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The Effectiveness Of Pre College Algebra Reviews For Student Placement Into College Level Mathematics

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1129.1 - 8.1129.11

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Paper Authors

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Benjamin Flores

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jana renner-martinez

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Ann Darnell

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

The Effectiveness of a Mathematics Review for Student Placement into College-Level Mathematics

Benjamin C. Flores, Jana Renner Martínez, Helmut Knaust, Ann Darnell, Lilly Romo, and Connie Kubo Della-Piana1

The Model Institutions for Excellence Program, The University of Texas at El Paso 1 Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation


At the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), a public university with an open admission policy, the majority of entering engineering and science students initially place into one of two developmental mathematics courses. Mathematics “refresher” sessions held during freshman orientation significantly increase mathematics placement exam scores and, as a result, place more students into college-level mathematics courses. Of the students who participated in the mathematics reviews in the summers of 2000, 2001, and 2002, 28 percent who initially placed into developmental mathematics improved upon their placement score enough to enroll in college-level mathematics (Pre-Calculus or Calculus I). This increase shifted the majority of the students into college-level mathematics. The performance of students who advanced into college-level courses was comparable to the performance of students who did not improve their scores after the review. Overall, 29 percent of all students who attended the mathematics review were able to advance at least one semester in the mathematics curricular sequence. The majority was successful in these courses, enabling them to enroll sooner in freshman science and engineering courses.

I. Introduction

UTEP is the largest Mexican-American majority university in the nation. Given its mission to serve one of the poorest cities in country,1 UTEP has adopted an inclusive, open admission policy, which has led to an acceptance rate of over 90 percent. As would be expected, the mean Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score at UTEP is slightly lower than the national average. In 2001, the mean combined SAT score of the newly admitted student population at UTEP was 928 (464 verbal, 464 math) compared to the national average SAT score of 1020. Students enrolled in the Colleges of Engineering and Science achieved slightly higher scores than overall UTEP averages. Engineering students had a mean combined SAT score of 965 (458 verbal, 507 math),

Proceedings of the 2003American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Flores, B., & renner-martinez, J., & Darnell, A. (2003, June), The Effectiveness Of Pre College Algebra Reviews For Student Placement Into College Level Mathematics Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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