CCD Turns Math Evaders into Numeric Masters

by CCD President, Dr. Everette Freeman

Isaac Newton. Albert Einstein. Benjamin Banneker.

All of these famous numeric thinkers were known for their comprehensive knowledge, and next-level applications of mathematics. They are also revered in today’s world as leaders and innovators in the area of mathematics and science.

Alas, many of today’s ordinary citizens feel you must be a numeric scholar to master even the basic math comprehension.

This is not true, but perception is reality, and it has also become an educational barrier.

Researchers have found that failing algebra grades are the leading barrier to completing a college degree. Students often lack fundamental math skills, score low in placement tests and try to avoid math altogether once they enter college.

Here at the Community College of Denver (CCD), math matters - regardless of which degree you pursue.

Math proficiency not only helps students become better comprehensive thinkers and problem solvers, but also helps them to develop a global perspective as they develop their careers. New this fall, CCD Math Pathways removes barriers, raises confidence and boosts success in this discipline.

Students will have the opportunity to enroll in college-level math courses designed to fit their individual educational goals. A college-level course paired with a support course can often make the difference between a student moving forward or falling behind.

Most importantly, these pathways will help remove the element of numeric intimidation that many students face when attempting to incorporate math into their academic and everyday lives.

For example, for the first time last fall, CCD offered paired support classes for those in need of additional help mastering math. Students who took the support classes completed at the same success rate as students with higher placement scores. And, according to CCD’s Center of Math and Science, that is a ten percent improvement over the success rates of the general course population.

Now, any student with low placement scores will automatically be enrolled in a support course. Other students will have the option to register for the same courses as well. And with a national push away from developmental math, this new approach will help remove the barriers, real or imagined, that keep many students from achieving their educational pursuits. Additionally, CCD’s Center for Math and Science stands ready to solidify that support and offers several associate’s degree and certificate programs. Students can also earn general education math and science requirements to apply toward a four-year degree.

This is a practical approach in that the broad range of opportunities available to anyone with a math background include applied research, accounting, computer programming, energy, engineering and varied work within federal agencies.

CCD’s goal is to provide a comprehensive education that will produce market-ready complex thinkers, effective communicators and savvy technology professionals.

It may not be as easy as 1-2-3, but overcoming the perception that numeric thinking and math mastery is a skill reserved only for high-minded scholars will pay huge dividends to those ready to soar academically.