Math Class Fills a Need at KC’s Nashville Education Center

Twelve students from all over southern Illinois packed a tiny classroom at Kaskaskia College’s Nashville Education Center for the Math 170: Math for Elementary School Teachers class this summer.

The students, from as far away as Pittsfield, Vandalia, and Granite City are all training to become elementary or middle school teachers, and need the class as part of their curricula.  They chose to attend the class in Nashville because of availability, low cost, and the quality of instruction provided by Beth Boester, an adjunct Mathematics instructor for KC.

“It takes me two hours to get here,” said Kayla Smith of Pittsfield, “but it is worth it because not very many schools offer this course over the summer and KC charges the lowest tuition of any of them.”

The students also expressed their appreciation of the comprehensive style of the class, which features not only instruction in Mathematics, but also Math in literature and hands-on projects designed to help them engage with their future pupils and teach in a way that is fun and engaging.

One recent project they completed was the creation of games that teach fundamentals like addition, subtraction, percentages, Roman numerals and place values of larger numbers using blocks, cards, beads and other aids to make the learning fun.

“These are fun projects, but they also meet common core standards for teaching,” Beth Boester said.  She conducts the class as a hybrid, with 5 weeks of face to face class times augmented by lessons and tutorials available to the students online.  “The online content allows us to prepare for our class meetings, so that when we meet we can collaborate on ideas, help each other work through problems, and keep up the enthusiasm for becoming great teachers.”

While the class setting is not ideal with the twelve students and Mrs. Boester shoehorned into a tiny classroom, it does show the real need for space that is behind the campaign to expand the Nashville Education Center.  While the fundraising campaign is expected to kickoff later this year, Kaskaskia College is already moving forward on the design of the new Center, which will be be located on IL Rt. 127 just north of the City of Nashville.  This expanded Washington County facility is expected to allow for a much greater offering of training and educational programming than what is currently available in the small space the Center currently occupies.

For more information on the Nashville Education Center, please contact the Director, Ruth Barczewski, at 618-327-9136 or by email at​

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