COLLEGE OF SCIENCE,
ENGINEERING AND
TECHNOLOGY

Math Seminar

COLLEGE PREP MATHEMATICS COURSE FOR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL PARTNERS

by

Virgil Pierce

Department of Mathematics, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Room 146 at Science Building

Abstract

We are engaged in a collaboration of the community colleges, technical college, and our university serving four counties of South Texas. In response to 2014 legislation in the State of Texas we joined with a local non-profit agency and the public school districts to develop and deliver College Prep Courses in English language arts and mathematics. The goal is for students to place into, and ultimately be successful in, college level writing intensive and mathematics intensive courses (for us this is mostly College Algebra and Statistics courses). While this is a state level mandate without funding our implementation has been unique in a very important way: our course can be implemented by a school district for no additional cost beyond that for the teacher and the classroom.

We are hosting the mathematics courses on the online homework server WebWork being managed at UTRGV, and now are offering the use of our server for all high school level mathematics courses in our local region. The College Prep Mathematics Course has seen extraordinary success in its first year of implementation – over half of the students who successfully completed half of the course requirements passed the state’s college readiness assessment. In the second round of course development (Summer 2015) we focused the first half of the course on functioning as a stand-alone Texas college readiness assessment preparation. Schools are now offering this as a flexible entry and exit workshop for students who cannot take the more formal course we initially developed.

This presentation will focus on our development process, the research behind it, and the product we have put together. We will try to address how this effort could be replicated in other regions, and ways in which the goal of high efficiency use of existing resources can be maintained.

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