5UTEP Student Population Profile 24 years of age (undergraduate average)74% Hispanic55% female81% from El Paso County commuting daily84% employed50% first generation university students
6UTEP’s Main Challenges Incoming students are not well-prepared for studying STEM disciplinesLow retention ratesLow graduation ratesLong time to graduation
7Summer Invention: Math Review for STEM Students Before AfterMath Review2001(n=359)Before AfterMath Review2002 (n=386)
8Precalculus Setup IUTEP has no College Algebra course.Non-Stem majors take the Mathematics for Social Science course or the terminal course Mathematics in the Modern World.STEM majors take a 5-hour Precalculus course.The course is a combination of College Algebra and Trigonometry.The Precalculcus course (and the Calculus I course) is offered in a modular format in classes of about 50 students.Since Fall 2008 the Precalculus course incorporates Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL).
9Modular Delivery Format for Precalculus I Designed by long-time course coordinator Nancy MarcusThe semester is divided in three time segments. The course is divided into three modules.When students complete a module in a time segment successfully, they move on to the next module (or Calculus I).When students successfully complete all three modules, they pass the course. The course grade is the average of the grade in each of the three successfully completed modules.
10Modular Delivery Format for Precalculus II Students can attempt each module three times. When they fail a particular module for the third time, they fail the course.The last module is also offered in a “minimester” after the regular semester.Students who do not complete the course in one semester, must register for the course again next semester to complete the remaining module(s). They are assigned an “in-progress” grade (P) for the past semester.
13Theory of Validation I Laura Rendón’ s Theory of Validation is based on her own experience as a college student andher extensive work with minority students atcommunity colleges and universities.
14Theory of Validation II Validation, shown through encouragement and affirmation, can be the factor that determines success or failure, particularly for on‑traditional Students. Laura Rendón* defines validation as “an enabling,confirming, and supportive process initiated by in- and out-of-class agents that fosters academic and interpersonal development” . Academic validation results when Faculty and Staff reach out toStudents in ways that help individuals “trust their innate capacity to learn and to acquire confidence in being a college student”.Adapted from UTEP’s Quality Enhancement Plan* Rendón, L. I. (1994). Validating culturally diverse students:Toward a new model of learning and student development.Innovative Higher Education. 19 (1),
15Peer-Led Team Learning at UTEP Supported by an NSF-STEP Grant* and a MSEIP Grant from the Department of Education**Used in all introductory Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics classesDelivery format in Precalculus since Fall changed to four hours of lecture and two hours of PLTL sessions per weekPLTL sessions (3 sessions per course, students per session) led by an advanced undergraduate student* PI: Benjamin Flores, Co-PIs: James Becvar, Helmut Knaust, Jorge Lopez, and Josefina Tinajero** PI: Emil Schwab, Co-PIs: Nancy Marcus, Helmut Knaust
16PLTL Principles PLTL leaders have successfully completed the course. PLTL leaders work closely with the instructor of the course.PLTL leaders are trained and supervised before and during the semester.The PLTL sessions are integralto the course, coverchallenging problems,strive to develop studentthinking and encourageactive student learning.
17All Questions Answered, All Answers Questioned* * Borrowed from Donald Knuth
18Contacts Helmut Knaust Emil Schwab firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Department of Mathematical SciencesThe University of Texas at El PasoEl Paso TX