconsin, Minnesota requires 152 and North Dakota 141.
Program Prerequisites
The program’s prerequisites include the general graduate admission requirements, teaching licensure, and a minimum of three years teaching experience.
GPA Requirements for Certificate Completion
Consistent with UWL graduate programs and Department of Public Instruction requirements, the academic standard for certification completion will be a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Articulation with UWL Select Mission
The proposed Middle School Mathematics Certificate Program is sponsored by the Masters in Education – Professional Development degree program. This program also supports the UWL select mission of offering programs related to areas of emphasis and strength within the institution (mathematics education), providing services and professional expertise, and of meeting the broader educational needs of the region (professional development of Wisconsin teachers). (See page 6 of Graduate Catalog.)
Administration, Staffing, and Budgeting
The Mathematics Department currently has two positions in mathematics education and another open position in mathematics education. These faculty are willing and qualified to teach the proposed courses.
Frequency of Course Offerings
Three of the 1credit courses will be taught the first summer, one 2credit course will be offered each semester of the subsequent academic year and the other three 1credit courses will be taught the second summer. This sequence will be repeated in subsequent years as outlined below.

2005 
2006 
2007 
2008 
Summer 
MTH 651 MTH 652 MTH 653 
MTH 654 MTH 655 MTH 656 
MTH 651 MTH 652 MTH 653 
MTH 654 MTH 655 MTH 656 
Fall 
MTH 657 

MTH 657 

Spring 

MTH 658 

MTH 658 
Advising of Students
Ongoing advising will be conducted by the faculty teaching the courses in this program and by the chair of the Mathematics Department.
Student Support Services
At this time, there are no anticipated needs for other student support services for this certification program.
Administrative Unit
The certificate program will be housed in the Mathematics Department.