Classes don’t begin for several more weeks, but more than ninety incoming freshmen are getting a jump start on their math requirements.
This is the third year that UT is hosting Math Camp, an three-week summer program designed to provide a thorough academic review of concepts from Math 119 and 130—two important prerequisites for math-intensive majors and other majors requiring certain math skills. Math Camp began Sunday and will continue through August 5.
“Math Camp has been successful in helping students interested in preprofessional, business, and other math-heavy majors hone the skills they’ll need to be successful,” said Jessica Osborne, assistant director of the Student Success Center. “With Math Camp as a refresher, many students are ready to move right into the more advanced courses required for their chosen majors. All Math Camp students leave better equipped for the challenges they may face their first year in college.”
Math Camp targets students whose math ACT scores place them in courses lower than what is needed for their intended majors. One of the programs Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek committed to during a White House education summit several years ago, it supports the goals outlined in the university’s strategic plan, Vol Vision 2020, to enhance student support and improve retention and graduation rates.
Students are invited to attend Math Camp. Those who accept the offer pay a fee that covers instruction, and room and board. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.
Although Math Camp students can commute to campus, most reside in a living-learning community in Hess Residence Hall and participate in a host of activities—from pizza parties to movie nights to painting the Rock—where they have a chance to meet other students, get acquainted with the campus, and successfully transition to college life. They also have access to academic and career advising.
“Math Camp helped me so much last year,” said Precious Lyons of Memphis, a sophomore majoring in marketing who is serving as a counselor for this year’s camp. “It helped me get into the right math course so I’m on track now.”
It also helped her get acquainted with campus and learn the value of building relationships with other students. Training to be a camp counselor helped her further overcome the shyness that used to hold her back
She said she is advising Math Camp participants to “get out, make friends, and take Math Camp seriously.”
Students don’t receive course credit for attending Math Camp but are given an opportunity at the end of the camp to take an exam for placement into the required math class for their major.
Math Camp activities last from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. Students attend a two-hour lecture in the morning and spend two hours in recitations––small group sessions—in the afternoon. Tutoring is available each day from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Math Camp participant Nikyra Beasley of Nashville said she wants to major in business but she struggled with math in high school.
She said she intends to use the intense instruction “to learn the skills I wasn’t able to in high school.”
Last year, eighty-nine students attended Math Camp, and 63 percent of those who completed the program placed into the more advanced course needed for their chosen major. In 2014, eighty-one students attended Math Camp, and 57 percent of the completers placed into more advanced courses.
Five senior lecturers from the Department of Mathematics are this year’s math camp instructors: Tracy Cook, Ann Contole, Karin Pringle, April Conner, and Kevin Sukanek.
Last year, the university received $20,000 from Verizon to help pay for the operational costs of future Math Camps.
Jessica Osborne, Student Success Center (865-974-6641, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Amy Blakely (865-974-5034 or 865-333-8128, email@example.com)