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Math Secondary education

mathematics Education (9-12)

The Mathematics Secondary Education (MATH/SED) major prepares students to teach high-school, grades 9-12. MATH/SED students take advanced courses in modern geometry, history of mathematics, abstract algebra, advanced calculus, differential equations, probability and statistics, and elective math courses that provide the ideal preparation for teaching. As a student majoring in MATH/SED, you will learn how to think analytically and use logical reasoning to solve abstract and real-world problems. You will be actively engaged in learning through experimentation, critical thinking and discussion.

  • Research: You will conduct independent research with a faculty mentor in which you will explore abstract, advanced mathematics and interdisciplinary applications that will provide a strong foundation for teaching mathematics at the secondary level.
  • Problem-Solving: You will become proficient in facing new challenges by learning creative problem-solving approaches to problems.
  • Analytical Skills: You will learn how to think numerically, make conjectures and assess hypotheses.
  • Communication: You will gain the ability to logically communicate complex ideas in a confident manner.

Why Study Mathematics or Mathematics with Secondary Education at SXU?

  • Nationally accredited and recognized mathematics teacher preparation program will give you the experience you need to be an effective and successful educator.
  • Faculty are committed to active and engaged learning with cutting-edge pedagogical and educational technology that focuses to enhance students' understanding of mathematical concepts and develop mathematical skills by using computer algebra systems, geometry software, statistical software, online adaptive homework, graphing calculators, and 3D printing in the classroom.
  • Broad range of advanced elective courses are offered in both applied and pure mathematics.
  • Learning goes beyond the classroom with one-on-one mentorship in the Math Senior Seminar, Senior Seminar capstone project. Each semester, seniors present their research projects at a symposium with faculty, students, family and friends.
  • Opportunity awaits for you to work as a Mathematics Tutor in the Math Center or Learning Assistant in math courses via the Learning Center.
  • Opportunities to be part of a student math community are available with peers through the Math Club which sponsors a new academic year kick-off pizza party, Mathematics Department Colloquia, ACCA Student Calculus Competition, Annual Careers in Mathematics Event with SXU Alumni, Pi Day Celebrations, Mathematics Visit Day, study groups and other math social events.

Program Requirements

For more information, please review the program requirements and course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog.

Learning Outcomes

Content Knowledge

  • Teacher candidates will demonstrate and apply knowledge of major mathematics concepts, algorithms, procedures, applications in varied contexts and connections within and among mathematical domains (number, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, probability, calculus and discrete mathematics) as outlined in the NCTM CAEP Mathematics Content for Secondary.
  • Teacher candidates will independently research a mathematical topic and write a mathematically accurate research paper, thereby displaying a depth of knowledge.

Mathematical Practices

  • Teacher candidates will use problem solving to develop conceptual understanding, make sense of a wide variety of problems, adapt and apply problem-solving strategies within the field of mathematics and other contexts, and formulate and test conjectures to frame generalizations.
  • Teacher candidates will reason abstractly, reflectively and quantitatively with attention to units, constructing viable arguments and proofs, and critiquing the reasoning of others; represent and model generalizations using mathematics; recognize structure and express regularity in patterns of mathematical reasoning; use multiple representations to model and describe mathematics; and utilize appropriate mathematical vocabulary and symbols to communicate mathematical ideas to others.
  • Teacher candidates will formulate, represent, analyze and interpret mathematical models derived from real-world contexts or mathematical problems.
  • Teacher candidates will organize mathematical thinking and use the language of mathematics to express ideas precisely, both orally and in writing to multiple audiences.
  • Teacher candidates will demonstrate the interconnectedness of mathematical ideas and how they build on one another, and they will recognize and apply mathematical connections among mathematical ideas and across various content areas and real-world contexts.
  • Teacher candidates will model how the development of mathematical understanding within and among mathematical domains intersects with the mathematical practices of problem solving, reasoning, communicating, connecting and representing.

