Since 50 percent of high school students admitted to California State Universities require remedial math, colleges have decided to solve the problem before remediation is required, with middle school math immersion courses.
Four college instructors have been teaching algebra in the offices of Granite Rock Company in Watsonville to 115 eighth graders. The instructors include Hongde Hu, Mathematics and Statistics department chair at Cal State Monterey Bay.
“Intensive practice makes a life difference to these students,” Hu said. “The more they practice, the more proficient they become, the more connections with algebra they are able to make to the real world.”
Granite Rock launched the Bruce W. Woolport Algebra Academy in 2010, offering 40 students from one middle school five days of university level instruction in the environment of a business. Today, the unique partnership between an academic institution and a corporation benefits 115 students from seven middle schools. President and CEO Woolport invited Hu to collaborate on the program.
“We focus on intensive algebra in the morning,” Hu said. “In the afternoon, we show them real-world applications and play math games.”