Newberry College to grow math educators through grant

June 22, 2023

Newberry College has received a grant from the South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics to relieve the state’s shortage of math teachers, starting with current K-12 students.

With the help of grant funds, the college will partner with the Newberry County School District to offer professional learning opportunities to middle and high school students. The innovative project seeks to cultivate a love of math and education well before college, setting off a sustained rippling effect for years to come.

“We are so thankful to have been awarded this grant,” said Dr. Susan Fernandez, dean of education at Newberry College. “This will help grow teachers here in our local communities, creating memorable moments and fostering the merriment of math.

“Thank you to Dr. Kim Neal, a former high school math teacher, for working diligently to secure this grant,” she added.

According to South Carolina’s Center of Educator Recruitment, Retention & Advancement, math is the second highest area in need of teachers, next to special education. Math positions make up 184 out of the 1,273 teaching vacancies across the state.

The college’s plan includes four professional learning events in Newberry beginning this fall.

On Sept. 29, the “Falling in Love with Math” Campus Visit will allow students to participate in college math classes and math-related activities, featuring a luncheon with college students and guest speaker from the center, who will detail the positive aspects of becoming a math teacher.

This fall and in the spring, high school seniors and Newberry College freshmen and sophomores will engage in professional development related to succeeding in the math portion of the Praxis Core exam, including preparation resources, mentorships and training by experienced professionals.

At the end of fall semester, current math teachers from across South Carolina will gain instructional strategies and develop strong relationships and support systems in the Education Expertise Meet & Greet.

In spring 2024, the college will host “Valuing Our Community” events in various locations, where participants will learn about the importance of community to education.

“I’m thrilled at the opportunities that this grant will provide for Newberry College to provide positive practices in the education profession, and the establishment of strong, trusting relationships with a variety of educational and community supporters,” said Dr. Kim Neal, program coordinator for math education at the college.

The project’s leaders will present their results and findings at the council’s annual conference in fall 2024.

For more information about this project, contact Neal at [email protected].


About Newberry College

Newberry College is a private, residential, co-educational institution with a diverse student population. Founded in 1856 by the Lutheran Church, Newberry College continues to be ranked among the South’s best colleges by U.S. News & World Report, consistently honored for value (No. 6), social mobility (No. 8) and overall best (No. 11). Offering baccalaureate degrees in 39 majors, two graduate programs, five fully online undergraduate programs and five dual-degree programs, the College’s foundation remains grounded in the liberal arts. In addition, the College offers 24 NCAA Division II sports, cheerleading, dance and esports. Newberry College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the National Association of Schools of Music. For more information, visit