Two Programs to Increase
Success Rates in Community
College Math Classes
The Community College of Baltimore County – Essex
7201 Rossville Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21237-3899
(443) 840-2630 firstname.lastname@example.org
AFACCT ’14 Conference, hosted by
Prince George’s Community College
11:40 am – 12:50 pm
DEVELOPED THROUGH MY
PARTICIPATION IN PROJECT
math is a dream killer for
many students. More than 70 percent
of community college students start
(and too often end) in noncredit
developmental classes. Remedial math
has become the largest single barrier
to student advancement.” - Tomin
must find a better way to serve our
developmental mathematics students.”
At random quizzes to assess homework completion.
3 tests throughout the semester.
Test review sheets before each test.
Regular tests were not cumulative.
Cumulative final exam.
• Students were not completing homework.
• The ‘threat’ of a quiz was not enough to get a
student to do his homework or to get him to
come to class.
• Since the tests were not cumulative, poor
retention of material.
• Low overall success rates.
• Too many students were ‘swarming’ my office
hours before exams.
• The only ‘homework’ my students took seriously,
were the test review sheets!
• The only days which I had perfect attendance were
“Give Lots of Tests and Lots of Test Review Sheets!”
10 Test Review Sheets.
– Much longer since this was to be all of the
homework which they would be doing for the
– Review sheets focus on the given topic but also
include cumulative review of prior topics.
– Shorter, 30 minutes instead of an entire class period.
Still a cumulative final exam.
For Test Review Sheet
1) Do the Review Sheet without looking at the
2) Access the answer key, check your answers,
retry any which you got incorrect.
3) If all else fails, watch the test review sheet
BE A BROKEN RECORD ABOUT THE
FACT THAT STUDENTS MUST FOLLOW
THE THREE STEPS!
“The path to becoming an astronaut is harder than I thought!”
“ I can teach it to you, but I can’t learn it for
you.” - Sarah
“Unfortunately, my magic wand doesn’t
work!” (I actually wave a magic wand!)
“Just because you sit in class, and
understand what is said, doesn’t mean
you have learned it. You need to
practice, practice, practice!!!”
MY MUSIC ANALOGY
“I can watch it expertly
performed. It makes perfect
sense when I read through the
music…, but until I spend
hours and hours practicing it
for myself, I will not have
… It’s the same with math!
a certain athleticism to
doing math. It’s not enough to
just be able to work through
problems. You must be able to
work through them quickly and
accurately. To become quick and
accurate, you must
practice, practice, practice.”
• Students were working outside of class!
• Slight Increase in daily attendance: 80%
• Students were no longer flogging my office hours.
• Decreased test anxiety for students since they had
more ‘practice’ taking tests.
• Better performance on final exam since the 10
tests had all been cumulative.
• Higher Success Rate: 51%
“I have failed this class twice before, but this time I am
coming to class, doing the review sheets and passing!”
“The review videos are great!”
“I don’t feel so overwhelmed doing it this way. I still wait
til the night before the test to study, but we have so
many tests that I’m studying a lot.”
“I like the 10 tests idea because its not as stressful.”
THE FINE PRINT
Micromessaging to Reach and Teach Every
Student, a professional development program
for teachers, is designed to in-crease the
participation and success of their students in
Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics (STEM), with an emphasis on
underrepresented populations, including
women. Educators, including secondary and
post-secondary faculty, learn how they can use
the power of micromessages (small and often
subtle, yet powerful messages) to improve
classroom pedagogy and increase the
enrollment, retention, performance and
completion of students in STEM.
Little Changes can make a big
difference in attracting more
students (in general) to STEM
*TAKE NOTES ON THE PERSONAL
INFORMATION GIVEN TO YOU BY A
*BRING THIS PERSONAL
INFORMATION BACK UP TO THE
STUDENT AT A LATER DATE IN THE
the application problems you do
during class to the majors of your
actual student names in the application
you like doing problems like
this, consider a career in the __________
care what you know
until they know that
Lots of Little Changes…
and One Big Project!
TO RECRUIT STUDENTS
majors earn $500,000 more than nonSTEM majors over a lifetime.”
million job vacancies in STEM anticipated
in the US between through 2018.
Georgetown's Center on Education and the
Workforce predicts that the total number of
STEM jobs will grow 26 percent between
2010 and 2020
2012 report by President Obama’s
Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology stated that over the next
decade, 1 million additional STEM
graduates will be needed.
…. AND IF I CAN’T
CONVINCE YOU TO CHANGE
YOUR MAJOR, I’LL WORK TO
CONVINCE YOU TO TAKE
Students who take higher-level math courses earn
Highest Math Completed vs. Yearly Salary Averages
annual earnings of those who
have taken calculus is about 65
percent higher than the earnings of
those who have only completed
PROJECT DESIGN HIGHLIGHTS
day survey including, “What is your major?”
and use worksheets, one for each chapter
covered in the course, and also a mid-term project.
a) Reinforce the importance of STEM.
b) Introduce a different STEM career.
the end of each chapter, give short video
“commercials” which encourage students to continue to
the next higher math course along a STEM track and
also to consider STEM related majors.
day survey including, “What is your major?”
Have you ever considered a career as an Actuary?
Have you ever considered a career as a Pharmacist?
Have you ever considered a career as an Natural Resources
Have you ever considered a career in CyberSecurity?
Have you ever considered a career in transportation
(Listed on the 2012 Forbes Report on Best Paying College Majors
A Midterm Project on Meteorology
There were 9,640 atmospheric and space scientists
employed in the United States as of May
2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average salary paid to the workers was
$90,860 a year.
In an 2011 article entitled 10 JOBS WITH REALLY
LOW UNEMPLOYMENT, published bv U-T San
Diego, atmospheric sciences / meteorology placed
second behind actuarial science.
1st Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bnMBhO0LnU
After Chapter 1:
After Chapter 2:
After Chapter 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwitRltCfyc
After Chapter 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biWQZlUl-vE
After Chapter 5:
THE MORAL OF THE STORY!!!!
“All college majors
are not created
THERE ARE GOOD MAJORS OUTSIDE OF
Examples forensic science, health-sciences, finance
My favorite example from finance….
Invest $1200 at 7% annual
interest rate. How much will
your investment be worth in
40 years? ($19,700)
$1200 at 7% every
year for the next 40 years.
How much will your
investment be worth?
10% increase in STEM Majors from beginning to
end of term.
Slight increase in student success rate.
These early statistics show that the chosen
interventions may be effective in recruiting
students to STEM fields and to increase student
success in the course. Further data needs to be
collected before effectiveness can be confirmed.
Create “Small Measurable Changes”
- Claudia Morrell
change the world… one
student at a time.”
genuine teaching will result, if
successful, in someone's knowing how
to bring about a better condition of
things than existed earlier."- John
LOOKING FORWARD…. MY NEXT VENTURE
Adding self –help
quotes, etc.. to the
tops of all of my
I'd rather look back at my life
and say "I can't believe I did
that" instead of being there
saying "I wish I'd done that"
will you do
this term to try to
improve upon your
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