Preparing Students for College Mathematics

Submission Date


Document Type




Faculty Mentor

Lisa Grossbauer


Presented during the 18th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 22, 2016 at Ursinus College.

The main link on this page directs to a website created using Wix.

Also, see this link for a "reassessment" test created using Qualtrix: https://ursinus.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7UtxX94Zu7ZsqwZ

Link to Calculus I / Algebra Review YouTube video playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZ1lu_ZC3TBMf9WvFcm2gCy59mPzz46AS

Please see additional files at the bottom of this page. Note that the Java program will not run without the placement test data (not included), but the code is still viewable.

Project Description

Each year, thousands of incoming students to colleges and Universities across the nation find that they are underprepared in their Mathematics. A structural issue with how math education is handled in middle and high school, this problem has been around for nearly half a century, and its effects can be felt here at Ursinus. Incoming students at this college who wish to follow a STEM-track or pre-med track are disadvantaged from the start when they have to spend time at the beginning of college re-learning middle school algebra. The goal of this research was to target the incoming students here at Ursinus and better prepare them for a collegiate math experience.

The research first looked at the placement test used by the school to determine which math classes each student should be placed in. By studying the data gained through this year's test results, the biggest areas of concern were revealed. Online resources were found to help teach these concepts, and customized packets were made for each student who took our placement test. Different methods of video creation and online tutoring were examined. A website was also created to house all the resources collected in one place. Finally, a few students will be selected to take a reassessment test and the success of the resources collected will then be studied based on the data it returns.

Main.java (34 kB)
Java program files

remediationGuide.txt (1 kB)
Guide to additional resources

QualtricsAnalysisnotes.docx (3749 kB)
Placement test notes