Gaining the Knowledge and Expertise to Teach Middle School Math – Posted 12/8/15

Teachers looking to expand their professional options have been turning to County College of Morris (CCM) and its Middle School Mathematics Endorsement program as an affordable and successful pathway for meeting their goals.

Since the creation of the endorsement program in 2014, five of 12 participants have obtained work as middle school math teachers. Along with earning the required math credits, teachers who take part in the program must pass the Praxis II middle grade mathematics test. Of the 12, 10 have taken and passed the PRAXIS II exam.

“This program gave me the knowledge to understand the content of middle school mathematics and empowered me with the ability to teach,” says Philip Giovatto, a program graduate. “The online component gave me the opportunity to complete the endorsement while I continued to work. I always wanted to be a middle school math teacher. This program allowed me to accomplish this task and I was soon offered an eighth grade math position in Jersey City.”
CCM is the only community college in New Jersey to offer the program, which allows teachers to acquire the 15 subject matter credits they need to gain middle school math state certification. Four-year institutions offer similar programs but generally as part of their graduate studies programs and at a much higher tuition rate.

The CCM program was developed by college faculty members to provide teachers with a more affordable pathway that could better fit into their schedules.

Classes in the CCM program are offered as hybrid courses, meaning they take place as a combination of online and in-class instruction. All classes are taught by experienced college math professors who also are certified as high school math teachers.

“We wanted it to be as flexible as possible for them,” says Deanne Stigliano, instructor and advisor to the Math Endorsement Program.

With the support and guidance of Mathematics Department Chair Professor Alexis Thurman and college administrators, faculty members participated in months of research to develop a program outline that would meet the New Jersey Department of Education requirements for endorsement.

Classes offered through the program include Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Mathematics, Statistics and Geometry. The five courses are based on common core standards and focus on middle school topics that teachers need to pass on to their students. The teachers must also complete a course in adolescent psychology. For the latest information regarding state certification, refer to the New Jersey Department of Education.

For more information on the Middle School Mathematics Endorsement Program at CCM, contact Professor Deanne Stigliano at or 973-328-5706.

Photo: Deanne Stigliano, instructor and advisor to the Math Endorsement Program at County College of Morris
Credit: Life in MoPhoto