College offers new path for math

Lynn Bahena, Kristen Wensing and Elizabeth Obrien talking

Lynn Bahena, one of the part-time instructors set to teach MTH 094: Pathways to Math Literacy, and Kristen Wensing, a part-time instructor teaching the fall section, discuss digital materials with Elizabeth Obrien, who helped with the new course’s textbook. Lisa Rombes | Courtesy Photo

By Erin Fedeson
Staff Writer

Washtenaw Community College now offers an alternative pathway to completing the required second level math class for students not following STEM’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics route.

This spring/summer term as well as the upcoming fall term, WCC will offer MTH 094: Pathways to Math Literacy.

“We wanted to offer an alternative way,” explained Lisa Rombes, chair of the math department.

MTH 094 is a nontraditional approach to untangle math’s abstracts and educate non-STEM students.

Rombes explained one of the things students will learn is the difference between compound interest versus simple interest. Students taking MTH 094 will learn about what they need to be productive adults and how not to be a math victim in the world of finances.

“People do take advantage of it,” Rombes said.

Lynn Behena is one of the instructors set to teach the class in the spring/summer term, as well as fall.

“The pathways class puts WCC at the forefront of a national movement to give more students the opportunity to achieve degrees by making the preparation for the college-level math requirement more accessible,” Behena wrote in an email. “Many schools locally and nationwide are making a different ‘path’ to college-level math possible.”

The path WCC chose is to offer this new class, which it held a teacher’s workshop for on April 17.

Prior to the workshop, Rombes spent 30 hours in preparation and organized the event so the co-author of their textbook, “Pathways to Math Literacy,” Brian Mercer of Parkland Community College, could teach. She plans to be a course mentor for the process.

Twenty-five WCC instructors and several instructors from Oakland Community College attended the workshop.

Among them was WCC math instructor Jason Davis. The course makes sense, he said, because not all students need rigorous math courses for their careers.

“It doesn’t do any good to take the full-blown algebra sequence when you’re not going into the field,” Davis said. He explained the training was an overview of the course, how it works, how it was different from traditional math learning.
Interested in MTH 094?

Spring/summer term sections

May 12-July 16
Tuesdays and Thursdays
9 a.m.-noon
Laura Abney

May 11-July 20
Mondays and Wednesdays 6-9 p.m.
Lynn Bahena

June 23-Aug. 3
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
9-11:30 a.m.
Sondra Bobroff

 

Three sections for Math 094 are open in the spring/summer term. They will be led by Laura Abney, Lynn Bahena and Sondra Bobroff. For more information about the spring/summer classes.

10 sections are open for Math 094 in the fall term. The three instructors for the spring/summer term will be there with Karla Paterson, Ronald Mead, Benjamin Feeley, Elizabeth Sebastian, Kristen Wensing and Thomas Almeida.

For more information about the fall term classes.

For more information about the course.

 

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