- What is the Developmental Math Program?
Each student graduating from UMCP, unless exempted, must have passed the Fundamental Studies Mathematics requirement. In order to determine the student's mathematical preparation for taking one of the courses satisfying this requirement, or a math course satisfying a major requirement, all entering students must take the Mathematics Placement Test (except for students entering with college level calculus credits, either through AP or another college). Using the results of this test the student is placed into one of the Mathematics Department's courses. Students who do not place into the desired credit bearing courses (Math 110, 113, 111, 115 or higher) must take the developmental math course Math 003 or a combined developmental-fundamental course as described below.
- What is Math 003?
Math 003 covers high school algebra I and II. A student receives no academic credit for Math 003 but will receive three "institutional" credits that count toward full time status at the university and for use in qualifying for scholarships and loans. A student must pay a special fee to take Math 003.
- How are students placed?
Placement is based on a student's score on the Mathematics Placement Test. The "upper half" of the students who place into the Developmental Math Program will be invited to take a one semester course which will combine the appropriate Developmental Algebra course with a credit bearing course that will satisfy the Fundamental Studies Math requirement. The "lower half" of these students will be enrolled into Math 003 which will be taught using a self-paced computer program. (The actual determination of what is meant by "upper half" and "lower half" depends on the level of sophistication of the course for which the student is preparing.)
- How do the combined courses work?
The courses Math 010, 013 and 015 are combined developmental/fundamental courses for Math 110, Math 113, and Math 115 (respectively). The purpose of the combined courses is to give a student the opportunity to get through both the developmental prerequisite and the credit-bearing course itself in a single semester.
For example, suppose a student arrives at UMCP and wants to take Math 110 but qualifies only for the combined version of Math 110, and elects to take this course. The course will meet for 5 hours a week. The initial 5 weeks will be spent reviewing and teaching the algebra skills necessary to succeed in Math 110. The student will officially be enrolled in Math 010 during this time. At the end of the five week period, the student will retake the Placement Test. If this time around the student qualifies for Math 110 (as the great majority should) then she/he will continue in the class and the regular curriculum in Math 110 will be covered over the remainder of the semester. The student's registration will automatically change from Math 010 to Math 110.
On the other hand, if after retaking the Placement Test the student still does not qualify for Math 110, then that student must go to the computer based developmental math course Math 003 for further work on the basic algebra skills. The student who qualifies into Math 110 after five weeks and is successful in completing Math 110 will receive 3 credits and a grade just as if she/he had started the semester in Math 110. And the student will have finished in one semester instead of the two required to take Math 003 followed by Math 110. The special developmental math fee charged to students taking Math 003 will also be charged to students taking one of the combined courses.
- How are prerequisites met in Math 003?
Each student enrolled in this course will work individually, using a self-paced computer course. Students will be in sections that meet 6 hours per week in dedicated computer labs. Each section will be under the close supervision of an instructor who will place the students at the appropriate level in the program, help the students with questions on their work, present tutorials and mini-lectures on difficult points, administer homework, quizzes and exams, and certify the students' success or failure during and at the end of the course. There will always be someone in the room to assist the students. All students, regardless of their level of algebra skills, will be in the same section of Math 003. They will be working in different parts of the computer program depending on their skills and goals. There will be five distinct modules, subsets of the program, that the students will be working on. Completing one of these will be necessary for passing Math 003. The modules will be preparation for taking Math 110, 111, 113, or 115 and the additional module will be for the students who need pre-algebra preparation (LAS module). Progression from Math 003 to credit bearing courses will be as follows:
|Complete successfully||May enroll in the following semester|
|LAS Module||Math 003, 010 Module|
|110 Module||Math 110|
|111 Module||Math 110, 113, 111, Stat 100|
|113 Module||Math 110, 113|
|115 Module||Math 110, 113,111, Stat 100, 115|
There has been extensive experimentation with the computer program we use, and it has been successful in preparing students who conscientiously stick with it.
In addition to the students being able to place into other courses as indicated above by passing one of the modules, the students will also be given the Math Placement Test again at the end of the term. The students' score on that test at that time will be allowed to override the placement determined by the modules.
The course Math 003 was developed to replace two previous courses, Math 001 and 002 (corresponding to high school algebra I and II). Because students may begin Math 003 at different mathematical levels, a student is allowed to pass Math 003 twice for institutional credit.
- What changed in the developmental math program?
Before Fall 2001, there were two courses (Math 001 and 002) instead of Math 003, and these courses were taught in a standard classroom environment. Math 003 uses the self-paced computer program to meet needs more individually, promote student involvement, and allow accelerated progress through developmental mathematics. Also before Fall 2001, there was no combined course alternative; for example, a student needing Math 113 for calculus but not placing into Math 113 would be forced to spend a semester on developmental math before spending a semester on Math 113.