Experimental math class debuts

Class combines math 100 and 120 for more credits

Originally published in the Sept. 13, 2011 print edition of the Sac City Express

Renee Medina. Photo by Jason Van Sandt.

It’s no secret that required prerequisite classes—such as math, history, and English—are difficult to complete because of a high demand for enrollment, but a new class offered at City College may just be the formula to solve the problem.

City College mathematics and statistics professor Renee Medina instructs an experimental mathematics course called  Math 299. This eight-unit course was created by the math division dean Anne Licciardi and combines elementary and intermediate algebra. The class meets Monday through Friday from 8:40-10:10 a.m. The plan is to offer it as a trial class for two semesters and if successful, it will become a permanent class, Medina said.

“The hope is to move students through algebra more quickly,” said Medina. “They won’t have time to forget, going from [Math] 100 to 120, and so far, it’s been a good class; [the students] are working hard.”

Medina feels that the demographic is pretty typical and she says that currently the class enrollment is approximately 40 students.

“I have never taught a class with this kind of range of backgrounds,” said Medina. “Right now I try to teach some stuff that’s really basic, and then I also show the stuff that’s harder.”

For those students who prefer a slower pace, Math 100 and 120 are still offered separately, and according to Medina, will likely be offered that way forever.

“There [are] different levels of students in there, and the pacing is pretty well spaced out,” said Robert Serrano, a student currently enrolled in the class. “There are students that don’t need help as much. There’s more time for the students that do need help.”

Medina also feels that the structure of the class not only allows for more one-on-one time with students, but that it allows for a more streamlined learning experience.

“Technically it’s less work than doing [Math] 100 and 120 separately because in 100 and 120, we do a lot of review, so all that review is gone,” said Medina. “So it’s a little less work—however, it’s much more intense.”

Overall, Medina said she feels the class will be successful and that she hopes to see it become permanent.

“I think the students who will be most successful will be the students who are very dedicated and really willing to put in the time and focus to get through this amount of material,” said Medina.

About Daniel Wilson

Daniel has been a writer for over 25 years and recently earned his Bachelor's degree in journalism. Portfolio: www.dwilsonjourno.com.
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