Elementary Math Instructional Leader

 Elem Ed Skip Fennell students illustration


McDaniel College’s Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader (EMIL) program was the first Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) approved program for PreK-6 Mathematics Instructional Leader certification.

The EMIL program and related coursework is designed for practicing elementary or early childhood educators who seek positions as mathematics instructional leaders or specialists at the elementary school level. The program was developed in collaboration with a partnership between McDaniel College’s Elementary Mathematics Specialists and Teacher Leaders Project (EMS&TL) supported by The Brookhill Foundation.

Key Features of the EMIL program include:

• Become certified as a Mathematics Instructional Leader for grade PreK-6.

• Deepen mathematical knowledge in critical mathematics content areas.

• Develop an understanding of trends and issues related to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

• Complete an internship focusing on the role of the mathematics specialist/instructional leader.

• Develop skills related to diagnosis and intervention in mathematics.

• Extend the MSDE certification sequence into a M.S. in Elementary Education with three additional courses and a thesis (10 additional credits beyond certification).

Why McDaniel

• Connect with other mathematics specialists – locally and regionally.

• Interact with the Elementary Mathematics Specialists and Teacher Leaders Project (EMS&TL).

• Develop leadership skills.

• Complete an internship focusing on the role of the mathematics specialist/instructional leader.

• Prepare for your school or school district’s transition to and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

• Balances full-time faculty with adjunct instructors who draw course content from best practices in the classroom.

• Offers convenient schedules to fit your busy schedule.

• Highly competitive tuition.

Admissions Requirements

• Completed application for graduate study

• Submit the non-refundable application fee

• Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

• Three official letters of recommendation

• Passing Praxis II scores

• Initial Certification in elementary or early childhood education with 27 months of successful teaching experience

o Note: Your 27 months of experience must be completed by the end of the program

MSDE Certification Requirements

A. Hold a valid, professional certificate;

B. Complete a minimum of 21 semester hours of post-baccalaureate credit, or Department-approved Continuing Professional Development credits, which include the following areas:

(1) Content knowledge for teaching mathematics, including numbers and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and measurement, and data analysis and probability;

(2) Pedagogical knowledge for teaching mathematics, including learners and learning, teaching, curriculum, and assessment;

(3) Leadership knowledge and skills; and

(4) At least 3 semester hours or the equivalent in a supervised practicum or school-based internship in which the applicant works with a range of students in grades PreK—6 and adult learners in a variety of professional development settings; and

C. Present verification of 27 months of satisfactory teaching experience including mathematics.


John SanGiovanni, Program Coordinator

Career Opportunities for Graduates

• Elementary level Mathematics Instructional Leader

• Elementary Math Specialist

• Elementary Math Curriculum Specialist

Important Dates

Applications are accepted and processed throughout the year but the College recommends that students submit their applications and supporting materials well in advance of the start of the semester in which they plan to enroll.

Recommended Application Filing Dates:
Fall Semester – by or before August 1
Spring Semester - by or before December 15
Summer Session - by or before May 1

These filing dates are after the opening of registration for those semesters so students wishing to have the greatest choice of courses should submit their applications earlier.

Note: Cohort courses and deadlines are subject to alternate schedules. Please contact the program Coordinator for alternate dates.


1. How do I apply? 
Visit the How to Apply page for application procedures and forms.

2. I’m a first-year teacher, can I take the program if I don’t have 27 months of experience?
Yes, MSDE requires that you have 27 months of experience by the completion of the program which takes approximately two years.

3. Do I have to apply for Elementary Education if I want to transfer my credits into the full M.S. degree?
There are a couple of options for those pursuing the M.S. in Elementary Education:

a. If you already know that you want to pursue the M.S. degree, apply for the M.S. in Elementary Education from the start and let the advisor know that you wish to pursue the EMIL track.

b. If you’re unsure about whether you want to pursue the M.S. degree, apply for the EMIL program, complete it and then submit a second application for Elementary Education. Your application fees will be waived if you pursue this method.