Content Pedagogy

  • Teacher candidates will apply knowledge of curriculum standards for secondary mathematics and their relationship to student learning within and across mathematical domains.
  • Teacher candidates will analyze and consider research in planning for and leading students in rich mathematical learning experiences.
  • Teacher candidates will plan lessons and units that incorporate a variety of strategies, differentiated instruction for diverse populations and mathematics-specific and instructional technologies in building all students' conceptual understanding and procedural proficiency.
  • Teacher candidates will provide students with opportunities to communicate about mathematics and make connections among mathematics, other content areas, everyday life and the workplace.
  • Teacher candidates will implement techniques related to student engagement and communication including selecting high-quality tasks, guiding mathematical discussions, identifying key mathematical ideas, identifying and addressing student misconceptions, and employing a range of questioning strategies.
  • Teacher candidates will be able to plan, select, implement, interpret and use formative and summative assessments to inform instruction by reflecting on mathematical proficiencies essential for all students.
  • Teacher candidates will monitor students' progress, make instructional decisions and measure students' mathematical understanding and ability using formative and summative assessments

Mathematical Learning Environment

  • Teacher candidates will exhibit knowledge of adolescent learning, development and behavior and demonstrate a positive disposition toward mathematical processes and learning.
  • Teacher candidates will plan and create developmentally appropriate, sequential and challenging learning opportunities grounded in mathematics education research in which students are actively engaged in building new knowledge.
  • Teacher candidates will incorporate knowledge of individual differences and the cultural and language diversity that exists within classrooms and include culturally relevant perspectives to motivate and engage students.
  • Teacher candidates will demonstrate equitable and ethical treatment and high expectations for all students.
  • Teacher candidates will apply mathematical content and pedagogical knowledge to select and use instructional tools such as manipulatives and physical models, drawings, virtual environments, spreadsheets, presentation tools and mathematics-specific technologies (e.g., graphing tools, interactive geometry software, computer algebra systems and statistical packages); and make sound decisions about when such tools enhance teaching and learning, recognizing both the insights to be gained and possible limitations of such tools.

Impact on Student Learning

  • Teacher candidates will verify that secondary students demonstrate conceptual understanding; procedural fluency; the ability to formulate, represent and solve problems; logical reasoning and continuous reflection on that reasoning; productive disposition toward mathematics; and the application of mathematics in a variety of contexts within major mathematical domains.
  • Teacher candidates will engage students in developmentally appropriate mathematical activities and investigations that require active engagement and include mathematics-specific technology in building new knowledge.
  • Teacher candidates will be able to collect, organize, analyze and reflect on diagnostic, formative and summative assessment evidence and determine the extent to which students' mathematical proficiencies have increased as a result of their instruction.

Professional Knowledge and Skills

  • Teacher candidates will take an active role in their professional growth by participating in professional development experiences that directly relate to the learning and teaching of mathematics.
  • Teacher candidates will engage in continuous and collaborative learning that draws upon research in mathematics education to inform practice; enhance learning opportunities for all students' mathematical knowledge development; involve colleagues, other school professionals, families and various stakeholders; and advance their development as a reflective practitioner.
  • Teacher candidates will be able to utilize resources from professional mathematics education organizations such as print, digital and virtual resources/collections.

Secondary Mathematics Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

  • Teacher candidates will engage in a sequence of planned field experiences and clinical practice prior to a full-time student teaching/internship experience that include observing and participating in high school mathematics classrooms and working with a diverse range of students individually, in small groups and in large class settings under the supervision of experienced and highly qualified mathematics teachers in settings that reflect cultural, ethnic, linguistic, gender and learning differences.
  • Teacher candidates will experience full-time student teaching/internship in secondary mathematics that is supervised by a highly qualified mathematics teacher and a university or college supervisor with secondary mathematics teaching experience or equivalent knowledge base.
  • Teacher candidates will develop knowledge, skills and professional behaviors across high school settings; examine the nature of mathematics, how mathematics should be taught, and how students learn mathematics; and observe and analyze a range of approaches to mathematics teaching and learning, focusing on tasks, discourse, environment and assessment.

125 credit hours are required for Bachelor of Science degree. The Mathematics Secondary Education major is a licensure program that prepares students to teach mathematics in high school. Detailed course information can be found in the academic catalog. Students should use Academic Planning on the mySXU portal to schedule courses and track degree progress.

Suggested four year academic plan for the major (courses required in the major are in bold)

Please consult with your academic advisor prior to course selection.

