TNCC Receives $35,000+ Grant for New Mathematics Program


Published: September 17, 2009

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) aims to increase success in developmental math courses with Student Success Using Math Modules (SSUMM). The program was introduced as a pilot this fall for students enrolled in MTH 03: Algebra I and MTH 04: Algebra II and will be added to the College’s offerings in spring 2010.

TNCC was awarded a $65,000 Chancellors E-Learning Enhancement and Development (CEED) grant last year to develop SSUMM. This year, the College received a $36,015 CEED grant to pilot the program. TNCC mathematics instructors Catherine Hoffmaster, Libby Arnesen, Elena Byrd, Heng Fu, Krystyna Karminska-Makagon, Theresa Nystrom and Julia Varbalow developed the program.

SSUMM will divide each course into four sections to allow students to focus on a limited number of concepts at a time. A diagnostic test will be administered at the beginning of the semester to assess student knowledge. “One of the advantages of the SSUMM Program is that students can skip modules if they have already mastered the material,” said Hoffmaster. “Another distinct advantage is that if a student does not master a module, he or she can repeat it immediately. This eliminates a semester of frustration for the student.

A third advantage is that if a student gets through only some of the modules in one semester, the student can re-enroll the next semester and start where they left off instead of starting the course all over again,” she added.

Each section will be taught simultaneously to avoid scheduling conflicts as students move from one module to another during the semester. TNCC instructors will use a customized book for the courses and supplement the text with MyMathLab, an online math program that uses tutorials, homework, quizzes, videos and more to help students work through assignments.

In order to take the mastery test at the end of each module, students must have completed all online homework assignments and quizzes. “I think the videos and the step-by-step tutorial will be the most helpful parts for students.” Hoffmaster said. “We’re really hopeful that it will improve student learning and student retention.”

For more information about SUMM, please call TNCC’s Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Special Events at 757-825-2725.

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