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07 June 2005

EMCAT Grant Boosts Math Instruction; Teacher Workshop Begins July 18

Jacksonville State University recently received a $168,062 grant from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education to fund a program called Exploring Mathematical Concepts through Applications of Technology (EMCAT). EMCAT is professional development program for in-service teachers designed to increase secondary mathematics teachers' content and pedagogical knowledge with the aim of improving mathematics achievement of all students in the public school systems.

"Our goal in seeking funding for EMCAT is to provide state of the art mathematics instruction for secondary mathematics teachers that includes the latest technology available for classroom use," said Dr. Cynthia Harper, professor and dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies.

"A side benefit is that math faculty from both the College of Education and Professional Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences plan to continue advanced instruction during scheduled visits to participants' schools in the fall semester 2005. Making the classroom follow-up visits will provide faculty the opportunity to observe teacher participants as they apply the mathematical and technological principles and strategies learned during the summer sessions."

Secondary mathematics teachers from around the area will study under the faculty of JSU's College of Education and Professional Studies and the Department of Mathematics, Computing, and Information Sciences in a coordinated effort to improve mathematics instruction offered to high school students throughout the region.

"It is exciting to see two JSU colleges working together with top secondary mathematics educators, with the goal of improving instruction and creating students who are better prepared to enter college and the workforce," said Dr. Jan Case, the head of the department of MCIS.

The grant money will be used to conduct workshops on the campus of JSU from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week of July 18 through 23. The five-day summer workshop is designed to provide assistance to math teachers to help with the integration of technology into their respective classrooms.

The week will include a focus on the five mathematical categories specified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM): number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability.

Through the generosity of JSU and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the teachers will incur no expense but will reap numerous benefits such as three credit hours of graduate-level mathematics (the course MS 549), including textbook, up to $1,000 worth of software and other teaching aids, and a Texas Instruments TI-83 graphing calculator.

Participating teachers will also receive an all expense-paid trip to the NASA facility in Huntsville to learn about materials available for classroom use. Two other follow-up workshops will be held to assist the teachers with the implementation of new teaching methods. The grant will pay for the teacher's substitute while they attend the workshops in the fall.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for secondary teachers," said Dr. Case "Hopefully, funding can be obtained to extend the opportunity to another group of teachers next year." JSU desires to provide the very best in teacher preparation and professional development. EMCAT is just one example of the value that JSU places on quality educational experience.

Enrollment is limited to 30 and only 22 seats remain. Preregistration is required. For more information contact Dr. Delisa Dismukes at or Dr. Jan Wilson at Anyone wishing to participate in the workshop may download an application at

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