Pellissippi State earns statewide accolades for student success in pre-college-level math

Pellissippi State Community College took top honors in the state in a number of recent reports involving learning support mathematics courses. Learning support mathematics prepares students for college-level math courses.

A National Community College Benchmark Project report for 2012 and 2013 recognized Pellissippi State as having the highest completion rate of all community colleges in Tennessee for students taking developmental math classes.

“Learning support mathematics is designed to help students become ready for college-level math classes in one semester,” said Mary Monroe-Ellis, the college’s dean of Transitional Studies.

The learning support mathematics program at Pellissippi State includes two hours per week in a regular classroom, two hours in a computer classroom and two hours in the Learning Commons, where students get support from faculty and tutors.

Another study, by the Tennessee Board of Regents, found that Pellissippi State’s learning support mathematics students were 189 percent more likely to pass their courses in their first term of enrollment than students in similar developmental math classes at other community colleges. TBR is the governing body for all Tennessee community colleges.

“Students are eligible for learning support when they score below 19 on their ACT math results,” said Monroe-Ellis, “and they then take a placement test to determine at what level they enter the program or, in some cases, to test out of it and begin college-level courses.”

Learning support mathematics students must pass five core competencies, with at least an 80 percent mastery level. Once they pass, they can move on to the college-level math classes required by their degree program.

A third study, the 2013 Metric Report for the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, showed that Pellissippi State students are among the top in the state to complete learning support mathematics classes. They also were found to be among the top in the state to succeed in finishing subsequent college-level math courses.

“That’s where the real success is,” Monroe-Ellis said. “We want students to pass learning support mathematics, but we also want them to be able to successfully complete the college-level math courses they take later.”

For more information about learning support at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/transitional_studies/ or call (865) 694-6400. To find out about all of the college’s program offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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