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UVI Launches 2nd Mathematics Master's Degree Cohort

The launch of the second cohort of the Master's in Mathematics for Secondary Teachers program will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 22 in the Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas campus of the University of the Virgin Islands.

Dr. Vanere Goodwin is graduate coordinator of the two-year program. In response to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, it was determined that teachers needed to develop broader backgrounds in mathematics, Goodwin said. National and local data indicated that students were not excelling in mathematics in ways that would make them globally competitive for employment in specialized fields.

"There was some sense of urgency," Goodwin said. Among underrepresented minorities there was a widening gap in the areas of science and mathematics. The UVI Master's in Mathematics for Secondary Teachers program is a way of bridging that gap. UVI and the local Department of Education teamed up to present the first cohort - which enrolled eight teachers - who learned mathematics, as well as how to teach mathematics.

Avon Benjamin, chair of the Mathematics department at Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas, was one of the eight teachers who completed UVI's first two-year cohort in May. Benjamin, who has taught at Eudora Kean for 16 years, said UVI's Master's in Mathematics for Secondary Teachers program was a valuable professional development opportunity.

"After completing the program there is a sense of legitimacy - you become a highly qualified teacher," Benjamin said. In addition to researching and learning how different students learn, Benjamin said he gained an appreciation for varying approaches between mathematics educators and educational administrators. "We end up with the best of both worlds - from both points of view," he said.

While the first class of the second cohort began in January, Goodwin said there is still plenty of time for additional students to enroll.
UVI Math Master's Cohort II

For information about UVI's Master's in Mathematics for Secondary Teachers program, please contact Dr. Vanere Goodwin at 340-692-3143 or by e-mail at vgoodwi@uvi.edu .