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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.35 - How Canadian universities support and partner with students to facilitate success in mathematics

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First year mathematics is a significant gate-keeper of post-secondary students’ success in STEM-based disciplines. Completing post-secondary education within a four-year range and overall post-secondary success in STEM disciplines have been shown to be related to success in first year mathematics (Parker, 2005). The estimate of failure and withdrawal rates in undergraduate mathematics courses are alarmingly high, ranging anywhere from 30% to 60% (Complete College America, 2012). For some countries, low performance in international testing coupled with lower participation and success levels in post-secondary STEM-based disciplines is resulting in the belief that a “math crisis” is underway which is proposed to have long-term effects to economies (Conference Board of Canada, 2014).


Post-secondary institutions support student success in post-secondary mathematics and invest in providing supports. They are also gate-keepers to future participation in STEM-based disciplines. This pan-Canadian study examines the kinds of supports and policies used to facilitate success in post-secondary mathematics by English speaking universities who offer mathematics degrees (62 in total). French speaking universities in Canada were, unfortunately, not included to language limitations of the study authors. We examined the types of degrees offered, entrance averages, prerequisites, placement tests, remediation processes, accessibility of online information, mathematics help centres, courses for non-mathematics majors, and special initiatives for underrepresented groups. Some results include: (1) Math help centre hours ranged from 2 to 109 hours/week; (2) Non-credit remedial courses are common; (3) Students’ self-selection or on high school grades predominantly determined course selection; (4) Prerequisites varied. Our poster summarizes the results of our study, highlighting interesting findings. Full details will be disseminated in a future publication which is currently in preparation. This research will be of interest to faculty, teaching support staff (e.g., lab coordinators, tutors, etc.), and also learning services specialists who are often charged with developing remedial programming for students.

Presenters
CW

Chester Weatherby

Dr. Chester Weatherby is a tenure-track (Professional Teaching) Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Wilfrid Laurier University.
DW

Douglas Woolford

Dr. Douglas Woolford is an Associate Professor of Environmetrics in the Department of Statistical and Actuarial Sciences at Western University.

Additional Authors
DK

Donna Kotsopoulos

Dr. Donna Kotsopoulos is a Professor in Education, cross appointed to Mathematics at Wilfrid Laurier University where she directs the Mathematical Brains Lab. She is a former Associate Vice-President Research (acting), Graduate Coordinator, and Associate Dean, an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT), and she was recently awarded the Hoffman-Little Award for Faculty for excellence in teaching, research, and professional endeavor, and an OCUFA... Read More →
LK

Laaraib Khattak

Miss. Laaraib Khattak holds a B.Ed. from Wilfrid Laurier University.


Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University

Attendees (5)




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