Statway Classes Help Students Pass Math

Anthony Huizar, Staff Writer

Math can be one of the most widely despised subjects of all time, leading to a good share of anxiety attacks – particularly when numbers begin to mix with letters in a multi-step equation involving various formulas and rules to depict one answer.

According to statistics, 73 percent of college freshman require remedial math. In order to tackle this problem, Pierce College has introduced Statway classes into its course schedule, offering aid to those struggling with freshman math.

The math department seems to support its latest attempt at solving student’s biggest stump in math because in the upcoming fall semester, they are offering 15 Statway classes, considering they began with only two back in 2012.

Statway is designed for non-math majors to complete their transferable math classes in one year. The course concentrates on basic and remedial algebra as well as statistics and if passed, students would receive credit in college statistics. According to reports, Statway began at 19 community colleges and two state universities in the fall of 2011.

After one year, 51 percent completed with a C or better. Statway courses are only applicable to students who are liberal arts, humanities, and social science majors.

GCC has not considered Statway as an option because it does not meet the UC transferable requirements; however, they have implemented various resources and alternatives that give students an easier route to pass their required math classes.

According to the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching, implementing Statway will help students understand the world around them and teaches the math they can use right now.  The foundation reports that five percent of students earn college math credit within a year of continuous enrollment. Reports also indicate that about half of students who take the algebra/statistics pass with a grade of C or better, as well as finish their required math in only a year.

There are many resources on campus that give students the opportunity to get additional instruction in math. The Math Discovery Center located in AS103 offers free drop-in tutoring, videos to give a visual understanding of math in addition to computer programs, which are designed to help students understand math from different angles.

“We (math department) feel very strongly to prepare students the best we can,” said math professor Yvette Hassakoursian.

Nancy Recinos, a communication major, is an example of how math is holding her life back. She is a former CSULA student who got kicked out of her school because she could not pass her math class during her first year despite maintaining a 3.8 grade point average. She is currently enrolled at GCC to work on her math and aims to transfer to a UC.

“I hope it’s a better experience for me because math scares me,” she said.

Andrea Lopez, 20, is going into her third year at GCC and has yet to consider enrolling in any math courses, having yet to take her math placement test.

“I am trying to avoid math as long as I can here because I will fail,” she said.

Lopez is a primary example of how student reactions towards a math class. For many, it is their academic fear; however there is no way out of the community college system.

GCC is waiting to see if the UC system will start accepting students who pass the Statway math class. According to Hassakoursian, the reason they do not accept Statway is because there is no prerequisite to enroll in the class. However, it is ideal for someone struggling in math who wishes to transfer to a CSU institution.

Currently there are 48 institutions nationwide that have added Statway into their course schedule.

UC representatives are scheduled to review Statway by the end of the year.