How Your Support Makes a Difference

USA's School of Continuing Education and Special Programs recently established the Math Learning Center. This center is designed to assist students in the Developmental Studies Program to prepare for college-level coursework. The center is based on the math emporium model which has been used successfully by Purdue, Virginia Tech, and Auburn.

This model of instruction helps students become more engaged because they work independently and must show mastery of each skill before being allowed to move forward. The program benefits students who have struggled in a traditional classroom setting where all students are forced to learn at the same pace. In the emporium model, math students are required to be actively and independently involved in their own learning.

This instructional method, called mastery , is self-paced and encourages students to succeed because they are responsible for their learning. As students master a skill, they move forward. Students understand that as they learn the content, they can take courses that apply directly toward their degree. Achieving success in this way allows students to understand how hard work and perseverance yield positive results - a University of South Alabama degree.

CandiceUSA's Developmental Studies Program is beneficial for students of all ages. Candice Powers, a freshman majoring in biology at USA, understands how the Math Learning Center can help students succeed. "I was forced to move through each process step-by-step, and I had to go through each step for myself. That made a huge difference in how I was able to understand the material." Candice not only completed the course, she gained confidence in her ability to be successful in other courses that are required in her degree. Candice is proud to have completed pre-calculus this semester with an 86 and is looking forward to mastering her next challenge.

This style of learning is proving to be beneficial for U.S. Military veterans who attend USA's Math Learning Center, as well. More than 900 veterans attend the University of South Alabama each semester, and approximately 10 percent of veteran students work in the Math Learning Center. The Learning Center offers them the support they need to ease their transition back into the classroom. Charlotte Windom, department chair of the Developmental Studies Program, understands that veterans who return to college often face challenges beyond academics. She works to ensure that USA provides an environment that will encourage their success.

The School of Continuing Education and Special Programs works to provide academic and social support to all of USA's students. From state-of-the-art technology in the Math Learning Center to supporting at-risk students, USA is at the forefront of education on the Gulf Coast. Your continued support helps change lives every day.