Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

Elementary Math Specialization P-5, Certificate (0485)

Department website:

Program Coordinator

Janet L. Tassell,, (270) 745-5306

Program Contact
Rachael Lee,, (270) 745-2819

Elementary Mathematics Specialists are teachers, teacher leaders, or mathematics coaches who are responsible for supporting effective mathematics instruction and student learning at the classroom, school, district, and/or state levels.  The Elementary Math Specialization (EMS) P-5 Certificate is designed to give education professionals a deep and practical knowledge of the content and pedagogy of elementary mathematics. It will further develop skills for working with other professionals to develop mathematical knowledge for teaching, team teaching or co-teaching in P-5 settings. 

Highlights of the certificate include:

  • A unique model with roots beginning the Toyota Math and Technology Leadership Academy
  • A state and national reputation for producing highly qualified teacher education graduates
  • Highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff
  • Integration of educational technology throughout program
  • An Educational Resources Center that contains library resources dedicated specifically to education programs

The EMS P-5 Certificate requires 15 hours that may be earned for the certificate only (stand-alone) or may be incorporated into another degree program.  Thus, in addition to developing in-depth knowledge and expertise with regard to teaching elementary mathematics, graduate students may also include this course work within the Specialization component of the Masters of Arts in Education (MAE), Planned 5th year, Planned 6th year/Rank I and EdS programs in Elementary Education/Teacher Leader.  NOTE: This program is exempt from the maximum of 12 hours denoted in the Duplication of Coursework policy.  All 15 hours may be duplicated on one additional graduate degree at the same level.

This certificate is appropriate for:

  • Teachers in Kentucky (and states with a reciprocal licensure agreement) holding a teaching certificate for Elementary Education, Grades P-5, who seek an Endorsement licensure as an Elementary Mathematics Specialist.  (NOTE:  The EMS Certificate does NOT automatically lead to certification for an addition to a teaching license.  Elementary Education certified/licensed teachers in Kentucky and reciprocal licensure states who successfully complete this certificate and wish to add the endorsement credential to their license must contact the WKU Office of Professional Educator Services (or appropriate office in their home state) to submit the necessary paperwork for the endorsement to be added to their license.)
  • Elementary teachers in states without a reciprocal licensure agreement with Kentucky who desire pedagogical knowledge and enhanced skills in teaching elementary mathematics content.  Although some states do not recognize the EMS Endorsement as a licensing addition, completion of this EMS Certificate provides evidence of competency in teaching this critical content area.
  • Middle/secondary mathematics teachers, and special education teachers who are responsible for supporting effective mathematics instruction and student learning at the classroom, school, district, or state levels.  The certificate will add to the depth and breadth of knowledge the middle/secondary mathematics teachers currently have as they will expand into a K-6 knowledge base of content and pedagogy. 

This program provides a graduate level credential in this critical content area and will be listed as a “certificate” on the WKU transcript upon completion.

Program Admission

To be admitted to the Elementary Mathematics Specialist Certificate, applicants must hold at least one of the following undergraduate or graduate degrees:

  • Elementary Education degree
  • Math Middle/Secondary degree
  • Special Education degree
  • Dual Certification -- Elementary/Special Education

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Graduate School Admission

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (15 hours)

Required Courses
ELED 571Leadership, Math and Technology Education3
ELED 572Math and Technology Methods for Diverse Learners3
ELED 573Math and Technology Assessment3
Select 6 hours from the following:6
Problem Solving for Elementary and Middle School Teachers 1
Number Systems for Elementary and Middle Grades Teachers
Rational Number Concepts for Elementary and Middle Grades Teachers
Total Hours15

Students must complete MATH 411G unless MATH 411 was completed as an undergraduate student.  If MATH 411 was completed, both MATH 507 and MATH 508 must be completed.