Semester 1 Credit Hours
TRANS 100: Transitions 1
PHIL 140: The Examined Life 3
COMM 101: Speech Fundamentals 3
ENGL 120: Rhetoric and Writing 3
MATH 200: Discrete Math 3
MATH 201: Calculus I 4
Semester 2 Credit Hours
FYS 175: First Year Seminar 3
GE Fine Arts and Literature (Diversity) 3
PSYCH 101: Principles of Psychology 3
MATH 202: Calculus II 4
MATH 211: Linear Algebra 4
Semester 3 Credit Hours
MATH 203: Calculus III 4
EDU 200: Profession of Teaching 3
EDU 202: Educational Psychology 3
PSYCH 201: Adolescent Development 3
GE Biological Science with lab* 4
Semester 4 Credit Hours
MATH 301: Advanced Calculus 4
Application Area Course I 3
GE Arts and Humanities 3
GE Physical Science with lab* 3
EDU 377: Historical and Social Trends in American Education 3
Semester 5 Credit Hours
MATH 305: Probability and Statistics I 3
MATH 307: Modern Geometry 3
MATH 300 Level Elective 3
EDU 323: Survey of Students with Exceptionalities 3
EDU 397: Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners 3
Semester 6 Credit Hours
MATH 306: Probability and Statistics II 3
MATH 308: History of Mathematics 3
MATH 300 Level Elective 3
Application Area Course II 3
POLSC 101: Intro to U.S. Government 3
Semester 7 Credit Hours
EDU 370: Principles and Practices of the Middle and Secondary Schools 3
MATH 309: Abstract Algebra 3
MATH 375: Methods Teach. Math 3
MATH 399: Senior Seminar 1
GE History (U.S. History) 3
Semester 8 Credit Hours
EDU 345: Seminar in Teaching and Learning 3
EDU 349: Student Teaching 9

Mathematics Secondary Education Cougar Map

If you would like to print out the Cougar Map, please view the Mathematics Secondary Education Cougar Map (PDF).

Competence

(Major/minor, summer suggestions, academic research)

First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year

Explore scholarship opportunities.

Consult the Learning Center/Writing Studio for tutoring in any challenging courses.

Consider applying for the Edwin J. and Mildred B. Keene Mathematics Scholarship. 

Become familiar with the HUB and CIDAT for all your technical needs.

Apply for the Catherine H. Malin Scholarship.

Consider pursuing a minor.

Apply for the Sylvia Schlunk Award.

Consider summer courses to catch up or get ahead in your education.

Begin work on your topic for your Senior Seminar independent research project.

Collaborate with faculty on possible research opportunities

Character

(Service, global perspective, study abroad, clubs, RSOs, volunteering))

Consider joining a student club or intramural sports team.

Enroll in Cougars LEAD that supports leadership development and begin working on your leadership certificate.

Explore opportunities to work on campus or get involved with service opportunities through Campus Ministry.

Participate actively in registered student organizations, such as Archimedeans Math Club, Education Club or the Student Government Association and Student Activities Board

Apply for a leadership role within Archimedeans Math Club or Education Club. 

Consider participating in a spring break service trip or study abroad.

Volunteer at a local math teacher conference or a regional high school math contest.

Join professional organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics(NCTM), Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM), and the Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago(MMC).

Look for opportunities to use your advanced mathematical skills.

Career Success

(Career or grad school prep, internships, jobs)

Create your profile and apply for on-campus employment on Handshake or look for part-time jobs to build your resume with the help of the Center for SUCCESS.

Attend SXU's career-related events throughout your time at SXU and network with professionals.

Create a LinkedIn profile and make connections within your academic and personal circles.

Become a tutor in the Learning Center or within the Math Department.

Apply for relevant work experience in areas of interest that will help build your quantitative and teaching skills. 

Apply for a summer internship working with high school students in a variety of settings or one that will give you experience tutoring or reaching.

Attend professional development opportunities to connect with practicing teachers in the area.


Network with alumni and current teaching professionals.

Explore entry-level full-time opportunities related to your skills.

Apply to graduate schools, if applicable. 

Career Outlook

The Secondary Education Program prepares individuals to teach students in the secondary grades, which may include grades nine through twelve, depending on the school system or state regulations. Courses may include preparation to teach a comprehensive curriculum or specific subject matter.

To find out more about your major including potential areas and employers, required skills, job outlook, and median pay, please access the Occupational Outlook Handbook or the O*Net websites.

Explore the subsections below to learn more about the potential skills a student with a secondary education major can develop as well as the potential postions, areas, and employers that hire students with this degree. Please note that these are not exhaustive lists and should be used as a starting point.

Skills

As a secondary education major, you will develop an in-depth understanding of your content area. Additionally, students may develop advance skills including communication, patience, creativity, enthusiasm, confidence, dedication, conflict resolution, organization, classroom management, time management, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork.

Positions

Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work as teachers, ELL specialists, textbook salespersons, instuctional technologists, direct service and grant writers.

Areas

Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work in teaching, research, sales, administration, literacy development, adult and continuing education and fundraising/development.

Employers

Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work for public, private, magnet, or charter schools, professional associations, test preparation companies, international schools, publishers, museums, zoos, religious organizations, correctional institutions, higher education, nonprofit and park districts.

Contact the Office of Admission

 

Meet the Faculty