This page contains information about the Foundational Level Mathematics (FLM) teacher credential program at California State University Fullerton. The program aims to prepare middle school and early high school teachers of mathematics. Please read through the resources here before contacting us with questions about the program. For more information, contact the FLM program coordinator (from August 2016), Patrice Waller (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. What are the pre-requisites needed in order to be considered for admission to the FLM program? If you've not done so, please attend an Overview (see above) to learn about the Single Subject Credential Program and its pre-requisites. For all credential areas, you must complete 4 pre-requisite courses (EDSC 310, 320, 330, 340). It is also encouraged that you complete the educational technology course (EDSC 304) and the teaching English learners course (EDSC 410) before starting the program to reduce your course load once in the program. Note that there are additional two pre-requisite courses (EDSC 400 and 410) if you intend to start in the Professional Track (see below).
3. What makes the FLM credential program at CSU Fullerton unique? Unlike most credential programs, at CSUF the FLM credential is a stand-alone program separate from the Mathematics credential program. This has allowed us to create a strong focus on preparing teachers of middle school mathematics with a particular emphasis on teaching pre-algebra and algebra. Our program completers have developed the perspectives and skills needed to plan and implement lessons that engage learners in making sense of foundational concepts and skills and preparing them for the advanced coursework that follows. The FLM program at CSU Fullerton is recognized as a national model for middle school mathematics teacher preparation.
4. What am I authorized to teach with an FLM credential? The state of California has authorized the teaching of any mathematics course through Advanced Algebra by those with an FLM credential. Click here to see the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing official definition of FLM. Note that while you are a student in the CSUF FLM credential program, you cannot be placed in a course above Algebra I for student teaching or intern teaching since our primary aim is to prepare effective teachers of pre-algebra and algebra. Now that many districts offer integrated mathematics pathways in high school (e.g., Math 1, Math 2, Math 3), here is some guidance on FLM authorization for these courses.
5. Do I need a major in mathematics? You do not need to major in mathematics but must demonstrate content knowledge proficiency by passing the rigorous CSET Mathematics I and II exams (see #5 below). However, if you are working on an undergraduate degree it is strongly encouraged that you earn a minor in mathematics. At CSUF, the Departments of Child and Adolescent Studies and Liberal Studies have set up study plans that integrate a mathematics minor and credential pre-requisite courses into the requirements for their undergraduate major. Ask an advisor in one of these departments for more information.
6. What are the CSET Mathematics exams? The CSET mathematics exams are content tests that establish whether you meet the minimum standards with respect to knowledge of mathematics for teaching. You must pass CSET Mathematics I (algebra and number theory) and Mathematics II (geometry, probability, and statistics) to be content knowledge eligible for the FLM program. The state has published a manual about the CSET Mathematics exams.
7. How do I prepare for the CSET Mathematics exams? The first thing to do is make sure you have a sufficient background in mathematics (see table below). It is strongly recommended that you have taken coursework through at least the 1st semester of college Calculus as well as coursework in Probability & Statistics and Discrete Mathematics. If you have not taken such courses, it is to your benefit to do so before seriously considering becoming a teacher of mathematics. At CSUF, these courses would be:
MATH 115 (College Algebra) MATH 120 (Probability and Statistics) MATH 125 (Pre-Calculus) MATH 130 or 135 or 150A (1st semester Calculus)
If possible, it is recommended that you take MATH 403A/B. You will need instructor approval for these courses.
8. What is student teaching? The typical person in our credential program is a "student teacher" who is assigned to work with one or two Master Teachers at a local public school. In this role, you learn from the experience of the Master Teacher(s), taking time to do observations, in-class tutoring, and eventually co-planning and co-teaching.
9. What is the professional track or Internship teaching? There are some students who are ready to assume the responsibilities of a full-time teacher at the start of either the 1st semester (less common) or 2nd semester (more common) of the credential program. In such a case, they will be permitted by the program advisor to pursue a full-time mathematics teaching position in a local public school and issued an "Internship" credential. Despite the name, such a position carries with it the same responsibilities as any full-time teacher in addition to having to complete the credential program requirements. For this reason, the professional track is not recommended for everyone though it is an option available to those in the CSUF Single Subject Credential program.
10. How can I improve my knowledge of Spanish to communicate with students and parents? While not required for California teachers, I strongly recommend that as a teacher you learn Spanish. This will make you both more employable and more effective! Here are two ideas for developing your Spanish language abilities:
Online course: http://www.spanishforeducators.org/Amazing interface! It costs $99. You get a certificate for completing a specific number of hours and passing an exam. You can pay an additional $$ for 1 graduate credit.
11. What opportunities for financial aid exist? There is a lot of financial aid for those preparing to teach math. Start filling out applications ASAP...
NCTM Prospective Middle School Teacher Scholarships (for college juniors) http://www.nctm.org/Grants-and-Awards/Grants/Prospective-Middle-School-Mathematics-Teacher-Course-Work-Scholarships/ The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support to college or university students preparing for teaching middle school mathematics. Annually, one scholarship, with a maximum value of $3,000, will be awarded to a person currently completing their junior year of college or university, scheduling for full-time study at a four- or five-year college or university in the next academic year, and pursuing a career goal of becoming a certified teacher of middle school mathematics. These scholarships are named in recognition of the generous contributions to mathematics education made by Edward Brennan.