S.T.E.M. curriculum (lower division)

     S.T.E.M.: (S)cience, (T)echnology, (E)ngineering, and (M)athematics

The ASC Low-Down from Chris Woolford

It's common for students enrolled in "weed-'em-out university intro courses" to discover their math & science skills (whether from community college or high school) are rusty, lapsed, or useless. 

On the other hand, new university students who took AP courses might mistakenly believe their knowledge and skills are ready, then get a "C" or "D" on their first test,  ... in their major, and ouch.

In any prerequisite class or especially one's major, it's a jolt to be behind early in the game. (That's also true for foreign language students who find they are in an introductory level course, having not done as well as expected.)

The UCLA freshmen survey annually reports a surprising cohort of high school students who, although having reported primarily B-grades, despite evidence to the contrary, anticipate receiving straight "A's" in all their courses at university.

This means a few things:

     a) In terms of perception, evidence holds little sway over 1st-yr grade expectations.

     b) A cohort of entering H.S. students believe they have the academic ability to                achieve higher grades in university than they obtained in High School. 

     c) This cohort perceives they enter college in possession of the required academic          rigor and study habits to achieve straight A's in college, despite not demonstrating        it.

How could this be? In high school, students are routinely quizzed and, typically, know where they stand in class, not so at university.  It is a terrible thing to witness when a student discovers, too late, how frightfully far behind or off track that he or she is -- and learn the hard way how "weed-'em-out intro courses" got the name.

Adriano's props for The ASC


Take a world view.  The term "tutor" everywhere, except America, means one thing: "teacher."  A teacher is a tutor.  Tutoring is what Tutors do, the process of teaching. Sadly, somehow, in the US, the word "tutoring" has (to some) taken on a slightly negative connotation; implying one needs "help." No one wants to believe that he or she needs help; especially not an Aggie. Particularly not up against the perception of pulling higher grades in college than in High School.

A well-guarded secret is that more than half of The ASC clients ARE getting A's in college.  Many clients are on scholarships they do not plan to lose.  Others know, I mean know; they are going to attend a top graduate. Once they realize The ASC will assist in achieving that goal, they don't care what anyone's perception is -- they come in and get help, from day one, literally.  

Some clients figure out early that they don’t know where they stand in their courses and, so "check-in" with our Tutors. This ensures being on the right track, as early as possible. Also, they pick up smart tricks along the way from those who know their subject well (most Tutors are completing their Masters or Ph.D. in the subject they tutor).   

All resident students pursuing their work in science, technology, mathematics, engineering, or languages at A&M or Blinn will do well to seek out tutoring services, and our many other resources, too, within The ASC.

Students in tutoring:

  • build solid foundations in math & science (upper division & graduate school)
  • gain a wider range of options within their academic major
  • complete a broader background of academic work across several fields

Matthew's props for The ASC


Research suggests well-designed human tutoring could deliver around two standard deviations' worth of learning performance. This is a shockingly large move; on a bell curve, an average student would move two standard deviations to the 90+ percentile of performance, and, more startling, someone at the lower quartile will move into the upper quartile of performance.

Embrace the future; double dose your standard deviation in The ASC.

http://brorsblog.typepad.com/brors-blog/2012/01/machine-tutoring-whoaa-shouldnt-we-act.html



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