Diversity of Preparation: Math Camp

Math Camp Students

Students interested in studying one of the STEM majors of science, technology, engineering, or math, must have finely honed math skills in order to be successful. Unfortunately, not all students interested in the STEM disciplines, nursing, or even business, arrive at the university with sufficient math training from their years in high school to enter the college or field of their choice.

[pullquote]I would highly recommend Math Camp to incoming freshman because it refreshes the math skills you’ll use for the rest of your college careers.[/pullquote]The result? Students can become discouraged, drop courses, or change majors to something less math-intensive. Another result is they leave college completely.

In order to improve the chances of success for these students, the Department of Mathematics and the Student Success Center developed Math Camp, a summer program designed to provide a thorough review of concepts required for math-intensive majors.

For three weeks leading up to the first day of classes, students meet Monday through Friday in large and small groups to learn a range of topics, including algebra and trigonometry. Tutoring is offered in the evening and, on the last day, students take a placement exam.

[pullquote]It was a great experience! I had the opportunity to acclimate to campus, meet faculty and staff, and make new friends.[/pullquote]Students who successfully complete the placement exam are able to register for a higher-level math class, essentially completing 30 weeks of math through three intensive weeks of summer camp. These students are also able to begin their introductory science courses, which helps keep them engaged and excited about college.

Other components include career placement and academic advising to help students identify their academic strengths and develop good college study skills. A final component is the social engagement, which helps ease the transition from high school to college.

In the fall of 2014, the first year of Math Camp, students who tested into the appropriate math courses after Math Camp was comparable to the number of students who placed in those courses originally because of their ACT scores.

The conclusion? Math Camp works. Our goal in the college is to expand the program so more students are able to fulfill their dreams of being a scientist.

Math Camp by the Numbers

Cost per student: $1,695

Math Camp Point of Pride
During the first year, a student with an ACT score of 18 attended Math camp and tested into STEM calculus because of the experiences she had during the three-week math intensive, which typically requires an ACT score of 25 or higher.