Bachelor of Science in Education Degree
According to Cathy Seeley, NCTM Past-President, "being a teacher is the most important job on the planet, and mathematics opens doors to all kinds of options for students." Teaching is a career that guides the thoughts of the next generation. It calls for a combination of skills demanded by few other professions, and brings rewards like no other. It is a career respected by the whole community. Teachers play a significant role in the lives of students and help shape the future by helping others to learn.
This is an exciting time to be a mathematics educator. As the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics are being implemented across the United States, mathematics teachers will have the opportunity to help our students gain the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers. Beginning teachers will work hand-in-hand with experienced educators to design the learning experiences that will ensure our students meet these standards.
In addition, at a time when many professions are feeling the drastic effects of "downsizing", the demand for teaching mathematics shows no signs of collapsing.
- In 2004-2005 in Missouri, there were 122 secondary math education graduates in the state and 422 secondary math teaching vacancies.
- In 2006-2007 in Missouri DESE identified secondary mathematics as a "teacher shortage area."
- The U.S. Department of Education has declared a nationwide shortage of science and mathematics teachers.
- Each year Missouri schools post hundreds of openings for mathematics teachers.
- Currently, Missouri colleges do not graduate enough mathematics teachers to meet the schools' employment needs.
- Numerous science and mathematics teaching positions in Missouri remain unfilled or are filled with uncertified teachers.
- Half of all Missouri teachers were eligible to retire in 2010.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers a diverse curriculum, including courses in mathematics education, calculus, computer science, geometry, abstract algebra, statistics, and actuarial science. Students may begin the study of mathematics at a level equal to their background.
The mathematics education, mathematics and computer science programs are supported by a laboratory of networked PCs running Linux and Windows and a MAC lab provides mathematics education students access to a variety of mathematical software. Electronic mail, World Wide Web access, and programming language compilers are available. Laboratory access is available via the Internet.
There are many opportunities for Central students to become involved in their selected career fields. The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science sponsors five student organizations which meet regularly to discuss topics ranging from new discoveries to career opportunities.
The Central Missouri Mathematics Educators organization provides opportunities for pre-service elementary, middle, and high school mathematics teachers to discuss methods and trends in teacher education with UCM faculty and area public school teachers.
Other departmental organizations include Kappa Mu Epsilon, a national honor society for mathematics students, Association for Computing Machinery which keeps students informed of changes in the university's computer facilities, a student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America for students interested in recent developments in the mathematical community, and The Actuarial Organization which provides students with career information about the actuarial profession.
Scholarships and Financial Assistance
Several endowed scholarships are available to students who major in programs in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Many of these scholarships are offered specifically for students majoring in mathematics education. Application forms for scholarships are available online, and recipients are selected in March. Student employment as graders for department faculty is available to majors and minors.
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Department of Mathematics and