October 31, 2012

UNLV summer tutoring program aims to tackle growing math remediation rates

By Paul Takahashi, Las Vegas Sun, originally published on 8/23/12

Ashley Garcia scribbles away in her spiral-bound notebook, slowly filling it with numbers, functions and equations. It’s early on a lazy summer morning, but instead of sleeping in like many of her classmates who graduated last month from Coronado High School, Garcia is hard at work studying in a windowless computer lab at UNLV. Garcia is cramming because she doesn’t want to become a statistic.

This fall, a third of the incoming freshmen class — about 1,000 students, including Garcia — will enter UNLV unprepared to take a college-level math course. If past performance is any indication, these students are more likely to take out additional loans to pay for remedial coursework that ultimately won’t count toward their degree requirements. These remedial students also are less likely to graduate college in six years.

The stakes are high, Garcia realizes. So instead of relaxing away the summer before college, Garcia enrolled in UNLV’s Expect Success Summer Bridge Program. It’s a new and free pilot program that aims to help students place out of remedial math courses through tutoring and technology. “I’m not a math person, so I don’t want to do more math than I need to,” said Garcia, who hopes to major in communications. “If I had to take remedial math, I would be wasting two semesters of college. If I pass this, it’ll free me up to study what I want.”

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Filed under: College,Technology

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