Yes, there a a few such success stories. I remember a few engineering students who started in Elementary and College Algebra who ended up with engineering degrees. We need to allow for such students. However, the vast majority of our students are not going on to calculus and most of our algebra courses are designed for the 10% or less who go on to take calculus. We need to find a way to prepare the students who will go onto further study of mathematics and at the same time prepare those students who do not.
-----Original Message----- From: Lillie Crowley [mailto://firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2001 8:24 AM To: MATH4FOBIX@AOL.COM; JodiCotten@mail.sunyjcc.edu; CoolMath2@AOL.COM; osher@IX.NETCOM.COM; Subject: Re: It's the Community-College Life for Me
We need to not forget, though, that there is the occasional community college student for whom this is not just a second chance at an associate or baccalaureate degree, or even for functional literacy, but rather the second chance to do brilliantly.
The wife of a colleague of mine defended her Ph.D. dissertation in computer science at the University of Kentucky about a month ago. When she started at LCC in remedial algebra quite a few years ago, she was a divorced mother of 5 with a GED (usual story--she'd become pregnant while in h.s., dropped out, got married, etc.) She's been some years in the process, but she came to LCC, did well, transferred to the UK, did well, got a B.S. from there, went to graduate school. In the meantime her children all grew up, left home and went to college, she married her calculus teacher from LCC (my colleague), etc.
They are few and far between, but we need to keep in mind that some of our students do indeed end up in a research track.
At 11:52 PM 5/26/01 -0400, MATH4FOBIX@AOL.COM wrote:
Jodi! You put it in a nutshell. I love my community college students. I am
not trying to make them all Einsteins but some do come out well. I think the motto of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) puts it very well, "Helping Underprepared students prepare Prepared students advance Advanced students excell."
I have no desire to teach at the university level. These are among the hardest working students I have ever had. University research is not for everyone nor should it be. University research does not treat the hospital patient, nor make the parts for jet engines yet those students need math as much as anyone. They deserve the best because they give their all in a classroom. If they wish it, many of these students will go on and do well at the university level for their last two years of a Bachelor's Degree. In the meantime we help those who have been away from math for a while return and succeed. We get many of these students to excell in Math for the first time
in their lives. We help those who learn by doing rather than by listening and those who have different learning styles adapt. I always have students who
have never received above a C in math start to excell. On a department developed final exam, they score up with those from instructors who teach the "higher levels." Those students, for many reasons, don't start out as "university material" but end up as ready as they need to be. It is definitely the Community College Life for Me too!
MaryLiz Pierce GateWay Community College Phoenix, AZ
Lillie R.F. Crowley Professor, Mathematics 138 Moloney Building Lexington Community College Lexington, KY 40506-0235 (859) 257-4872 x 4115 -- phone (859) 257-4988 -- fax email@example.com -- e-mail http://www.uky.edu/LCC/MATH/Crowley