VIENNA - Ohio Valley University will provide two new certification programs to strengthen and improve math and science instruction for teachers.
Secondary Biology is for ninth through 12 grades and Elementary Mathematics is for kindergarten through sixth grades. The two programs received approval by the West Virginia Board of Education at its July meeting and will be open for students in the Fall 2014 semester.
"We are excited to offer two new programs in science and math to train teachers in these disciplines where there is clearly a shortage. It is important for teacher preparation programs in West Virginia to address the shortage of science teachers and to expand the knowledge and credentials of elementary teachers for math instruction," said Joy Jones, vice president for academic affairs at OVU.
OVU student Natalie Stanley with (Professor) Gordon Wells, Associate Professor and Chair of the Ohio Valley University School of Mathematics and Sciences
A student majoring in secondary biology at OVU may complete the program as a stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Education degree or to accompany biology degree. Students also have the option to complete a General Science Education certification for fifth through twelfth grades, if a second teaching area is desired. The Elementary Math K-6 program is completed along with the full Elementary Education K-6 grade program and provides extended knowledge and skill in the area of elementary mathematics.
Jo Pennington, dean of OVU's College of Education, said the university's teacher preparation programs provide training in research-based practices with significant field experiences before student teaching begins. Other certification programs at OVU include secondary English, mathematics, general science, social studies, and wellness (which provides dual certification in physical education and health). The programs address the West Virginia standards and provide training in Next Generation standards for students.
"Much has been written about the national shortage of science and mathematics teachers in our country. We have seen an increase in demand for these two programs, so we are addressing proactively the needs of our students to equip them for today's competitive educational environment," said Pennington. "It's also encouraging to see future teachers interested in science and math and who want their own future students to become excited and motivated in these subjects."