News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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December 13, 2012

Ivy Tech faculty teaching remedial math at ISU

TERRE HAUTE — As part of a pilot project, several hundred Indiana State University students — primarily freshmen — have been taking remedial math classes taught by Ivy Tech faculty this semester.

The university is paying Ivy Tech to teach the remedial courses for the 2012-13 academic year. With the first semester nearly concluded, “I’m waiting for grades and results to see if students have had more success,” said ISU provost Jack Maynard.

ISU has asked Ivy Tech to teach the courses because “we weren’t happy with the success we were having with our developmental classes,” Maynard said.

The classes are being taught at the former College of Education building, one of the Statesman Towers.

“The initial feedback I’ve had from the instructor running it is that it is looking pretty good,” and the pass rates have improved, said Susan Powers, ISU associate vice president for academic affairs.

The program involves two remedial classes, with one more basic and another involving high school algebra. Some students have been able to complete the coursework early, Powers said.

Coursework is computer-based, with students going at their own pace, said Ann Valentine, Ivy Tech-Wabash Valley chancellor.

Students progress based on mastery of material and can spend more time focusing on areas where they are having greater difficulties, she said.

Both an instructor and a tutor are in the classroom, but the instructor does not stand in front of the class lecturing, with everyone working on the same thing at the same time, Valentine said. Students can ask questions whenever they need assistance.

The course involves both class time and lab time, where students can receive assistance with homework.

Ivy Tech is providing the instruction through its Corporate College, but it’s an ISU class and students pay ISU tuition. That way, “It’s entirely seamless to ISU students,” Valentine said. “We want things as convenient for ISU students as possible.”

The pilot project grew out of discussions with ISU leadership, she said. “We proposed the idea of working together with them to see if we would have increased success rates for students at both institutions in developmental math,” Valentine said.

The pilot program with ISU will be evaluated at the end of the academic year to determine whether it continues, she said.

“So far, preliminary results look promising,” and it appears ISU students are achieving greater levels of success, Valentine said.

Ivy Tech hired about a half dozen faculty members to teach the remedial coursework, and both Ivy Tech and ISU are providing tutors, Valentine said.

ISU is paying Ivy Tech $321,000 for the remedial math instruction for the 2012-13 academic year.

In offering the pilot project, ISU has created two new remedial courses using Ivy Tech’s model for the coursework, Powers said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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