EvCC looks for ways to solve students’ math problems

EVERETT — Math can be a barrier for students seeking a college degree.

To help figure out which strategies work best to help students succeed in math, Everett Community College has been awarded a $39,500 grant.

The grant is from College Spark Washington, a Seattle-based foundation that pays for programs to help low-income students get ready for college and earn their degrees.

The research will begin this summer, building on work that’s been done over the past five to six years, said Christopher Quarles, a math instructor at the college.

The majority of students who come to community colleges in Washington state, including EvCC, need help with remedial math, said Rachel Clements, program officer for College Spark Washington.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for students, particularly those from low-income families, is graduating from high school. Once that hurdle is cleared, standardized tests show they’re not ready for the rigors of college-level classes.

“They’re not ready for college-level math,” Quarles said. “So the question is how can we help these students get to college level math?”

Of all the students who go into remedial classes in either math or English, fewer than 20 percent ever go on to earn college-level credits in those subjects, Clements said.

Students have to pay for the remedial classes, which are non-credit. “They’re putting in time and money and not earning credits toward a degree,” she said. “A lot get discouraged and leave. A number don’t make it through the course work.”

Completing a math course is a requirement in a number of fields of study, from engineering to social science and liberal arts majors, Quarles said.

One of the questions he is trying to answer with the grant is whether changes made to restructure the math course over the past few years have been effective and whether more changes still need to be made, he said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Cool additions at an elementary school in Everett

A totem pole and new gardens grace the courtyard of Whittier Elementary School.

Kids suspected in school’s smashed windows and other damage

The cost of the damage at Explorer Middle School in south Everett is estimated to be $5,000.

Recall issued for about 1,250 pounds of meat

Camano Island’s Sausage Haus products might be contaminated.

3 women seek open seat in 39th District

The GOP nominees hope to fill the opening created by the resignation of Republican John Koster.

Lake Stevens High senior has an entrepreneurial mind

John Cramer crafts and sells designer pens to help pay for college

Marysville-Arlington fiber-optic link planned by Comcast

The high-speed internet line, to be ready next year, is seen as a boost for business development.

Cellphone carrier substation in Snohomish vandalized

Detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a… Continue reading

Driver flees deputy in Everett, then crashes, injuring 2

The suspect fled on foot but was tracked down and captured nearby. He was treated for injuries.

Most Read