College Algebra Support Project (CASP): A multifaceted course suited for today's classrooms

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Mathematics Teaching-Research Journal


It is known that the retention rates in standard college algebra courses have been puzzling. Educators and administrators are grappling with this situation on a day-by-day basis as they attempt to improve the retention rates among students in these courses and find a way to remedy the situation. Several ideas have emerged yet the challenges are still enormous. The College Algebra Support Project (CASP) was initiated with a main goal to increase the success rate among students in these college algebra courses taught at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), Laredo, Texas. The approach is based on the belief that students learn mathematics by actually doing it. Homework, quizzes, laboratory projects, assessments, and exams were used to help students understand concepts and build problem-solving skills. This article outlines results of a survey conducted for this undertaking at TAMIU in Fall 2008 in terms of course features, and most importantly, what components of the course-delivery led to its success for the benefit of other faculty and college administrators.

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