Increase in Rate of Students Pursuing STEM Majors
The SLAM Project is designed for students who would most likely place in math remediation when matriculating into college. These are students who have either demonstrated difficulty in math in grades 9-11 or those who may feel competent in math but have only completed Algebra 2 by the end of their junior year. The former group generally reports a plan to avoid mathematics coursework in the future and, as such, gravitates toward college majors without a math emphasis. The latter consider themselves good in math and are interested in pursuing STEM majors; however, these students report that they have not been previously challenged in math.
What We’re Learning
The research team was curious what impact, if any, the experience of a college-level math class would have on students’ choice of major. Early findings show that 13% (N = 11) of students decided to change their major as a result of the SLAM Project. This result is based on survey data; the statistic may change when the students officially declare their majors. All eleven are students who began the program with a self-perceived weakness in mathematics but found a passion for the subject during the course.
I was going to avoid math classes in college but, since
going through this course, I have seen that with more effort I can succeed in and understand college math.–SLAM Student
We actually have some students who said, ‘You know, I might actually like to continue taking math after this class.’”–SLAM Teacher #2
I am actually starting to want to pursue a statistics major! It would be cool because you can use stats in any job.”–SLAM Student