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Profiles
Profiles
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13

M
CC's Mathematics Department is
CC's Mathematics Department is
CC's Mathematics Department is
looking forward. Starting this fall,
looking forward. Starting this fall,
looking forward. Starting this fall,
programs and curriculum have been
programs and curriculum have been
programs and curriculum have been
restructured to help students learn the math they
restructured to help students learn the math they
restructured to help students learn the math they
need to succeed in their future careers.
need to succeed in their future careers.
"We want our students to be successful and edu
"We want our students to be successful and edu
"We want our students to be successful and edu--
cated in the skills that utilize math in the specific
cated in the skills that utilize math in the specific
cated in the skills that utilize math in the specific
fields they are going into," said Professor Linda
fields they are going into," said Professor Linda
fields they are going into," said Professor Linda
Dart-Kathios, Chairwoman of Mathematics.
Dart-Kathios, Chairwoman of Mathematics.
Dart-Kathios, Chairwoman of Mathematics.
"When we were revamping the developmental-
"When we were revamping the developmental-
"When we were revamping the developmental-
math curriculum, we asked ourselves, `What is
math curriculum, we asked ourselves, `What is
math curriculum, we asked ourselves, `What is
it our students need to be successful?' As one
it our students need to be successful?' As one
it our students need to be successful?' As one
of my colleagues suggested, instead of looking
of my colleagues suggested, instead of looking
of my colleagues suggested, instead of looking
back at what we wished they had learned in high
back at what we wished they had learned in high
back at what we wished they had learned in high
school, let's look forward. We want to prepare our
school, let's look forward. We want to prepare our
school, let's look forward. We want to prepare our
students for the future."
students for the future."
Toward that end, the department has rolled all
Toward that end, the department has rolled all
Toward that end, the department has rolled all
noncollege-level mathematics into the RAMP-Up
noncollege-level mathematics into the RAMP-Up
noncollege-level mathematics into the RAMP-Up
Math Program, Dart-Kathios explained.
Math Program, Dart-Kathios explained.
A computer-driven, module-based program,
A computer-driven, module-based program,
A computer-driven, module-based program,
RAMP-Up (Review, Achieve, Master & Progress)
RAMP-Up (Review, Achieve, Master & Progress)
RAMP-Up (Review, Achieve, Master & Progress)
allows students to complete developmental-math
allows students to complete developmental-math
allows students to complete developmental-math
modules as quickly as they choose. They can
modules as quickly as they choose. They can
modules as quickly as they choose. They can
test out of the topics they understand well, and
test out of the topics they understand well, and
test out of the topics they understand well, and
concentrate on units where their understanding is
concentrate on units where their understanding is
concentrate on units where their understanding is
weak, she said.
weak, she said.
Once students are ready for intermediate algebra,
Once students are ready for intermediate algebra,
Once students are ready for intermediate algebra,
they select one of two pathways or "math-
they select one of two pathways or "math-
they select one of two pathways or "math-
ways" within RAMP-Up, depending on the
ways" within RAMP-Up, depending on the
program of study they are enrolled in, said
program of study they are enrolled in, said
Dart-Kathios.
Dart-Kathios.
The "Math Literacy Way" (or Path A) is geared
The "Math Literacy Way" (or Path A) is geared
toward Health and Liberal Arts & Sciences
toward Health and Liberal Arts & Sciences
students. It prepares them to take "Statistics" and
students. It prepares them to take "Statistics" and
"Math Modeling" as part of their degree program
"Math Modeling" as part of their degree program
requirements, she said.
requirements, she said.
The "Algebraic Literacy Way" (or Path B) is
The "Algebraic Literacy Way" (or Path B) is
designed for students in STEM, Business, and Edu
designed for students in STEM, Business, and Edu-
cation Transfer programs. It's the traditional path
cation Transfer programs. It's the traditional path
that prepares them for "Precalculus" and "Trigo
that prepares them for "Precalculus" and "Trigo-
nometry" courses and eventually, "Calculus."
nometry" courses and eventually, "Calculus."
"Students in STEM programs, especially Engineer
"Students in STEM programs, especially Engineer-
ing, have to know a lot about mathematics," said
ing, have to know a lot about mathematics," said
Dart-Kathios. "They need to be `Calculus ready.'
Dart-Kathios. "They need to be `Calculus ready.'
FACULTY
Focus
Why is STEM important? STEM is important because the world is becoming more and more technologically advanced. We need this generation and
future generations to continue in this endeavor if the U.S. is to remain a leader in technology. Mathematics gives students the quantitative literacy they
need to compete in the world.
What do you like best about teaching? I really enjoy meeting all the different students and learning about their backgrounds. I can always learn some-
thing from each and every student.
Favorite classroom moment? One day in class I mentioned that I was a first-generation college student and some of the challenges I had faced.
A short time afterward, a student was in my office and she said my story had made a big impression on her, since she was a first-generation college
student. I think students often don't realize that we professors were once students, facing many of the same issues they are.
Linda Dart-Kathios
Professor of Mathematics, Department Chairwoman
Creating New `Math-Ways' and
Program Changes for Student Success
MATHEMATICS
"Nursing students need strong math skills, but
"Nursing students need strong math skills, but
they are not going to be doing integration and
they are not going to be doing integration and
differentiation," she continued. "They will be doing
differentiation," she continued. "They will be doing
statistics and conversions, so they take a different
statistics and conversions, so they take a different
`math-way.' "
`math-way.' "
The department is also mindful of supporting stu
The department is also mindful of supporting stu-
dents who excel in mathematics. A new acceler
dents who excel in mathematics. A new acceler-
ated combination course covering "Precalculus"
ated combination course covering "Precalculus"
and "Trigonometry" in one semester has been
and "Trigonometry" in one semester has been
added. "Some students might say, `I can probably
added. "Some students might say, `I can probably
handle `Precalc' and `Trig' in the same class at the
handle `Precalc' and `Trig' in the same class at the
same time, and we want to accommodate those
same time, and we want to accommodate those
strong math students," she said.
strong math students," she said.
Another innovation launching this fall is the new
Another innovation launching this fall is the new
Mathematics Concentration within the Liberal Arts
Mathematics Concentration within the Liberal Arts
& Sciences degree program. By creating one new
& Sciences degree program. By creating one new
course, "Linear Algebra II," the Math Department
course, "Linear Algebra II," the Math Department
has made it possible for students to complete an
has made it possible for students to complete an
associate degree in mathematics.
associate degree in mathematics.
All these changes are designed to better steer
All these changes are designed to better steer
students in the right direction and help them
students in the right direction and help them
master the right skills and concepts. "With proper
master the right skills and concepts. "With proper
advising, our students will now know what math is
advising, our students will now know what math is
really required of an engineer or a nurse.
really required of an engineer or a nurse.
"And, of course, STEM is now so popular," added
"And, of course, STEM is now so popular," added
Dart-Kathios. "Even President Obama is talking
Dart-Kathios. "Even President Obama is talking
about how important it is! We are preparing this
about how important it is! We are preparing this
generation to take on many of those technological
generation to take on many of those technological
challenges."
challenges."
--
Kathy Register
Kathy Register
Math Department Chairwoman Linda Dart-Kathios
works with RAMP-Up Math students.