In Academics, Announcements, Campaign, School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Starting in fall 2018, the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ new BA degree in Mathematics supports Cairn’s growing number of tech-related majors.

This fall, Cairn will enroll its first students in a new campaign-funded mathematics major. Leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree, the new major can serve as a first step for a variety of career paths in fields such as statistics, business analytics, and actuarial science.

Housed in Cairn’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the coursework requires at least four semesters of calculus, while providing opportunity for students to study nearly a dozen mathematical fields in varying depth. Gavin Hobbs, instructor in mathematics, says that “this is one of the specialties of the degree: It is balanced for both breadth and depth in mathematics. I believe this makes the Cairn major superior to many BA mathematics majors in the US. The degree is a foundation for students launching themselves into many of the scientific fields that exist today, as well as fields that may not yet exist.”

Mathematics students at Cairn will gain a deep understanding and mastery of a detailed level of problem-solving through in-depth study; in addition, fifteen credits of math electives also allow students to explore the range of options within the fields of pure and applied mathematics. Beyond the program’s 42 required math credits, students gain the foundational knowledge and vocabulary to think biblically about their discipline and lives through the University’s 30-credit Bible and theology core.

While earning a BA degree in mathematics opens new STEM career options to students seeking to walk a different path at Cairn, its courses also expand opportunities for students in other majors. Significantly, the new courses enrich the mathematical base of Cairn’s new computer science and information system majors, also funded by the Forward campaign’s science and technology priority.

School of Education students share the benefits, as well. Math teachers are in high demand, with Pennsylvania reporting a significant shortage of teachers certified in Mathematics (Grades 7–12) in 2016–17. Cairn students eager to step into that gap have a new, appealing program option: a dual-level program leading to a BA degree in mathematics and an MS in Education. Designed to be completed in just five years, the dual-level program includes at least 42 credits of mathematics, compared to the 24 math credits required by the undergraduate Secondary Education (Mathematics) major. Most students qualify for undergraduate financial aid for all five years of the dual-level program. (Dual-level programs leading to a BA/MSEd are also available for aspiring English and social studies teachers.)

“This degree is a step towards a fuller realization of Cairn’s mission. As Cairn expands into the science and technology fields, a strong mathematics base is a first step. These other fields do not exist apart from mathematics. With the BA Mathematics program in place, the math courses available not only to math majors, but to all Cairn students, will prepare our students to be biblically minded, professionally competent men and women in an increasingly technological and mathematical world,” says Hobbs.

Mathematics is the fourth new major funded by Forward: The Campaign for Cairn University. Gifts supporting the exploration of science and technology programs have also helped launch majors in computer science, information systems, and graphic design. Learn more about our campaign priorities and how you can support Cairn’s mission here.

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