BA Mathematics Areas of Study

The WGU Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics (5-9 or 5-12) program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches. The hallmarks of our program include: (a) appropriate and rigorous subject-matter preparation, (b) research-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.

General Education

Foundations of College Mathematics (For the 5-9 program)
This course focuses on basic numeracy and calculation skills, basic algebra skills, basic geometry principles, and basic data and probability skills.

English Composition I
This course introduces learners to the types of writing and thinking that is valued in college and beyond. Students will practice writing in several genres and several media, with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments.

English Composition II

Collegiate Level Reasoning and Problem Solving (For the 5-9 program)
This course includes topics in problem identification and clarification, planning and information gathering, identifying assumptions and values, analysis and interpretation of information and data, reaching well-founded conclusions, and identifying the role of critical thinking in the disciplines and professions.

Elements of Effective Communication

General Education Social Sciences
These courses includes topics in social science theory and method; human development and behavior; modern economic, social, and political institutions; and geography and human cultures.

Literature, Arts, and the Humanities
These courses focus on content, concepts, terminology, methodology, models, and issues within and across the disciplines of the humanities.

U.S. Government and Constitution
This course includes major themes in world history and United States history; basic economic concepts; and the nature and development of American government.

Introduction to Biology
Topics in these courses include cell structure and function, bioenergetics, DNA structure and function, protein synthesis, cell reproduction, taxonomy, evolution, and ecology.

Integrated Physical Sciences
These courses provide a comprehensive overview of the basic principles and unifying concepts of physics, astronomy, chemistry, and earth sciences.

Middle School Mathematics Content

Finite Mathematics
Included in this course are the following main topics: proofs, set theory, logic, number theory, mathematical systems, modular arithmetic, and graph theory.

College Algebra
Understanding algebraic functions and their graphs as well as methods for solving equations and inequalities allows you to model real-world phenomena and solve problems. Engaging in this course will help you build these skills, as well as build a strong foundation in algebra for further mathematics courses you may complete for your degree program. Additionally, this course aims to help you build your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, which can be used in any course, job, or situation.

Probability and Statistics I
This course is designed to provide you with a broad overview of the field of probability and statistics, and a fundamental understanding of statistical reasoning.

Pre-calculus

College Geometry
This course is designed for prospective secondary school mathematics teachers. It uses both synthetic and analytic approaches. In this course, you will be introduced to formal proofs using geometric properties, and have the opportunity to explore basic concepts of transformational geometry. You will also become familiar with the use of dynamic technologies and selected advanced topics in the study of geometry.

Calculus I
If you are in the middle school program, the skills that will be acquired will help you to better understand function behavior within a variety of real-world applications. If you are in the secondary program, the skills that will be acquired will prepare you for Calculus II, Calculus III, and other advanced topics in mathematics. Thus, it is essential that you master these concepts prior to moving forward.

Middle Schools Mathematics: Content Knowledge
This course is designed to help you refine and integrate the mathematics content knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful middle school mathematics teacher. Successful completion of the course requires a high-level of mathematical reasoning skills and the ability to solve problems.

High School Mathematics Content

College Algebra
Understanding algebraic functions and their graphs as well as methods for solving equations and inequalities allows you to model real-world phenomena and solve problems. Engaging in this course will help you build these skills, as well as build a strong foundation in algebra for further mathematics courses you may complete for your degree program. Additionally, this course aims to help you build your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, which can be used in any course, job, or situation.

Pre-calculus

College Geometry
This course is designed for prospective secondary school mathematics teachers. It uses both synthetic and analytic approaches. In this course, you will be introduced to formal proofs using geometric properties, and have the opportunity to explore basic concepts of transformational geometry. You will also become familiar with the use of dynamic technologies and selected advanced topics in the study of geometry.

Probability and Statistics I
This course is designed to provide you with a broad overview of the field of probability and statistics, and a fundamental understanding of statistical reasoning.

Probability and Statistics II
This course is designed to provide students with a broad overview of the field of probability and statistics and a fundamental understanding of statistical reasoning. Topics include discrete and continuous random variables, point and interval estimation, and hypothesis testing.

Calculus I
If you are in the middle school program, the skills that will be acquired will help you to better understand function behavior within a variety of real-world applications. If you are in the secondary program, the skills that will be acquired will prepare you for Calculus II, Calculus III, and other advanced topics in mathematics. Thus, it is essential that you master these concepts prior to moving forward.

Calculus II
In Calculus II you will study another important problem that led to the development of calculus: finding the area under a curve. You will study this problem and other applications of integration as you progress through this course. As you do, keep in mind that calculus is not only a theoretical branch of mathematics; calculus is used by scientists, engineers, and economists and has numerous applications to daily life.

