Teaching mathematics is a great way to make a difference in our world and in the lives of middle and high school students. The Mathematics-Teaching Option major combines a full undergraduate mathematics major with a meaningful core education component and hands-on experience, leading to initial teaching certification for grades 7-12.
In order to provide prospective teachers with the solid understanding of mathematics that they need to communicate its beauty and power, our students fulfill all of the requirements for a major in mathematics. In addition, we help our students connect their mathematical knowledge with the mathematics they will be teaching to make the subject come alive in the classroom. This disciplinary knowledge is integrated with classes in the Education Department in which students learn about educational theories and the practical aspects of teaching. In addition, Ithaca College is the national coordinating site for COMPASS (Curricular Options in Mathematics Programs for All Secondary Students), a nationwide effort to improve math studies.
A notable feature of the program is its incorporation of multiple experiences working in local public schools. In the second year of the program, students participate in a semester-long early field experience in which they observe and work in middle and high school classrooms, observing and assisting a mentor teacher. Throughout the program, students have opportunities to participate in teaching-related activities such as engaging in individual tutoring and small group work with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Our partnership with the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem offers students a hands-on experience in inner city teaching and helps students foster a deeper understanding of the issues facing black and Latino students. The major culminates with a semester-long professional experience in which students teach in middle and high school classrooms under the supervision of IC faculty and mentor teachers.
With all of these initiatives and opportunities, our graduates are in high demand at schools around the country!