The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Math gets a make over

Nathaniel Kelly

The Broadside

Change is in store for students here at COCC.  The math department is redesigning Math 60 through 95 courses to help students.

“We would be able to service a lot more students so that we could minimize wait-lists,” said Elizabeth Coleman, a mathematics professor at the college.

Wait-listed students now have a chance to get into a math course.

Students and staff members have seen wait lists skyrocket this year due to an influx of students taking mathematics courses. To combat this problem, the math department decided summer term that it is time to redesign the math department to better meet the needs of students.  Math is a necessity required for most majors and considering the wait lists, students might not achieve their goals.

Therefore, to meet students needs, more courses will be available to students.  This is possible because a conversion of the math 60 course will take place winter term, 2010. This conversion means that instead if having lectures take place two to three days a week for 200 minutes, lectures will be one day a week for 100 minutes, and students will attend a computer lab session four hours a week, which gives students the flexibility of attending a lab session any day and time of the week.

“The benefit,” according to Doug Nelson, the head of the mathematical department, “is that this gives faculty members and administrative staff the ability to offer more sections.”

Students will be utilizing an interactive mathematical software program.  If students need help, tutors and part-time faculty members will be available.

“Computer lab helps augment time…and offers flexibility,” said Nelson.

The computer lab will be located in the Mazama building once construction is complete in the winter.  There will be two classroom labs that will be available beginning winter term.  Nelson instituted this system because he had goals in mind: student success and the improvement of  the percentage of student completion rate.  He had one challenge when trying to improve that student success ratio:how can we handle large amounts of students.  The present format only allows for limited space and professors are not meeting the course outcomes according to Nelson.

“Many of the course outcomes are not degree specific” said Nelson, meaning that students are not able to meet the course outcomes.

“We are now in course drift,” said Nelson, meaning that COCC is drifting away from what a math course is.

“By converting to this form, we hope to improve student success,” said Nelson.

COCC students can expect this conversion to go into effect winter term 2010 beginning with the Math 60 course.  Math 65 will follow, utilizing this system in spring term.  Also in spring term 2010, this system will expand into the Redmond Campus, which will offer the Math 60 course.

“Students will be more efficient with their time and be more successful, which is what we hope to improve,” said Nelson.

You may contact Nathaniel Kelly at [email protected]

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