Last updated: February 16. 2013 8:19PM - 173 Views

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NANTICOKE -- Breaking down what Luzerne County Community College President Thomas Leary called exciting new initiatives, math professors explained a new program to prepare incoming students for college-level math courses.

At Tuesday night??s board of trustees meeting, math professors Joanne Kawczenski and Nicole Saporito said that because of high failure rates and too many unacceptable entrance exam scores, they have been building a program since last spring that is effectively bringing students up to speed on foundational math principles.

The program, published by Pearson, is called MyMathLab and relies heavily on the Internet to provide individualized study programs that let students work at their own pace but stay in a classroom environment.

The classes are not for credit, but help students enroll in low-level math courses and get into their major??s core classes, which may not be attainable without them.

Kawczenski said she arrived at LCCC with different expectations.

??I was excited to teach calculus. Now I??m teaching arithmetic,? she said.

Saporito, the math department chair, said that after three semesters of using the course, she has seen students show great improvement.

??When they do come out of this course, we can say with great confidence, ??They??re ready for that (college-level) course,??? Saporito said.

She said 15 instructors have been trained to use the curriculum for 42 course offerings at all of the college??s campuses. Two days into the school year, she said all the seats have been filled.

??It??s a big effort,? she said. ??But it??s paying off. Our students are learning.?

In other business:

? In his report, Finance Dean Joe Gasper said the preliminary audit numbers for the 2011-2012 school year showed about a 7 percent decrease in tuition revenue, and a 10 percent decrease in state-appropriated funds for the 2012-2013 year, but he said the decrease was anticipated.

??We??re basically on target with our projections,? Gasper said. ??Not that it makes it good.?

He said finance administrators have asked academic department heads to slim down, making only necessary expenditures.

Leary said tuition did go up $12 per credit from last year, but the college is working to prevent future tuition increases.

??We??re constantly monitoring costs to reduce the burden of enrollment,? he said.

He said a final enrollment count could be made in about two weeks, so he could not accurately say if the decrease will continue this year.

? County Judge Richard Hughes was present to swear in two new board members, Jack Serafin and Frank Bognet. Denee Nichols was also welcomed as the board??s newest student representative.

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