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TSTC’s Developmental Education Initiatives See Success

(HARLINGEN) – Developmental math initiatives and their success at Texas State Technical College were recently highlighted at the College Academic Support Programs in Texas (CASP) Conference held in October in Corpus Christi.

TSTC Office of Student Life Coordinator Orlando Peñuelas and Department Lead for Developmental Education and Instructor Michael Murphy presented sessions about the developmental math initiatives that have been created and implemented at the college to faculty, staff and administrators from two-year colleges and four-year universities from across Texas.

“It has taken campus synergy to enhance our developmental math curriculums,” said Peñuelas. “All the work we’ve done is for the benefit of the students to accelerate them through developmental courses with a better understanding, while maintaining rigor and caliber.”

Developmental math courses are intended for entering college students who are considered not to be college-math-ready due to low scores on the Texas Success Initiative Assessment. These courseDevelopmental Math Staff and Facultys must be successfully completed prior to enrolling in college algebra.

Previously, TSTC students who were required to take developmental math courses had to take a total of four semesters. Now, with the creation of math combos, students can complete developmental math in half the time.

Peñuelas and Murphy introduced these math combos at the conference: 2-Step, Math Emporium and MAMBO. The course combos include Developmental Math 50 and 100, Math 100 and 200, and Math 200 and College Algebra, respectively.

“These courses were inspired to help students move through math much faster so they can get their certificate or degree quicker,” said Murphy. “We have seen great success rates with these programs, and as we continue to offer them we will work hard to improve them for the best interest of our students.”

According to Peñuelas, the passing rate for MAMBO averaged around 85 percent for Summer 2016, up nearly 23 percent from algebra classes in Summer 2015.

Both higher education professionals credit MAMBO and 2-Step’s success to “My Math Lab,” an online component included in all developmental math courses that consists of built-in online tutoring, class electronic notes and videos to get students engaged in learning both in the classroom and online.

“Our success also comes with having our administration, faculty and staff on board with these strategies and initiatives campus wide,” said Peñuelas. “Our enrollment for MAMBO and passing rates keep increasing, and it’s because of the support we receive.”

TSTC’s developmental math initiatives received positive feedback at the conference, with many attendees calling it an innovative, inspirational and fun way to learn and be successful in math.

In Spring 2017 the developmental education department will expand to include a new combo course already being used at TSTC’s Waco campus. The combo course will include College Algebra with a non-course-based math option to tutor students who are struggling.

For more information on developmental courses at TSTC, call 956-364-4613.

Registration for Spring 2017 is in progress. The last day to register is January 3, and classes begin on January 9.

To register or apply anytime, visit tstc.edu.

Written by Amanda Sotelo Sotelo on December 5, 2016
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