Through MoSTEMWINs, North Central Missouri College chose to offer a Certified Production Technician program, a manufacturing certificate and the UP program, which is designed to assist students with low math skills.
Math can be a huge barrier to college students, regardless of whether they have been out of high school a while or not, and can even stand in the way of graduation. For two students at NCMC, this could not have been more true.
Autumn Lindsay, a non-traditional student, wife and mother of three, started her first-ever semester of college in the Spring of 2016. She decided that she needed a career change from cosmetology. With a declared degree of Physical Therapy Assistant, Autumn needed to reach College Algebra. She tested into Pre-Algebra which meant that she would have had four semesters of math to complete.
“I’ve always like math and was actually a little upset when I tested into Pre-Algebra,” Autumn said. “I knew I could do better with a little refresher.”
That’s when she enrolled in the Basic Algebra with Workshop, a co-requisite course.
“I thought, what a great deal,” she said. “Kill two birds with one stone! One less semester that I’ll have to take a math class!”
Andrea Piatt, a traditional college student who changed her degree from nursing to teaching toward the end of her time at NCMC, also enrolled in the co-requisite Basic Algebra with Workshop.
“When I heard that I could take two math classes at once, I honestly thought that was insane,” Andrea said. “I didn’t think I would be able to do that, because I struggled in math all throughout high school and wasn’t very good at it.”
For both girls, the structure of the class wasn’t like anything they had ever taken before.
“We have basic algebra for the first hour and then pre-algebra for the second hour,” Autumn said. “We will go over what we did that day in basic, as well as a quick preview of the next lesson. Anything that we would need to know before that next basic algebra lesson we will go over during that time as well.”
“I would describe the class setup as its fast paced and a lot of work,” Andrea said, “but it’s totally worth it if you set your mind to it. I also feel like it’s super helpful because in the dual class you have time to get your homework done and even ask the teacher for help on an assignment.”
A requirement of taking the co-requisite model math class, the students also had to be enrolled in a one credit hour College Seminar class. This class was taught by the MoSTEMWINs Recruitment and Retention Specialist, Lori Holder.
“Even I was skeptical how this math class would go,” Holder said. “I myself am not strong in the math department and needed the developmental math class in college. Once I saw what great students Autumn and Andrea were and how fantastic they were doing in the class, I wished I would have had the same opportunity!”
When asked if they would recommend the class, it was a mutual YES!
“This helped me by having that extra one-on-one time if I needed it and also by knocking out these math classes so I can graduate in May,” Andrea said.
It went so well for Autumn, that she enrolled in the College Algebra with Workshop this fall.
“It definitely helped me out,” Autumn said, “because I got to skip one semester of math. And assuming this semester will go as smoothly as the spring, I will have knocked out 4 semesters of math in 2 semesters. The instructors and coordinators for this co-requisite have been more than helpful in helping everyone adjust to the classes.”
“Seeing the confidence that the student gains has been extremely rewarding. I know math can be tough, and I could not be more proud of them,” Lori said.
Andrea Piatt was able to walk at graduation in May with the assumption that she would complete her last two math courses over the summer and be done by August. Her plan is to transfer to Missouri Western State University to pursue her education degree with the hopes of becoming and elementary school teacher.
“I honestly don’t know when the last time is I got a 100% on a math test, but after having this class, most of my grades are that! So it’s definitely worth it,” Andrea said.
Autumn will continue her education at NCMC in hopes of becoming a Physical Therapy Assistant. Having knocked out one, and potentially two, semesters of math, will only help her reach her career goals faster.
NCMC will be offering even more options of the co-requisite model of math starting in the fall of 2016 through the MoSTEMWINs program.