Achieving Success in College Math

Results and Success Stories

To date more than 14,000 high school students have heard the presentations and have been impacted by the Achieving Success in College Math program. This program is successful because of the collaboration and mutual respect between college and high-school educators.

SCC Math Department data reveals that SCC students who took math their senior year had, on average, higher placement/assessment scores than students who had not taken math their senior year.

Since Missouri students can reach their math requirements by junior year and opt out of math their senior year, many don’t understand or realize the impact this has on their future with college placement/assessment exams.

Could it be as simple as communicating this information to junior-level high-school students? Yes.

The program's main message is to take math during the senior year, combined with some information on the placement/assessment process, developmental math classes, how much these classes, if needed, can delay college and career plans and then, how to avoid these problems.

A survey is given to students at the end of presentations. More than 80 percent of the students surveyed changed their minds. They were not going to take math their senior year but decided to because of the information that was presented.

SCC’s program started in 2008 with just 888 students hearing the message. Now in its sixth year, the program has grown more than 300 percent, reaching 4,211 students last year. This year, the program is set to reach more than 4,500 students.

Awareness works. Just hearing the presentation in high school and deciding to take math their senior year, students can be successful in placing into college-level math. The knowledge will save many students extra time and money while in college, which can aid them in persisting to earn a college degree.

Taking Developmental Courses

For some, placing into a developmental course is necessary to gain the skills needed to earn a degree. If that happens to you, the road might be longer but can still provide you many options.

The purpose of developmental courses is to assist students who really do need additional instruction in order to have a chance at placing in a college-level math course.

Meet Kevin

Kevin sitting at table

Kevin tested into the lowest developmental math course at SCC. Thanks to his persistence and individualized instruction, Kevin worked his way through the math sequence, earned a pre-engineering degree and transferred to Cornell University. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, he is continuing at Cornell in the M.S./Ph.D. program.

Contact Info

SCC Math Department
Phyllis Marchand

SCC Foundation
Tara Cochran

Success Stories

An SCC math professor and one of this program’s presenters stopped into a local convenience store and the cashier recognized her immediately. The now college student mentioned how helpful hearing the presentation in high school had been and how, because of it, she decided to stop using a calculator, take math her senior year and prepare for the placement/assessment test. She believes these actions helped her be successful in placing into college-level math course.

Another SCC math professor and program presenter teaches developmental courses at SCC. One day, two of her students who were getting very high As stayed after class to chat. The professor asked them how they landed in this course. Both said they did not realize there would be a placement/assessment test when they enrolled at SCC and didn’t think to prepare for it ahead of time. They did not hear this presentation in their high school and felt that if they did, it would have saved them from having to take one class, maybe two.