U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education Grant # P116B060111

Project Title: Combining Technology with Traditional Approaches to Improve Student Outcomes in Introductory Algebra Courses

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeanne Foley
Co-Investigators: Dr. Eileen Zito, Deborah Kruschwitz-List, Dr. Laura Schmidt
Funding period: October 2006 through September 2010       
Funded amount: $450,000

            Many university mathematics departments struggle with the challenge of preparing entering students for college level mathematics. Success in first-year math courses is a strong predictor of retention into the second year of college, increasing the incentive for postsecondary schools to invest resources in a program demonstrated to impact a large proportion of  incoming students.  The University of Wisconsin-Stout Math Teaching and Learning Center has served over 4000 students since Fall 2004 using a comprehensive approach combining online work with required daily classroom sessions and a new tutoring service devoted specifically to our introductory algebra courses, achieving a 52% reduction in failure and withdrawal rates in Beginning Algebra and 39% in Intermediate Algebra.  We proposed to extend and expand the scope of our successes by assessing the long-term project impact on subsequent course outcomes and retention in school, expanding the concept to higher level math courses, adapting the program to a summer pre-college preparatory program, and developing a series of workshops to foster adoption and adaptation of the approach by other universities and colleges. Workshops were conducted in June of 2007 and July of 2008 and 2009. Materials developed for these workshops are available for public access at this site.

Workshop participant lists: