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San Mateo County Times Column Mentions Math Jam Honor

Math Jam Program at Canada College honored for increasing achievement for Latino students



The Math Jam Program at Canada College in Redwood City was honored Oct. 1 as America's top program for increasing achievement for Latino students at the associate level.

Math Jam was chosen from 165 programs from 22 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, that were nominated at three academic levels: associate, bachelor, and graduate.

Excelencia in Education conceived and runs the national initiative that systemically identifies, recognizes, and catalogues evidence-based programs that improve Latino college success. The organization produced this video to illustrate the power of the Math Jam program.

Elected officials and higher education leaders from across the United States came together in Washington, D.C., to present the honor. This is the eighth annual release of Examples of Excelencia.
Math Jam was created in 2009 by Canada College -- a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution -- to address the low level of math preparation of underrepresented students studying STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Originally, it was designed as an intensive math placement preparation program and has since evolved into a campus-wide math success program, serving students in pre-algebra through advanced calculus.

The first Math Jam illustrated the power of the program. Nearly 94 percent of the students who took the math placement test a second time scored higher after completing the two-week program. More than 63 percent improved their scores enough to be place into a higher math course than their pre-Math Jam results.

Now, the college has added evening Math Jam sessions as well as two additional, one-week mini-Math Jam sessions, both day and evening, serving more than 300 students.

"It has decreased the time from enrollment to transfer by allowing students the opportunity to retake the math placement test and, in 60 percent of cases, skip ahead to the next math level," said Danni Redding Lapuz, Math Jam project director. "It has increased retention and persistence rates for students, and more students are achieving success in their math courses."

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Oct. 18 as part of Carolyn Livengood's weekly "Livin' Good" column that runs on the San Mateo County Times website. 

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