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Math Department lands grant for innovative hybrid course

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
June 12, 2008


The Math Department at Texas State University-San Marcos has landed a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in support of the Math FOCUS (Fundamentals of Conceptual Understanding and Success) Program.

The $100,000 grant allows the department to proceed with Math FOCUS, an innovative initiative designed to benefit college students in developmental mathematics courses.

“The program is a hybrid course featuring both developmental math and college algebra. It’s revolutionary,” explained Selina Vasques Mireles, Math FOCUS program director. “We are trying to help students who are under-prepared for college mathematics courses. They would usually have to undergo remedial teaching, and often get left behind.

“This is an opportunity to move them through the process a lot quicker, since they’ll be doing college algebra and developmental mathematics at the same time,” she said. “The program is aligned with new college readiness standards developed by the Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency. That’s going  to impact how things are done in higher education, and I think this is a chance for Texas State to be at the forefront of that change.”

Students benefit from the program include earned credit for college algebra, course materials including textbooks and a calculator, daily lunch seminars, development of effective study strategies and a $150 stipend awarded upon successful completion of the course.

Several spots in the program remain open for the Summer II session, which runs July 7-Aug. 7, Mireles said. Participating students will be required to attend two hours of tutoring and mentoring sessions weekly and follow an attendance policy. Preference is given to students with ACT or SAT scores equal to or less than the national mean; Pell Grant recipients; students 20 years old or older at the time of initial college enrollment; part-time students; College of Education or College of Science majors; and students enrolled in multiple development education courses.

Applications are available online at:
www.math.txstate.edu/devmath/For-Our-Students/Application.html.

For more information, contact Mireles at (512) 245-8019 or via email at sv10@txstate.edu; or Debra Ward, Math FOCUS program coordinator, at (512) 245-4741 or via email at dw1011@txstate.edu.