CCCCD Launches Innovative Math Prep Program

MAY 16, 2002 - This summer, Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) will launch the Mathematics Passport Program, an innovative pilot program for students requiring additional preparation for college-level mathematics. This new math program allows students to receive condensed, intensive instruction in the specific segments of math needed to advance to the next level without having to complete the entire math course.

The Passport Program, designed for high school graduates, current CCCCD students and adults returning to college, is delivered in a five-week format that runs from June 3 - July 3 at CCCCD's Spring Creek Campus, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano. Students will meet from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. The program fee is $75 plus tuition. To enroll, call (972) 881-5773.

CCCCD math faculty created the Passport Program collaboratively after discovering that a number of high school graduates were required to take developmental math classes to ready them for college-level math classes. This program helps ease the transition to college math.

"The unique aspect of the Passport Program is that students study only the math areas in which further instruction is needed," said Dr. Rosemary Karr, co-director of the Passport Program and CCCCD math professor. "For example, students are not required to work through an entire textbook if they only need help in one or two chapters. With the help of instructors, they learn what they need to learn to move on to the next level. This individualized math curriculum is called a 'student success plan.' Conceivably, a motivated student could work through several math levels in five weeks."

"We worked collaboratively to develop a unique program so that college-bound students have the computational competencies needed to thrive in an undergraduate environment," said Cary Israel, CCCCD president. "I know of no other college that offers this type of flexible, responsive and condensed mathematics program."

After placement at a specific competency level, students may enroll in any of the following mathematics courses: Basic Math (Math 0300); Pre-Algebra (Math 0302); Beginning Algebra (Math 0305); or Intermediate Algebra (Math 0310). Students will also be taught how to use a graphing calculator in all of the Passport Program math classes.

The flexible curriculum is structured to accommodate a variety of learning styles and includes a range of instructional formats - from small groups and individualized instruction with tutors to computers and instructional math videos. "We plan to help students identify how they learn best by offering a learning style inventory," said Judy Godwin, CO-director of the Passport Program and CCCCD math professor. "Students can then choose a learning mode that suits them." In addition, students will receive personalized attention through the 10:1 student/teacher ratio.

Dr. Karr stressed that the program offers more than a "brush up" of math concepts. "The Passport Program is not just a math review program," said Dr. Karr. "This program is for any student who has the motivation to strengthen their math skills to be successful at college-level math - even if they have not taken advanced math or if they took math classes many years ago, such as nontraditional students." For more information about the Passport Program, call Carie Andrews, CCCCD academic advisor, at (972) 881-5773 or email candrews@ccccd.edu.