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New Online Master's Degree to Benefit Education

A new online master’s degree in teaching at the University of West Georgia will be available to students who wish to pursue a new career in math and science education.

New Online Master's Degree to Benefit EducationBeginning in January 2009, the degree will be offered by UWG, Columbus State University and Kennesaw State University. Faculty from all three institutions, as well as faculty from Georgia Southern University and Valdosta State University, will teach the courses for the 39-semester hour program.

Georgia Southern and Valdosta State also will offer the degree in 2010. The institutions are able to offer the degree completely online by sharing faculty expertise and resources.

The degree is targeted to students with a bachelor’s degree in math and science or a related field and those who are already teaching and wish a certification in math or one of the sciences.

Dr. Kim Metcalf, UWG Dean of the College of Education, said the program will appeal to a wide audience.

"UWG is committed to serving a broad community of learners through this program," said Metcalf. "We believe this degree offers an opportunity to increase the number of mathematics and science teachers in Georgia while preparing them in a quality program."

The online Master of Arts in teaching or MAT will offer degree seekers teacher certification in either mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics or earth/space science.

Applications for the MAT degree will be available on the Georgia ONmyLINE website. Applicants will be asked to select a school as their home institution and that university will award the degree. The site offers easy access to online and distance-education offerings throughout the University System of Georgia.

Educators hope to boost the number and quality of Georgia’s math and science teachers while at the same time allow Georgians to save gas and time by avoiding the commute to campus.

The statistics are not great when it comes to certified mathematics and science teachers, according to the Georgia Certified Personnel Index for Fiscal Year 2006.

For example:

  • Out of 2,139 high school teachers teaching biology, only 26 percent hold a 7 – 12 grade certification.
  • Only six percent of all high school physics teachers hold a certification in the subject. 
  • Out of 1,031 high school teachers who are teaching Chemistry 1, only 13 percent hold a 7-12 grade certification.

The state education system of Georgia allows high school teachers equipped with a broad science certificate in multiple math and sciences to teach algebra, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. A degree in a specific science or math field is not required to teach in that field in Georgia.

For more information, call 678-839-6570.

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