Jackson State Community College's Mathematics Department, Using Pearson's Groundbreaking Technology, Wins Prestigious Bellwether Award

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Pearson's MyMathLabPlus helps colleges and universities improve student performance, control costs.

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Jackson State's receipt of the Bellwether Award is a well-deserved tribute to its groundbreaking work to improve student achievement while controlling costs for both students and the college.

Jackson State Community College's successful efforts to revolutionize developmental math nationally while removing barriers for students have been honored with the prestigious Bellwether Award. The Bellwether Awards are presented annually to trendsetting programs that other community colleges might find worthy of replicating.

Using Pearson's MyMathLabPlus, an innovative online homework and tutorial system, Jackson State Community College has achieved a 13 percent improvement in student learning, a 45 percent increase in its student pass rate and a 12 percent increase in retention--all while realizing a cost-per-student savings of more than 20 percent.

Beginning with the Spring 2007 semester, Pearson worked with Jackson State Community College's math leadership to redesign the college's developmental math courses and create SMART Math--Survive, Master, Achieve, Review and Transfer. With SMART Math, three courses were combined into one course with content organized into twelve separate modules, or sections. Students only take the modules that are relevant to their educational and career goals, with multi-exit options based on their ability to progress and exit early or to take additional time to complete relevant assignments. Using MyMathLabPlus, students must show 80 percent mastery before moving on to the next section.

"Using technology to involve students in 'doing math' has revolutionized students' attitudes toward math--building confidence and increasing perseverance to success," said Corinna Goehring, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Jackson State Community College. "The responsibility for learning is now squarely with the student and they are enthusiastically mastering concepts. A once formidable barrier to student learning has been removed.

"MyMathLabPlus has provided the administrative tools we needed to automate the reporting of completed modules to the student information system used by the Tennessee Board of Regents. This has clarified the instructor's role as a facilitator of learning and coach, has removed human error in reporting and expedited registration for the next course for our students. Students are able to complete developmental requirements more quickly, saving them time and money."

MyMathLabPlus can be customized to suit each student's level of knowledge and can be used in any environment--lab-based, hybrid, distance learning or traditional classroom. Features include an interactive online textbook, video lectures, tracked tutorials and additional resources for learning during homework assignments. Instructors can easily create, import and manage online homework, quizzes, and tests, all of which are automatically graded for instant student feedback--allowing instructors to spend less time grading and more time working with their students.

With the advanced reporting capabilities found in MyMathLabPlus, instructors can review and analyze students' strengths and weaknesses by tracking their performance on tests, assignments and tutorials, while the customizable gradebook helps instructors manage results, calculate grades and plan remediation strategies. For administrators, MyMathLabPlus offers complete control over student enrollments and the ability to quickly analyze and monitor performance across multiple sections, courses or disciplines for a broad view of program performance. Pearson's experienced course developers handle the migration of the institution's programs onto the MyMathLabPlus environment and provide 24-7 customer support to help departments ensure their courses run smoothly.

"We are honored that our partnership with Jackson State Community College has garnered national recognition for the college's SMART Math program," said Greg Tobin, President of Mathematics and Statistics at Pearson. "Jackson State's receipt of the Bellwether Award is a well-deserved tribute to its groundbreaking work to improve student achievement while controlling costs for both students and the college."

Jackson State Community College is located about 75 miles from Memphis and serves approximately 4,000 students who are mostly from rural, small-town high schools.

Presented by the Community College Futures Assembly, an independent public policy forum sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida, the Bellwether Awards have been compared to college football's Heisman Trophy because they are competitively judged by peers in the community college space.

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Media Contact: Susan Aspey, (800) 745-8489


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