Certificate of Completion

Deepening Understanding of Mathematics Teaching, Learning, and Leading

Quick Facts

  • 15-21 credits for a certificate of completion
  • Take an additional 3-credit practicum to qualify for a Mathematics Instructional Leader Specialization through TSPC
  • Off-campus evening or summer weeklong intensive courses accommodate working professionals
  • Courses can be taken in any order

Teaching math is about more than numbers. Math educators guide students along paths of logic. They instill self-confidence. They offer fast-paced, thought-provoking challenges. The Mathematics Instructional Leader (MIL) program is for teachers, teacher leaders, and coaches who are seeking a deeper understanding of the mathematics you teach. You want to know how to best engage students in mathematical thinking and problem-solving. You seek ways to support mathematics teaching, learning, and growth within your classroom and school.

Keeping instructional implications in mind, we provide educators with opportunities to explore mathematics, share and discuss the work of their students, analyze tasks and curriculum materials, and read related research to better understand student thinking and trends in thinking. Our graduates are prepared to lead both within their classroom and beyond.


Nicole Rigelman
Program Coordinator


Elizabeth Snyder
Admissions Advisor

Program Benefits

  • Deepen mathematical content knowledge, including the specialized knowledge needed for teaching mathematics and the development of mathematical ideas across the grades
  • Attend to both content and pedagogy and the ways that teaching supports the learning of content
  • Develop expertise in using and helping others use effective instructional practices centered on students’ mathematical thinking.
  • Increase ability to support school and district efforts that help all students learn important mathematics.
  • Experience incredible value: Learn from experienced teachers—and do so in convenient locations and at an accessible price

Program Specifics

  • Translate theory learned in the classroom into experience learned through a practicum
  • Off-campus evening courses throughout the Portland metro area and summer weeklong intensive courses accommodate working professionals
  • Courses can be taken individually, in any order

About the program

The program models research-informed best practices in delivery and supports development of such practices. What participants are saying:

About mathematics…
“Through this course, I have had a fundamental shift in my thinking. I came into the course open-minded with no clear expectations of what it was going to be like. What I encountered was a fast-paced, thought provoking, and challenging examination of not only what math is but what it means to really teach math.”

About teaching…
“I am both anxious and excited about experimenting with all of the things that I have learned. It is one thing to know that it is the way that it should be done but another to actually implement. I think that it will be a process. It is a new way of teaching math for me and will take some time. As long as I remind myself of that, and continue to focus on students and their thinking, we will make progress together.”

About learning…
“An important takeaway ... is that ALL STUDENTS are capable of learning. Math thinking is molded and shaped in ways that are as unique as the student who is doing the thinking. Yes, some student will learn faster and some will learn slower, but all paths are justified, and all students have the right to learn math in a way that meets their needs. There is no special math club that only a select few students can have membership [in]. All students are mathematicians.”

Our graduates

Our graduates serve as classroom teachers, mathematics teacher leaders, new teacher mentors, mathematics/instructional coaches, mathematics intervention specialists, and district mathematics specialists. Graduates of MIL work in schools and school districts; education service districts (ESD) such as Multnomah County ESD, Northwest Regional ESD, and ESD 112; professional development organizations such as Teachers Development Group and Math Solutions; and curriculum development organizations such as the Mathematics Learning Center and Curriculum Associates.

Why PSU?

PSU offers one of only two MIL programs in Oregon that are approved by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. PSU’s Deepening Math program is unique within that exclusive group in that our courses integrate mathematics content and pedagogy to provide immediately applicable learning. But the uniqueness of this program extends beyond scheduling. At PSU, our deep welcome and inclusive environment unlocks the hidden potential in students of all life stages, viewpoints, and backgrounds. The MIL offers individual support resources and real-world applications that incorporate the needs of the whole person, nurturing in students the strong convictions and fearless confidence critical to academic success.