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Oklahoma Elementary Mathematics Specialist (OEMS) Certification

Overview
Why Support the Oklahoma Elementary Math Specialist Program?
Eligible Prerequisites and Requirements
Contact Information
University Contact Information for OEMS Coursework
Resources for Higher Education Institutions Only
OEMS Resources


Overview
Oklahoma Elementary Mathematics Specialist (OEMS) is a process that allows elementary and/or early childhood teachers to earn an elementary mathematics specialist certification in grades PK-5. The certification process and requirement was approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Education during its Feb. 23, 2012, board meeting. Now more than ever, teachers need to have vital tools to meet the needs of Common Core State Standards' rigors and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers' (PARCC) in-depth assessments, which Oklahoma has adopted to implement in 2014. OEMS professionals must know and understand elementary school mathematics as well as how mathematics concepts and skills develop through the secondary level. This includes specialized knowledge that teachers need in order to understand and support student learning of elementary mathematics. OEMS professionals also need to be prepared to take on collegial non-evaluative leadership roles within their schools and districts. They must have a broad view of many aspects and resources needed to support and facilitate effective instruction and professional growth.

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Why Support the Oklahoma Elementary Math Specialist Program?
Higher Test Scores: Research findings indicate that, overall, students in school with mathematics specialists for three years have significantly higher scores on high-stakes, state-standardized achievement tests for mathematics as compared to students in control schools (grades three, four and five).

Advanced Students: Students in schools with elementary mathematics specialists had a statistically significant greater probability of achieving "advanced proficient" status than did students in the control schools (Campbell, 2009).

Teacher Leaders:  Math specialists are teachers who know and understand mathematics and can effectively mentor their colleagues.

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Eligible Prerequisites and Requirements

OEMS Program Prerequisites

  1. Have valid teacher certification in elementary education and/or early childhood education.
  2. Have two years of full-time teaching experience in grades PK-5 at an accredited school under a valid state-issued teacher credential.

OEMS Program Requirements

  1. Eighteen hours of graduate coursework at one of the institutions of higher education offering OEMS courses.
  2. Passing score on the Oklahoma Elementary Mathematics Specialist certification examination.
  3. Application with the university’s recommendation for OEMS certification submitted to the Oklahoma State Department of Education along with $25 application fee.

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Contact Information

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University Contact Information for OEMS Coursework

Cameron University
Dr. Rebecca Easley
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematical Sciences
580.581.2487
reasley@cameron.edu

East Central University
Debbie Claxton
Education Instructor
580.559.5309
dclaxton@ecok.edu 

Northeastern State University
Dr. Martha Parrott
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Program Chair, M.Ed. Mathematics Education
Director, NSU Mathematics Clinic
918.449.6536
parrott@nsuok.edu

Oklahoma State University
Dr. Juliana Utley
Associate Professor, Mathematics Education
Alice Phillips Professor in Elementary Education
405.744.8111
juliana.utley@okstate.edu

Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Dr. Linda Kallam
Professor
Program Coordinator, M.Ed. Mathematics Specialist
Department of Mathematics
580.745.2682
lkallam@se.edu

University of Central Oklahoma
Dr. Darlinda Cassel
Associate Professor
405.974.5128
dcassel2@uco.edu

University of Oklahoma
Dr. Stacy Reeder
Associate Professor, Mathematics Education
405.325.3533
Reeder@ou.edu

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Resources for Higher Education Institutions Only
OCTP Fact Sheet for Higher Education Institutions (PDF, 114k)

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OEMS Resources
OEMS Fact Sheet (PDF, 153k)
SDE Board Feb. 23, 2012, Meeting Agenda (PDF, 218k)
SDE Board Feb. 23, 2012, OEMS Presentation (PDF, 1.6m)
OEMS Competencies (PDF, 409k)
AMTE Position Paper: The Role of Elementary Mathematics Specialists in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics (PDF, 117k)
NCSSM Journal: We Need Elementary Mathematics Specialists Now, More Than Ever: A Historical Perspective and Call to Action (PDF, 133k)
Professional Educator Standards Board, Washington: Elementary Mathematics Specialist Work Group (external link)
Elementary Mathematics Specialists and Teacher Leaders (EMSTL) Project (external link)

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ECU student using a calculator
Photo courtesy of East Central University.