Professional Development for the Practical

Teaching classes during the day and grading papers and spending time with family at night add up to long hours and a busy life for a secondary math teacher.

Taking time out to attend professional development classes can seem like a daunting task. Who has the time?

Radford University’s Math Education Content Area Studies program offers licensed Virginia mathematics teachers an opportunity to enroll in courses in which they can earn a master’s degree or a mathematics certificate. And it’s all online.

In-service teachers seeking a master’s degree complete 36 hours, 18 in math and 18 in education, technology and research. The mathematics certificate program consists of 18 course hours.

“One of the strengths of this program is that it is all online, and that draws a lot of teachers to it,” said Darryl Corey, the program’s director. “The last thing teachers want to do is leave work and go sit in a classroom. Through this program, they can go home, be with their families and still attend classes and still get a master’s degree and the professional development they seek.”

Another pillar of the program, Corey said, is that its cohorts have teachers from all over Virginia, from such large geographic regions as Hampton Roads and Richmond to the smaller rural areas of Southwest Virginia. “We have teachers from all over the state who collaborate, learn together and offer a variety of perspectives,” he said.

Teachers enrolled in the program also have an opportunity to learn for two weeks onsite at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton. “There, they learn how to take real-world mathematics applications and turn them into lessons for the students,” Corey said. “So, when they leave there, they have lesson plans that are not theoretical, but based on real data and experiences at NASA.”

To learn more about the program, contact Corey at 540-831-7622 or

May 19, 2016
Chad Osborne