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UNH to Launch Innovative Program to Help Students Learn Math

Release Date:
4/12/2013 12:00 AM
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Math Zone, features

WEST HAVEN, CONN. --- For many students, learning math can be a hurdle. Often, traditional classroom settings create anxiety and cannot accommodate each students’ individual learning needs. Students hit a wall in math and just can’t achieve the breakthrough no matter how hard they try.

That is why the University of New Haven is developing a Math Learning Center.

Set to open this fall, the Math Learning Center will offer students a way to learn math that is targeted specifically to their own skill level.  The center will be staffed with full-time math instructors, and it will offer computer software to help students learn at their own pace.

“This program is the first of its kind in the state,” said James McCoy, UNH vice president for enrollment. “It will provide our students with a clear advantage as they complete their coursework and move on to graduate school or the workplace.”

Using what educators call the Knewton Adaptive Learning Platform, the program allows students to use computer software that quickly understands and adapts to their own skill level and provides precise instruction and support so students can master a topic and move on to the next one.

Adaptive technologies are the most successful technology-based education tools for learning math, says Lourdes Alvarez, dean of the UNH College of Arts and Sciences.

Alvarez said the computer software, coupled with the new Math Learning Center, will provide students with every advantage they need to overcome math anxiety or a lack of skills.

“This approach will allow our students to complete up to three courses in mathematics in a single semester,” she said. “Because the adaptive technology is self-paced, students can accelerate in the core math courses and move into the more advanced classes as they become ready. We would like to ensure that anxiety about learning mathematics doesn’t prevent any students from achieving their goals. Our new center will help students master each skill one at a time and move on to the next level with confidence.” 

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico and California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.