F.A.Q. of the ECE Program for Mathematics

  • Where can I get information about becoming a certified teacher?
    Have a look at Getting Started in the Math ECE Program for an outline of the procedure.
  • What should letters of nomination contain?
    As the Getting Started document mentions, a nominating letter from the teacher’s principal and a supporting letter from a teaching supervisor, vice principal in charge of instruction, or other school official familiar with the nominee’s teaching are part of the certification process. Principal’s letters ordinarily describe the teacher’s overall record at and contributions to the school. The other letter should speak in specific detail about the person’s teaching ability and accomplishments, preferably including first-hand observation and data about student achievement.
  • What should the résumé include?
    The résumé should list the candidate’s education in full, including all degrees earned and major subjects. It should also set forth, in chronological order, all positions held since earning the (first) bachelor’s degree. Be sure to include any honors, scholarship or fellowship awards, programs of advanced study (whether or not they led to a degree), publications, other creative work (such as software or teaching aids) and summer contact information. No professional or personal references are necessary, since the nomination packet includes two letters of recommendation.
  • What is the minimum degree requirement (e.g., Masters)?
    Normally, a Master’s degree in Mathematics or a strong Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics plus a Master’s degree in a closely related field, such as Mathematics Education. In some cases, a strong Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with evidence that a Master’s program is in progress may suffice. In others, a Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in another field with follow-up work in Mathematics equivalent to a strong undergraduate Mathematics major may be considered.
  • Is there a minimum GPA for the college transcripts?
    A grade point average of 3.0 or higher is highly desirable, but not an absolute requirement.
  • How vital is the requirement of at least one course in Real Analysis with a grade of B or better?
    This requirement is essential for certification to teach calculus. It reflects the rule that good teaching of any course in Mathematics requires at least good mastery of the next level of theory. In this case, the Department of Mathematics insists that all ECE teachers of calculus demonstrate proficiency with the theoretical foundations of the subject.
  • How strict is the requirement to use a book from the list of acceptable texts?
    That is a vital part of assuring that the high-school version of every mathematics course in the ECE program is fully equivalent to the UConn course. The list of acceptable texts changes at least once a year, as new editions and texts appear and older ones go out of print.
  • Is use of technology of a specific sort mandatory?
    Teachers are expected to integrate some form of technology (usually, computers or graphing calculators) into the teaching of their ECE Mathematics courses, but there is no prescribed format or platform. Assistance for certain platforms may be available from the Department of Mathematics. See the Class Home Page for the current academic year for information about the current technology in use at the University.
  • Do you require any specific commitments from the principal of the school?
    Yes, there are two general types of commitment necessary for a school to be certified as a provider of UConn ECE mathematics courses. First, release of time for teachers to attend re-certification workshops at least every two years. Second, agreement to provide a learning environment as close as possible to that at the University. Part of this involves adoption of a new textbook no later than eight years after starting to teach from a given edition. Another part involves commitment to provide instruction at an appropriate pace, one that allows time for important concepts and skills to sink in and for real understanding to grow. In particular, accelerated block-scheduling (in which a school attempts to teach a semester of University content in a few short weeks) is not consistent with replicating the experience of the University courses in the ECE program. A full semester at the University encompasses 14 weeks of classes, plus a week of final examinations.
  • Why do you require attendance at a re-certification at least every other year?
    One of the main culprits that calculus reformers identified as producing the low quality of calculus instruction prior to the launch of the calculus-reform movement in the late 1980s was the stagnant nature of calculus courses across the country. That era is gone, hopefully forever. Calculus is now evolving rapidly, at UConn and nationally. There are exciting new developments, new approaches and new texts constantly coming on the scene. Since the advent of calculus reform, the nature of UConn’s course has changed dramatically several times. Keeping up with this process entails active communication with University faculty who are constantly evaluating, experimenting, reassessing, and altering the course. Being a certified UConn calculus instructor involves more than recognition of past accomplishments and distinguished teaching ability. It also demands a commitment to continuing growth as a teacher of calculus, and to keeping up-to-date with the UConn course to assure that the experience of students at the high schools is fully equivalent to that at UConn.
    In recognition of the significant extra burdens this imposes on certified teachers, re-certification workshops strive to offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) at all workshops. In recognition of the many different schedules and time demands that teachers face, workshops are scheduled in mid-to-late May in even years, and in odd years, late August.
  • Is ECE the same as the UConn Coop program?
    Yes, the “Coop Program” at UConn was renamed “Early College Experience” in 2005.