Building Opportunities Through Mathematics

Building Opportunities Through Mathematics

Minneapolis College’s innovative mathematics program meets the needs of students wherever they are in their academic journey. Whether a student plans to continue their math studies at a four-year college or university, needs to meet a math requirement for another degree program or refresh their basic skills, there is a math class to meet their needs. Classes are offered for students pursuing math, the liberal arts, business, STEM and a range of other career goals.

Implementing change to increase student success

The math department at Minneapolis College, however, has not been without change. Several years ago, the department saw high failure rates in their introductory math classes. Regardless of their major, most students need to take the same math class—so it was critical to examine what was going on. It was discovered that since the introductory class was designed for STEM majors, it didn’t meet the needs of students pursuing liberal arts, business and other career goals.

Without compromising content, the department redesigned the Math 75 class to ensure accessibility and information tailored to the students’ long-term goals. Now, non-STEM majors can simply take Math 75 before moving on to college Algebra. As a result, students feel more confident and experience greater success. The department is now looking at improving other classes to further target student goals.

“We never want students to be afraid of math or to ask for help,” said Donna Spikes, math faculty, who is confident every student can get through their math requirement. “We care about the success of all of our students and want to support them in reaching their goals.” Spikes noted dedicated faculty are always available for consultation, mentorship and individualized tutoring. Additionally, classes are offered online asynchronous and synchronous, blend/hybrid and face-to-face options so students can find a class that aligns with their schedule.

“The math department has seen significant growth and stability since the changes were implemented,” said Scott Storla, math faculty, who credits the collaborative nature of the department faculty and staff and the encouragement from the Dean and the College to try new things. “If you are pursuing your higher education, you’ll likely need algebra. Now there are more opportunities thanks to teamwork, innovation and creativity.”

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