Calculus III and Analysis

Linear Algebra

Mathematics: Content Knowledge
This course is designed to help you refine and integrate the mathematics content knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful secondary mathematics teacher. Successful completion of the course requires a high-level of mathematical reasoning skills and the ability to solve problems.

Abstract Algebra

Teacher Education Foundations

Foundational Perspectives in Education
Students will learn the historical, legal, and philosophical foundations of education while reflecting on educational issues impacting today’s educators.

Fundamentals of Educational Psychology
Students will learn the major theories of typical and atypical physical, social, cognitive, and moral development of children and adolescents. Information processing, brain research, memory, and metacognition will also be covered.

Classroom Management, Engagement, and Motivation
Students will learn the foundations for effective classroom management as well as strategies for creating a safe, positive learning environment for all learners. Students will be introduced to systems that promote student self-awareness, self-management, self-efficacy, and self-esteem.

Educational Assessment
Students will learn how to make appropriate data-driven instructional decisions by exploring key concepts relevant to the administration, scoring, and interpretation of classroom assessments.

Teacher Education Diversity

Cultural Studies and Diversity (For the 5-9 program)
Students will learn strategies to become more culturally aware in their personal and professional relationships. They will analyze the role of culture in today’s world, develop culturally-responsive practices, and understand the barriers to and the benefits of diversity.

Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learners
Students will learn the history of inclusion and develop practical strategies for modifying instruction, in accordance with legal expectations, to meet the needs of a diverse population of learners. This population includes learners with disabilities, gifted and talented learners, culturally diverse learners, and English language learners.

Preclinical Experiences

Introduction to Preclinical Experiences
Students will utilize video observations to reflect on a wide range of educational considerations so that they can develop the tools necessary to be prepared in the classroom. Students will document at least 40 hours of video observation.

Preclinical Experiences in Mathematics
Students will observe and participate in a wide range of in-classroom teaching experiences in order to develop the skills and confidence necessary to be an effective teacher. Students will reflect on and document at least 60 hours of in-classroom observations. Prior to entering the classroom for the observations, students will be required to meet several requirements including a cleared background check, passing scores on the state or WGU required basic skills exam, a completed resume, philosophy of teaching, and professional photo.

Instructional Planning and Presentation

Introduction to Instructional Planning and Presentation
Students will develop a basic understanding of effective instructional principles and how to differentiate instruction in order to elicit powerful teaching in the classroom.

Instructional Planning and Presentation for Mathematics
Students will continue to build instructional planning skills with a focus on selecting appropriate materials for diverse learners, selecting age- and ability-appropriate strategies for the content areas, promoting critical thinking, and establishing both short- and long-term goals.

Mathematics Education

Mathematics Learning and Teaching
In this course you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary for becoming a prospective and practicing educator. You will be able to use a variety of instructional strategies to effectively facilitate the learning of mathematics. The focus will be on selecting appropriate resources, using multiple strategies, and instructional planning. Methods will be based on research and problem solving. A deep understanding of the knowledge, skills, and disposition of mathematics pedagogy is necessary to become an effective secondary mathematics educator.

Mathematics History and Technology
In this course, you will learn about a variety of technological tools for doing mathematics, and you will develop a broad understanding of the historical development of mathematics. More importantly, you will learn to evaluate and apply technology and history in order to create a student-centered mathematical learning environment.

Demonstration Teaching

Demonstration Teaching is a full-time, in-classroom supervised experience required of all teacher candidates. It is the culminating experience of the program and all academic requirements must be complete before beginning. Additional requirements include a cleared background check, passing scores on state and WGU required content exams, and demonstration of satisfactory teacher dispositions.

Supervised Demonstration Teaching in Mathematics
A WGU clinical supervisor (an experienced educator who lives and works near your teaching location) will observe your teaching on multiple occasions – at least six observations are required – and evaluation will be completed according to a published checklist and rubric. The clinical supervisors submit the results to WGU for review and recording.

Teacher Work Sample
The WGU Teacher Works Sample requires teacher candidate to plan and teach a multi-week, standards-based instructional unit that showcases a collection of content, planning, instructional, and reflective skills.

Professional Portfolio in Mathematics
Students will create and online teaching portfolio to demonstrate competency of the Demonstration Teaching experience. The portfolio is a way to show colleagues and potential employers the skills that have been developed throughout your Demonstration Teaching experience.

Cohort Seminar in Mathematics
Students will participate in a weekly cohort call to collaborate with a cohort facilitator and fellow students to discuss progress and best practices for completing the Teacher Work Sample, Observations, and Portfolio.