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helped transform MCC's hockey
program. It's so popular, she said, they
now have to hold try-outs. The team
plays 16 games this season against other
New England colleges and universities
in the American Collegiate Hockey
Association. Former players are now
coming back to help coach and run the
team, she said.
However, if there's one thing
DelMonaco loves as much as hockey, it's
math. To her way of thinking,
mathematics is the key to understanding
the natural world, and she works hard to
get others to share that appreciation.
"I like the beauty and the creativity of
math," she said. "Math is the
underpinning of everything. Early
mathematicians, through observation of
patterns in nature, came up with a way
to describe nature in an abstract form.
Those elegant triangles and spirals we
see in nature, that's math," she said.
"I love patterns," DelMonaco added. "I
like to think about the bigger picture
and enjoy getting folks to see the
connections between math and other
DelMonaco is focused on helping
Middlesex students appreciate the
beauty of math through the new RAMP-
Up Math Program. First initiated as a
pilot program last spring, RAMP-Up
allows students who are weak in math to
progress through developmental-math
coursework quickly, so they can enroll in
college-level math classes which is
where the real fun begins, said
Now in its third semester, RAMP-Up is
short for Review, Achieve, Master and
Progress. Student-centered and taught in
specially designed computer labs,
RAMP-Up is comprised of 12 learning
modules through which students
progress via computer. Each RAMP-Up
class consists of 30 students (arranged in
round "pods" of six computers), with an
instructor and a tutor, so the
student/teacher ratio is 15 to 1. The
entire RAMP-Up program replaces
three separate developmental math
courses Fundamentals of Mathematics,
and Algebra I & II.
"Before RAMP-Up, you had to complete
a three-course developmental math
sequence before you could proceed to
college-level math coursework -- and
that could take three semesters or
longer," explained DelMonaco. "All the
studies show that students had such a
low success rate with those three
traditional courses, that they would get
discouraged and just drop out," she said.
"You can complete all 12 RAMP-Up
modules in one semester if you want to,"
said DelMonaco. "And, some of our
students do. Others take three semesters
to do 12 modules everybody is
different." And, the students really learn
the material, she added. In order to
complete a module and move to the
next, a student must perform at the
"mastery" level, earning a grade of 75 a
"C" or better.
Developed by math faculty including
DelMonaco and professors Mike
Williamson and Bert Engvall, with Math
Department Chairwoman Carol Hay,
Senior Academic Technology Officer
Michael Badolato and retired Dean of
Math & Sciences Linda Young
RAMP-Up enrolls more than 2,000
students. The feedback they have
received from students is very positive,
said DelMonaco.
While the program is too new to have
official course-completion results,
DelMonaco believes student success
rates are going up. "In the past, our
course-completion rates for the three
`old' developmental math courses was
about 49 to 51 percent," said
DelMonaco. Unofficially, RAMP-Up's
success rate is 74 percent, she said.
But the sweet smell of success doesn't
get any better than last year's Bruins
bringing hockey's ultimate prize, the
Stanley Cup, back to Boston. "Oh, that
was big," said DelMonaco. "I have
always been a Bruins fan. I remember
when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup
the last time, back in 1972. I was having
my First Communion party and we had
the game going on TV the whole time."
For more information about RAMP-UP
Math, contact Professor Joanna
DelMonaco at 781-280-3781 or
Kathy Register
As the sister of an NHL hockey player and the
mother of two hockey-playing sons, Professor
Joanna DelMonaco is the MCC Hockey Team's
faculty advisor and biggest fan.
To Learn More about MCC Hockey
For the latest MCC Hockey news and game schedules, visit the team website:
Contact Joanna DelMonaco at 781-280-3781 or delmonacoj
@ or
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