Graduate Certificate in Elementary Education

The Graduate Certificate in Elementary Mathematics Education is a practitioner-oriented program designed to sharpen instructional expertise, develop teaching skill, deepen mathematics knowledge, and promote leadership in mathematics education. Successful completion of the six certificate courses leads to add-on mathematics licensure at the elementary level. The six courses are a subset of the Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) in Mathematics Education and can be added to six additional classes to earn the MAEd (Elementary Concentration).

Each certificate course is distinguished by a focus on a high-leverage teaching practice (for example, learning trajectories), a primary area of mathematics necessary for successfully teaching elementary school mathematics, and a secondary area of mathematical content.

Courses are offered as a distance education blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. The totally distance education nature of the program allows it to be taken by students almost anywhere and most participants are part-time students who are full-time teachers. A final benefit of the online program – transportation costs and on-campus student fees are eliminated, providing a much more economical program. Click here for information on Gainful Employment.

Listen to what some of your classmates have said about the program:

"Throughout the coursework, the question for me became: "How do I implement these practices? What should it look like in action?" Thankfully, each of the courses completed during this program focused on research-based instructional strategies that help support student learning."

"Being taught years ago in a procedure based way left me clueless to many of the “whys?” I am supposed to be having my students explore. This program has done what most people don’t have the opportunity to do!!!! That is have a “do over” in my own my learning to be able to present standards in a conceptual “doing math” way to my students!"

Looking at where the students are coming from and going to has enabled me to present the material at my grade level in a more effective manner. I feel more confident in my teaching of math this year than I have in the past. Being exposed to information about cognitively demanding tasks has caused me to examine the tasks I present and has benefited my students because they are now participating in more tasks that promote higher-level thinking. Learning about math talks and questioning has increased the productive conversation during my math lessons. I feel my lessons and class discussions focus more on the math and are more beneficial for my students.

"Digging deeper is one thing I can say the EMAoL program and the CCSS have in common. For this reason, the coursework of the EMAoL has increased my knowledge of the content. I have found that my ability to present “rich” lessons to my students is birthed out of my own depth of understanding of the standards I am teaching."

"Albert Einstein once said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” These courses have done just that. I could not be happier to have taken these courses, especially as teachers look to me now to help support them through this change to “deeper”, not broader, standards."

The following information is for students who have begun their coursework in 2014/2015 or earlier. Information for students beginning in 2015/2016 or later, click here.

Courses are offered to cohorts of at least 15 students. Each course is offered online in a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. The synchronous classes are held online every other Wednesday from 5:00-7:45. The program of study consists of 18 semester hours:

  • MATE 6058 Number Systems & Operations: K–5 Mathematical Tasks
  • MATE 6059 Rational Numbers & Operations: K–5 Learning Trajectories
  • MATE 6060 Data Analysis & Measurement: K–5 Classroom Interactions
  • MATE 6061 Algebraic Reasoning: K–5 Discourse & Questioning
  • MATE 6062 Geometry & Spatial Visualization: K–5 Assessment
  • MATE 6063 Mathematical Modeling: K-5 Leadership

You are almost finished with your Graduate Certificate in Elementary Mathematics Education! There are a number of important processes, however, that must take place in addition to successfully completing your course work. Within the first two weeks of the semester in which you intend to graduate, you should apply for graduation, using the form and instructions found below. Then there is a certificate graduation summary that must be completed – work on that with your faculty advisor and finish that by or before mid-semester. Finally, you will want to apply to have your license updated. Complete this paperwork near the end of the semester in which you are graduating. If you are also completing an MAEd you must complete a request to add the certificate to your MAEd before graduation.

Apply for Graduation

For instructions, go to Academic Policies and click on Graduation Process. To access the application, go to ECU Registrar, click on requested forms, and then on Graduate Graduation Application.

  • Complete the Graduate Summary

    Go to Academic Policies and click on Graduation Process and Graduation Summary Form.

  • Process the Licensure Request

    Go to Licensure, read the instructions, and download the appropriate forms. Alternately, we have the forms referenced below in the “Resources and Forms” section of the website. Be sure to note that forms could be out-of-date in the “Resources and Forms” section, although we try to stay current.

Use this page for the most commonly required Resources and Forms

Do you have any further questions or need help with the process? Please contact us.

Dr. Katie Stein Schwartz (
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education
East Carolina University, 325 Flanagan, Mail Stop 566, Greenville, NC 27858  Phone:252-737-2305