Math Jam, created at PCC seven years ago, won its second national award in a year when Excelencia in Education honored it on October 2.  Math Jam also won the prestigious Bellweather award in January.

     Math jam is a two week course designed to help incoming high school students brush up on their math skills including guaranteed classes for their first year at PCC, according to Brock Klein, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) and Director of First Year Pathways.  The program is designed not just for math, but to introduce the new students to college life.

           “[Math Jam] was really helpful, to refresh our memory for the upcoming subject,” said Joaquin Luna, Math Jam graduate and Political Science major.

     “It was also helpful because we got to see the campus, and be around it for a period of time, it is helpful to come to the TLC room,” he said.

     Last year there were 800 students enrolled in Math Jam. Klein hopes to have 1200 to 1500 enrolled in 2013. 

     Math Jam is part of the ‘Pathways’ umbrella under which a number of programs to help students succeed is grouped.

     “If students feel connected emotionally to the campus, they have a better chance of success,” said Klein.  “Normally students just stumble in. This is kind of changing the story a little bit, you will have access to a support stall, access to coaches, you will have access to centers helping students.”

     “The Math Jam program provides new students with an engaging, no-stress environment in which to experience success before they begin their fall math course.”  According to the Excelencia in Education website.

        “They are always here for me when I need some help,” said Grace Terzian, Math Jam graduate and repertory therapy major.  “They are always here to guide me, and show me what to do and how to do things.”

     The two-week class is no cost, and also no credit. “No credit brings the stress level down,” said Klein.  “There’s not really any homework, there are assessments but no exams … and we did that really intentionally … [to] help you have a good time in math, we have students saying this is the first time they have ever had fun in math class.”

    “It’s really nice for me to see students from a year ago, or several years ago, hanging out together, and they met in Math Jam.” said Klein.

     According to the Math Path Survey Result in 2010 by Michael A. Harnar and Patricia Quinones of Claremont Graduate University, “that twice as many students who have completed a Math Path class transfer to 4-year colleges than a comparable group of PCC students.”

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