Math is Driving Force for More Students Graduating from CLC

Dr.Sean Hogan, College of Lake County, executive director of institutional effective, planning and research said students have made great progress in math completion, going from under 42 percent to 52 percent between 2010 and 2013.CLC

by Long Hwa-shu

More students at the College of Lake County finish their studies, graduate or transfer to a four-year university; and the trend is going up.

The driving force behind the encouraging news is math, according to Dr. Sean Hogan, CLC executive director of institutional effective, planning and research.

CLC,  said Hogan, had set a goal of having 49 percent of students who entered the college in 2013 either graduate or transfer to a four-year institution within three years.

“We surpassed that goal by achieving a 50.2 percent graduation and transfer rate,” said Dr. Hogan glowingly.

We encourage and help our students to be successful. For students with difficulty (in math), we advise them to take it slowly, practice their lessons and tutor them when necessary.” – Laura Hobart, co-chair of CLC’s Math Department

“We didn’t expect to hit that mark until next year, “ he noted, adding, “Even more significantly is the upward trend. In just three years, CLC has raised its student success rate by 21.8 percent.”

Hogan attributed CLC’s  success in its math program as the leading reason for the achievements. Students, he said, have made great progress in math completion, going from under 42 percent to 52 percent between 2010 and 2013.

“We encourage students to take math early on to build their confidence in that area. That leads to a greater success in graduation and transfer,” said Hogan.

Some students, he noted, are apprehensive about math. To help overcome that, he said CLC has embarked on a tutoring program and also works closely with area high schools in their math programs.

Laura Hobart, co-chair of CLC’s math department, said some students who come to CLC do have what she called “math anxiety,”  which they developed in high schools and are fearful of math.

Math, she said, is a requirement at CLC. Depending on majors, a student pursuing an associate degree in arts needs three credits in math. For an associate degree in science, seven credits are needed and for a degree in engineering 17.

”We encourage and help our students to be successful. For students with difficulty, we advise them to take it slowly, practice their lessons and tutor them when necessary,” said Hobart who has a master’s degree in applied math from the Iowa State University.

Her department, she said, has 21 full-time instructors who either have a master’s degree or a doctorate in math. The department offers courses from Math 101 to calculus, algebra and advanced math.

Jerry Weber, CLC president, noted that the increased rates in graduation and transfer are “due to investments and improvements in new student orientation, tutoring and bridge programs that are showing promise in putting students on the path to success.”

CLC, he said, is also working more closely with area high schools to better prepare students for college and to offer dual credit opportunities, which bolsters student initiatives.

In addition, he pointed out that CLC “has also been building stronger relationships with transfer institutions and employers.”

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