Math Summit at WSCC Promotes Dialogue between Local Secondary and Post-secondary Math Educators

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20130512 mathsummit3Washington State Community College (WSCC) held a Math Summit on Friday, April 19th. The summit came during the heart of Community College Month, and its purpose was to bring attention to the math-skills gap that is causing problems for some area high school graduates when they begin math studies at the college level. The day-long summit brought secondary and post-secondary math educators together to brainstorm solutions for this skills gap, particularly as it pertains to lack of retention of previously learned material. Several area math educators and school administrators were in attendance.

David Scheimann, Retention Coordinator at WSCC and organizer of the summit, talked about the event's success. "The turnout was great," he said. Everyone who attended was positive, and I feel like we made some very encouraging steps towards exploring the 'math gap' and what we can do to help our students through it."

Marietta High School math instructor Keith Ullman and WSCC College Tech Prep Coordinator Nick Arnold were among the summit's participants. "It was mentioned that there was over 300 years of educational experience in attendance at today's summit," said Ullman, "yet I think that we all came away from it with new ideas that will enhance us as educators." Arnold also commented on the event's positive outcome. "I feel everyone in attendance came away with a better understanding of the goals, challenges, and expectations of the represented high schools and colleges, which will lead to greater communication and cooperation in the future."

Marietta City Schools Superintendent Harry Fleming and Belpre City Schools Superintendent Tony Dunn also attended the summit. "It is a great idea to have a collaborative relationship between secondary teachers and higher education," said Fleming. "The Math Summit at Washington State Community College was a good way to encourage this collaboration, and is in keeping with the Race to the Top initiative of 'College and Career Ready'." Dunn also praised the event in remarks he made during the closing session. "I think the way we all get better is to talk about things and share our craft," he said. "I'm glad to see this kind of turnout for the summit, and thrilled to have our teachers here to talk to the people at Washington State"

The Math Summit's success already has participants and organizers discussing the possibility of holding similar events in the future. "The summit was a success, and it was a great first step in the process of addressing some of the issues in math education," remarked WSCC President Dr. Bradley Ebersole during the closing session of the summit. "But it can't end here; there needs to be follow-up."


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