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Math Pathways to Give College Students Options to Algebra - KOAM TV 7

Math Pathways to Give College Students Options to Algebra

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Joplin, MO -

Have you ever heard students say, 'When am i going to use this math?'  State education officials have heard college students cries and are answering with a new program called Missouri Math Pathways.

MSSU Sophomore Jacey Vangel is not a fan of math. "When I hear the word algebra, I get filled with a sense of dread.  I don’t want to take algebra."   She  put off taking math her entire freshman year and  so did   her classmate, Elijah Smith. 

 

Smith agreed, "I hate math  but since I’ve had this class, I’ve started to like it a lot more."
This class is contemporary math.  A different option to algebra through  Missouri math pathways. A state developed program to give students the math they need for their careers.   

MSSU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Paula Carson said, "It’s not about making math easier,  making less math. It's about customizing math to specific curricular needs of the different majors.  It’s very  much the idea,  we no longer have to follow a one size fits all for math!"

Sayra Nieto, an MSSU chemistry major, is excited about the change. She said, "I feel like it’s important for students to  do something that they're  actually going to need in their specific field, than to do something just to have it as a mandatory class." She took algebra as a mandatory class. But now even those in the sciences can jump ahead to advanced math applications like calculus.

 

Assistant math professor Jacob Boswell said the new plan puts students on a faster path to meeting requirements. “It’s really good  for the students. You’re an art major. You don’t need two remedial classes in college algebra, because why do you need college algebra anyway?”

More than fifty percent of Missouri high school students come to college needing remediation in math because officials say they are academically unprepared for college algebra.  The pathways program is designed to solve part of that problem in getting students to stay to graduation..

Carson said, "It’s very  frustrating.  A great deterrent. We would have students who were still trying to get through math after a year or two here and therefore they  weren’t able to progress and it just became overwhelmingly frustrating for many students and they would  end up dropping out."
Southern officials  and the state hope math pathways ends the frustration and Jacey believes it does.

She said, "In the past, I’ve looked at math and said I’m never gonna use this. Like this is just something I’m  fulfilling a requirement. But in this class, I’m learning things I think I’ll be able to use  everyday. It  makes me excited to come to class. For once I don’t dread it."

 

There  are five math pathways including  one  specifically designed for education major who not only have to learn math but teach it as well.

The state task force has met since 2014 to come up with specifications for Missouri Math Pathways also expected to improve students abilities to transfer credits between schools.

Find a link here.

http://dhe.mo.gov/aau-initiatives-mathpathways.php











 
 

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