Kaelyn Adams, Reporter
Starting in the 2017-18 academic year, the ECC math department will be furthering the implementation of Math Pathways into its courses. This program came to ECC approximately three years ago, and since then the department has been working in phases to reach the final product– a department controlled solely by this new program.
“This [Math Pathways] will allow students to take a math course that is more mathematically relevant to their program of study,” Ann Boehmer, Math and English Division Chair said.
ECC currently has two of the Pathways classes, of which include Math for Art and Design for Associate of Fine Arts students Business Mathematics for Culinary students as a class they can take in place of College Algebra. Certain programs like Engineering or Precision Machining also have math classes that are specific to them, such as Calculus and Trigonometry.
Math Pathways exists to benefit the students not only in preparing them for their degree program, but also in giving them more options for math classes. Next Fall there will be three more Pathways clases: Contemporary Math, Fundamental Concepts in Mathematics and a new Statistics class.
“It’s kind of like in an English class where you could take American Literature or British Literature, you know. They all teach you the same thing: they teach you how to read literature and understand literature, but they’re teaching you in a context that makes the course interesting,” Math instructor Kevin Menos said. “We’re doing the same thing.”
Math Pathways will also help students who have programs they are interested in, but haven’t declared a major, or for those who are still undecided.
“General studies majors can take any of the three math classes,” Boehmer said. “They may decide based on the college that they’re going to, or at least their area of interest. They at least have an idea of what they like or what they don’t like.”
The most important things to keep in mind when choosing a math class are transfer schools, if any, and to maintain communication with one’s academic adviser.
“The biggest thing it depends on is the transfer institution,” Menos said. “Students shouldn’t look at just our graduation requirements; they should look at their transfer institution as well. That should all be a conversation that they have with their adviser: their adviser is going to be their best resource for that.”
As of now, none of the four-year universities in Missouri have the full Math Pathways program in their systems, however, they are working toward it. This situation makes it necessary for ECC to progress at a slower pace and pay close attention to the changes they are making so they don’t get too far ahead of the universities.
Southeast Missouri State University has been using the program for the last two years. University of Missouri- St. Louis now has some options available, while Missouri S&T and University of Missouri- Columbia have recently committed to the program.
“For community college, we have to be a little cautious, move a little slower, because we have to make sure the four-years are there already so that by the time our students transfer, the four-year is ready for the math program they were in,” Boehmer said.
In addition to Math Pathways, ECC has made an agreement with Missouri S&T to partner in the Concurrent Enrollment program.
According to an ECC press release, “The Concurrent Enrollment program will allow students who meet the admissions requirements of East Central College and Missouri S&T to be admitted to both schools. The program gives students the flexibility to take courses at both schools at the same time and allows them to access a larger selection of courses and schedules to better fit their needs.”
With this program, students can work toward an associate’s degree from ECC while also working toward a bachelor’s degree from Missouri S&T. This allows them to earn both of those degrees in a much quicker amount of time, which has a large impact on the financial cost of attending college.
ECC and Missouri S&T will spend the next few months working together to put the final touches on this program.