Math department addresses student enrollment and success at board meeting


Sebastian Echeverry

Vice president of academic affairs JoAnna Schilling speaking to the board of trustees about the math departments issues with student support and possible solutions. The board meeting took place Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cheryl A. Epple Board Room. Photo credit: Sebastian Echeverry

Sebastian Echeverry

The Cerritos College math department and the board of trustees both analyzed positive and negative numbers concerning student enrollment and success in the math classes held on campus.

The board meeting was held Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cheryl A. Epple Board Room.

The main point the math department wanted to get across to the board was that students don’t take math for long periods of time and that the skill is perishable.

Talking about math is no stranger to being an eye opener in the board meetings. Math professor Pillar Mata constantly brought up the issues to the board asking for more attention be brought to math on campus.

Using an extensive Power-Point presentation, math department Co-Chairs Angie Conley and Dara D. Worrel brought statistics to the board saying students are not only enrolling at low levels of mathematics, but they are also not successfully completing it.

Conley said, “About time the board knew about this and not just the bad, but the good as well we know there are problems, I want all this noise to be positive.”

Data brought by the math department also showed that the Math Success Center was working well by helping a majority of students not only get help at the center, but by also making them become frequent users.

Near the middle of the almost four-hour meeting, trustee John Paul Drayer called for a five-minute recess in the meeting.

He felt that a member of the board was not letting him ask the presenters questions throughout the presentation.

Drayer said, “Board members stopped me from getting to the bottom of things, the board president was a detriment to my thought process, I was a student I know what it’s like to be here.”

He said, “I will not be gag-ordered by the [board] president.”

Board President Carmen Avalos accepted the suggestion for a five-minute recess and called the board to a break.

Avalos said, “I tried to be professional about it, I want board members to not be specific to something, I want them to see the bigger picture.”

She said, “It’s not personal.”

During the break English professor Dr. Frank Mixson was pleased with the turnout by the instructors and staff concerned with the math departments issues.

He said, “We are halfway through the meeting, the math faculty is doing a great job planning to help students.”

A solution the math department brought to the board was the BSI Acceleration Remediation.

At the tip of the spear is to be the math department and other instructional aids that would support students enrolled in math classes.

Embedded tutors would offer help to students.

The board acknowledged the presentation and had a collected thought about supporting the math department and it’s solution proposals.

“I’m willing to spend more money, to make a motion for things that actually help out,” Drayer said.