Brandon Campus News
Brandon Campus mMath success seminars help struggling students
While many staff and faculty were off enjoying their winter holidays, a few industrious minds were hard at work figuring out how to help Brandon Campus students become more successful in the classroom. Dr. Scott Behrens, dean of academic affairs at the HCC Brandon Campus, took the first step by asking a single question: What group of students needs the most support? Looking at student performance in various courses, Behrens quickly discovered that math, the bane of many a high school student, continued to plague them in college. Behrens approached Vice President of Academic Affairs Craig Johnson and Director of Associate in Arts Programs Dr. Karen Griffin about additional support for a few student success ideas. Johnson and Griffin quickly green-lighted both the creation of a student success coach position and a series of math success seminars aimed at building student success.

“Academic success is what we are about,” said Dr. Behrens. “It was heartening to see district administrators, faculty, and student support personnel all come together and put student success first in a big way.” The Academic Success Center (ASC ) moved forward with the planning and created topics, times, locations, incentives and scheduling for the Math Success Seminars. More than 50 of these student seminars this semester are being taught entirely by math faculty members—a key component to student success.

Janet Sibol, prep math coordinator at Brandon, thinks the math faculty members are particularly suited to facilitate these seminars because of their insights into the common errors students make in the classroom and on tests. “They see the whole curriculum for not only the course but also subsequent courses,” said Sibol. “So they can stress important information for later courses.

The immediate goal of the math success initiative is to improve performance in those difficult-to-master beginning math courses, but the impact could be much larger than just a single course. This initiative works proactively towards achieving HCC’s goal of advancing student success through increasing both degree attainment and preparatory course completion rates.

Already the initiative is showing dividends. The Brandon Campus Math Lab has shown a 10.8 percent increase in student visits, and nearly 200 students have taken advantage of the seminars.

Article written by: Brandon Campus Staff