Asee peer logo

Numeracy: Preparing Students for Success in Algebra

Download Paper |


2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity


Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 14, 2019

Start Date

April 14, 2019

End Date

April 22, 2019

Conference Session

Track: Pre-college - Technical Session 3

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Pre-College

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Whitney Gaskins University of Cincinnati

visit author page

Dr. Gaskins joined the Engineering Education Department in 2015 as an assistant professor educator. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2008. Whitney earned her Masters of Business Administration in Quantitative Analysis from the University of Cincinnati, Lindner College of Business in 2010. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering/Engineering Education also from the University of Cincinnati.
Whitney also works with the Emerging Ethnic Engineers (E3) Program. She teaches Calculus 1 during the Summer Bridge program and instructs Cooperative Calculus 1 during the school year.

Continuing with her commitment to community involvement, Whitney has previously served on the National Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineers, a student-managed organization with more than 30,000 members. She served as the Planning Chairperson for the 2013 Annual Convention and is currently an advisor for the Great Lakes Region.

Dr. Gaskins the President of the Sigma Omega graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the Women’s Alliance, the National Technical Association, The Biomedical Engineering Society and the National Alliance of Black School Educators amongst other activities. She is Deaconess at New Friendship Baptist Church. Whitney was recognized in the 2013 Edition of Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati.

visit author page


Darryl Dickerson Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Darryl A. Dickerson, PhD serves as Associate Director of the Minority Engineering Program at Purdue University and Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Regenerative Technologies. He received his PhD in 2009 from the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering where his research focused on the development of naturally-derived biomaterials specifically for the regeneration of interfaces between hard and soft tissues. Subsequently, he founded BioRegeneration Technologies to translate the benchtop work performed during his graduate studies to clinical practice. During his time as a graduate student, Dr. Dickerson gained significant management and leadership experience as a member of the Board of Directors (2004 – 2009) of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). His work with NSBE culminated in his service as President, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer and the launch of the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program in 2007 – 2008. In 2012, he joined the staff of the Minority Engineering Program at Purdue and has since taken on the role of Associate Director. In this capacity, he manages the staff members in executing programming designed to transform the College of Engineering into a more diverse and inclusive environment by increasing enrollment, retention, and success of underrepresented minority students in engineering.

visit author page


Virginia Lynn Booth-Womack Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Virginia received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a B.A. in Psychology while at Purdue University. She is currently the Director of Minority Engineering Programs in the College of Engineering. She assumed the position in 2004 after 18 years of manufacturing experience. Her last assignment was Lean Manufacturing Manager for the for the 3.7L and 4.7L Mack Engine facilities at Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, Michigan. Virginia has applied lean manufacturing concepts to identify and close the achievement gap between under-represented minority engineering students and the total engineering cohort. This was achieved focusing on first semester performance and first year retention through implementation of an aggressive transition program targeting first year engineering students from historically under-represented groups. She recently was called upon to serve as interim Executive Director for the National Society of Black Engineers from December 2013 through August 2014 during which time the organization experienced membership growth and strong metric focus towards goal attainment.

visit author page

author page

Delano White The Gaskins Foundation

Download Paper |


Algebra has been universally accepted as a gateway skill. It is a bridge to high-level math course: Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus and Calculus. Students who take an Algebra course by the 8th grade are more likely to pursue careers in Engineering and other STEM fields. Students who take Algebra by the 8th grade will be able to take a Calculus course while in high school. Students who are exposed to Calculus in High School generally are more successful in their first-year mathematics courses in college. Algebra by 7th Grade (AB7G) has been launched as a pilot program from NAMEPA, hosted by the University of Cincinnati and Purdue University. The program begins with students in the 3rd grade and continues each year until the 7th grade where the students are exposed to Algebra and hands on projects. The students’ progress and test scores are tracked and monitored. Our pilot sites meet two Saturdays of each month. All participants are required to have access to the Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) web-based student assessment system or a similar software program. The system can measure which skills the student has mastered and skills in which the students need more practice and training. Staff and volunteers also supplement the ALEKS training with hands-on lessons and activities designed to further challenge and engage the students. Successes and opportunities for improvement, data and next steps will be shared in the conference paper.

Gaskins, W., & Dickerson, D., & Booth-Womack, V. L., & White, D. (2019, April), Numeracy: Preparing Students for Success in Algebra Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015