By Jana Julian | Staff Writer
Kapiʻolani Community College offers accelerated courses in MATH 103, 135, and 140 that can be completed in one semester.
Initially, the accelerated courses were offered as part of a grant-funded program which first began in spring of 2016. The Math Emporium Immersion Model (MEIM) program set out to provide students with one math-intensive semester they would use to prepare for Calculus I.
“The idea was to immerse students in mathematics and sciences without any other distractions,” said Kira Yamashita, a former MEIM program coordinator, “so they would be able to learn as much as possible with their peers.”
During the MEIM program, students were put in a small classroom environment where they spent 1.5 hours in lecture and 1.5 hours each day, with peer mentors who were taking Calculus I or higher; after the first iteration, students who had succeeded in the program became peer mentors.
Spring 2017 was the last semester of the MEIM program. After running for three semesters, the success of the program allowed the accelerated courses to become an option for KCC students permanently.
Now, combinations of MATH 103/135 taught by Professor Korey Nishimoto and MATH 135/140 taught by Professor Andrew Pak are also offered at an accelerated pace; these courses will be taught in 8-week increments. Initially, these were the only courses offered after the MEIM program ended. However, this semester the three-section accelerated math course is available again.
“I think they realized that they needed to have that fundamental basis of 103 in order to really understand 135 and 140,” said Geena Wann-Kung, a former peer mentor and current senior in the Engineering department at UH Mānoa.
The 103/135/140 accelerated math course is currently being taught by Professor John Rader, who also taught MATH 103 throughout the duration of the MEIM program. Each course is taught in 4-week increments, with each section ending with an exam.
“I think the accelerated math program is good for any student that has to take up to Calculus II for their major,” Wann-Kung said. “It’s worth the payoff because you aren’t taking as long to do math courses and it saves you money.”
KCC is also offering accelerated Calculus I and II courses with Professor Andrew Pak. If done in succession, STEM majors have the opportunity to finish all of their math requirements in two semesters instead of five. It is suggested that when taking these accelerated courses with three or more sections, students should only be registered for that course because of the intensive study and workload.
While success in each section is required to move on within the course, students who do not pass a section still have the opportunity to continue for learning purposes. Students will have the opportunity to take a placement test with the chance of testing into a higher math course.
Students interested in taking an accelerated math course in the spring of 2019 should go to the Maida Kamber Center and make an appointment with an academic advisor.