The Salish Kootenai College (SKC) is proposing to develop a Mathematical Sciences (MS) program with two options for students. The first option is an Associate of Science in Mathematical Sciences (ASMS) and the second option is a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education-Mathematics(BoSSEM). The program will be a collaborative effort between the SKC Education Department, SKC's STEM Division, and the Indigenous Math and Science Institute primarily, with valuable input from tribal elders, education professionals, and other tribal community partners. The overall goal of the SKC-MS program is to improve the achievement and representation of American Indian people in math and math education. This goal will be realized through specific objectives and activities designed to facilitate an effective and efficient transition of qualified students through each program. This proposal is driven by the urgent need for mathematicians and mathematics teachers, especially American Indian teachers for reservation schools.
The SKC-MS Program will follow the developments within the K-16 mathematics education initiative, which is to be jointly administered by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.
Intellectual Merit The SKC-MS Program will use innovative and transformational strategies in implementing the new culturally competent Mathematical Science and Secondary Education in Mathematics programs. Likewise, the project's evaluation focus will ensure the programs are on track and lead to successful outcomes. The program stakeholders will work closely with the evaluation team to gather and analyze data from the program. Program outcomes will be used to generate a new conceptual framework for supporting the growth of American Indian mathematicians and secondary math teachers.
Broader Impacts The SKC-MS Program will have broader impacts as evidenced by an increase in the numbers of American Indian math teachers who can support American Indian middle and high school students effectively. In addition, the SKC-MS Program will make a significant impact within the mathematical sciences discipline through cultural integration. SKC faculty will gain added skills in and understanding of culturally competent teaching and will generate new culturally competent courses through interactions with tribal elders and educators. The addition of higher level mathematics will enhance other STEM programs at SKC, improving SKC's ability to support student achievement in all academic areas of the college, possibly leading to additional STEM BS programs. The results and outcomes from the SKC-MS Program will be disseminated in professional publications and conferences that will add to the knowledge base surrounding mathematics and mathematics education. SKC will be the first tribal college to offer a Secondary Mathematics Education degree program. The SKC education department can build upon the success of both the Secondary Science and Secondary Mathematics programs and potentially expand into other STEM education disciplines. The program results will be disseminated widely for use by teacher preparation programs at other tribal colleges and universities.