Dual Credit Course Fills 'Math Gap' for High School Seniors
Galloway, N.J. - Isja’monee Banks, 18, didn’t have to take a math class her senior year at Egg Harbor Township High School. But she plans to attend college and wants to be prepared. So she registered for the new Survey of Mathematics dual credit course with Stockton University, which will sharpen her math skills and provide her with college credit.
“I wanted to take it to get more experience,” Banks said. “I like that it’s a college level course.”
The new dual credit course is being piloted by Stockton at Egg Harbor Township High School and Holy Spirit High School in Absecon. The goal is to make sure students are prepared for college math so that they won’t require remediation in college.
The pilot project is coordinated by Stockton Instructor of Mathematics and First Year Studies Emily Ryan, who taught high school math for eight years and saw the “math gap” problem many students face, and what they really need to know to succeed in college. Dean of the School General Studies at Stockton, Robert Gregg, suggested the course to fill the gap.
“New Jersey only requires three years of math in high school,” Ryan said. “Many students don’t take a fourth year and lose their skills. Then they come here to Stockton and when they are tested for placement, get placed into a remedial class.”
The high school course is modeled after the Survey of Math introductory course offered at Stockton. It is designed for students who have taken Algebra II, but not pre-calculus and fills a Quantitative Reasoning requirement at Stockton. Students receive college credit which may be transferable to another college.
The content of the class is modeled after the content in the new Accuplacer, which is the test used by Stockton and many other colleges for placement in
math courses. The high school students took the test in the fall, and will take it again in the spring to gauge their progress and skills.
EHTHS Math Supervisor Gregory Ryan said he worked with the high school guidance department to identify 20 seniors who wanted to go to college and had performed adequately in their previous three math classes.
“Some of them would have been able to handle precalculus,” math teacher Matt Logan said. “But some would have struggled. This will give them their math competency requirement.”
The course includes real-life applications of algebraic reasoning, graphing, quadratics, polynomials, and statistical reasoning. During a recent class students had to calculate how many television ads they could run for a music shop.
Gregory Ryan said the course helps give students the confidence that they can handle college material, and lets them earn college credits, which will save money if they attend college.
“It supports their need to be ready,” he said.
Emily Ryan said if the pilot math program is successful, it will be expanded to other area high schools.
Stockton’s dual credit program allows students to earn college credits for eligible courses taken in high school. Courses are offered in nine subject areas. Currently more than 1,000 students in 28 high schools in New Jersey participate.
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