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TMCC College News

Stretch Math is Achievable

Posted: Aug 20, 2014

Math Student Image

Stretch Math is a new option offered at TMCC to complete Math 96 together with Math 120 or Math 126.

Many students who excel in other subject areas remain tentative about taking their math prerequisites.

Stretch Math is a new option offered at Truckee Meadows Community College to make completion of the core math requirements a more stress-free and efficient process for students.

“The general fear of taking math is occurring nationwide,” said Maria Arrigotti, Math Department Chair at TMCC. “Delaying the completion of math classes, though, may consequently result in the weakening of skills over time.”

If students score in the upper third of the Math 96 ACCUPLACER level, but not quite reaching the Math 120 or 126 eligibility mark, they may decide to enroll in a Stretch Math section, and be able to complete these launchpad math classes together with any preconditions for them.

Taking launchpad math classes clears the way to take other coursework.

“Research shows that the probability of a student graduating from college is higher if they’ve passed their college-level math class,” Arrigotti said.

The ACCUPLACER test can be taken before, not during, the math sequence, and the scores are effective for two years. ACT/SAT scores also indicate readiness for Math 120 and 126.

Stretch Math is an innovative, co-requisite model

Stretch Math can be helpful to complete math classes in a thorough, yet accelerated way. It is called a co-requisite model because it combines the concepts and benchmarks of two courses.

Stretch Math 120 covers both a review of necessary Intermediate Algebra concepts together with standard fundamentals of college mathematics. Students complete an extra two hours per week of instruction in order to attain the additional skills, and also earn four credits.

“It saves students one semester and they’re paying for one four-credit class, instead of having to take two three-credit classes,” Arrigotti said.

Math 96 topics relevant to Math 120 are different from the applicable concepts for Math 126, and therefore Stretch Math 126 is also offered with the similar two extra hours per week for four credits.

Stretch Math 95/96 is a seven credit course that meets two hours a day, four days a week. Upon successful completion, students will earn credit for both Math 95 and Math 96 in one semester. An ACCUPLACER Arithmetic score of between 60 and 79 provides eligibility for this stretch class.

Math courses naming refresher

Math 96: Intermediate Algebra shows competency in equations, and can be taken in high school.

Math 120: Fundamentals of College Mathematics covers a wide variety of math topics, such as graphs, functions, problem solving, geometry, probability and statistics.

For students majoring in STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math), Math 126: Pre-Calculus I comprises the college algebra needed for these types of classes.

Math 127: Pre-Calculus II involves concepts in trigonometry.

At least 25 sections of Math 126 will be offered in the Fall Semester at TMCC, and about seven sections of Math 120 are to be held.

“Math classes at TMCC are smaller than many general education classes at universities, and many students currently attending UNR prefer to fulfill their math requirements in this smaller class setting,” Arrigotti said. “Our Math 120 and 126 teachers all have at least master’s degrees in math or a closely related field.”

Math can be challenging and stress-free at the same time

“Dr. Kurt Ehlers leads the Math League club, and it is growing in popularity,” Arrigotti said. “He relates some of his practical, real-world research he currently works on at Desert Research Institute to math concepts, and also prepares the students for a national math test. They compete against other Math League students across the country, and TMCC has had a few students place at the top in this contest. The league is open to all students of any math level at TMCC, and is full of students who love math. Dr. Ehlers often has anywhere from ten to forty students spilling out of his office area as he works math problems and proofs on his chalkboard.”

Another opportunity for those at TMCC interested in math is the STEM Club, a Student Government Association (SGA) recognized group. For more information about the STEM Club, contact the club advisor, Adine Stormoen.

For more information on Math stretch courses, contact Maria Arrigotti at 775-673-7181. For more information about ACCUPLACER, visit Testing Services in Red Mountain Building, room 121 on the Dandini campus.



Posted by:
TMCC's Public Information Office
Telephone: 775-673-7087
Email: pio@tmcc.edu

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