Parent Information

How it works

The Math Emporium is actually two very large classrooms. When you walk through the doors for the first time, it may appear that we are nothing but computers. While it is true that the Emporium contains many computer workstations, a closer look will reveal a comprehensive mathematics learning center with plenty of math faculty and staff readily available. The computers are arranged in rows with rolling chairs for ease of access. There is a private room for one-on-one tutoring. 

Courses

Courses provided through the Math Emporium are not "online courses". Even so, while some high schools do offer math classes in an online format, we know that most of our students' previous math experience was in small classes where they met with the same teacher at the same time 5 days a week. No matter what the method of delivery, a college math class is not going to mimic that experience. As college educators, we know that's a good thing as your child will grow more responsible for his own learning. We will help students make the transition to college math courses.

Course materials are delivered online in the Math Emporium.  The textbook can either be an electronic book or a printed copy purchased through the university’s bookstore. Everything else is face-to-face human contact. In weekly class meetings, faculty members provide instruction on the upcoming week’s lesson. Faculty and tutors are available in the Math Emporium throughout the week if students need help with a math problem or advice on their progress. Help sessions are offered throughout the semester. Additionally, students can schedule to work with a specific tutor. Students can communicate with their instructor by e-mail or personal conferences.

Tests & Quizzes

Assessments in Math Emporium courses are designed to encourage and reward students for solving math problems. Every week, they are given a specific date and time before which they must complete assignments and take an online graded quiz on a set of topics covered in the videos and textbook. Students take three tests and a comprehensive final exam.

Students prepare for tests by completing practice tests and test reviews.  In order to progress to a quiz, a mastery grade of 80% must be met in the homework. A minimum grade must be met on each quiz.  This helps to ensure that the majority of material is understood by the student before being tested on it.

Time Requirements

Three hours of work in the Math Emporium is required for students. These three hours for Math 100 and Math 110 includes class time either MWF or TR. Students are credited with time spent attending scheduled class time and must work additional time in the Math Emporium to reach the total three hours for the week in order to earn the total participation points for the week. The scheduled time is intended to ensure the student works in an environment where knowledgeable help is available.

Assistance & Tutoring

In a Math Emporium course, students have the opportunity to receive help in the manner and schedule that best fits their individual needs. In addition to the experienced math faculty who work in the Emporium, we have undergraduate student tutors and staff tutors, who have met strict requirements in order to be able to become a tutor in the Math Emporium. If your child needs more personal guidance, he can see his instructor anytime during his scheduled hours at the Emporium.

Every part of a Math Emporium course, including the textbook, the help provided at the Emporium, and online assignments, is designed with one thing in mind. Students learn math by doing math, not by watching someone else do math.

The tutors attend a training session where they learn ways to help students solve problems on their own. If your child asks a tutor for help, the tutor will probably start asking questions in return to determine where the confusion lies. The tutors are not here to impress students with their knowledge, but to guide them to understand the concepts and find the solution to problems on their own.

Math Anxiety

If your child expresses anxiety about his or her math course, our instructors have years of experience with students in freshman-level mathematics courses and offer the following suggestions:

  • Students need to learn effective time-management skills rather quickly.
  • Start assignments the day of class.  It is not wise to wait several days after the material is presented to begin working on assignments.  
  • Encourage the student to seek help early and often. Working at the Math Emporium rather than in the dorm can provide the opportunity to receive help with smaller amounts of material at a time.
If your child seems to be doing all the right things and still feels discouraged, tell him or her to send an e-mail to the instructor or meet with the instructor, explaining the concerns. It may take time, but with your encouragement and our help, your child will most likely become a more independent and successful math student. However, it is possible that your child's concern about a math class is part of a larger picture, and we encourage you to seek help from other resources on campus if necessary.